RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — A different sort of galactic collision has been detected at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s special space observatory.
Officials announced Monday that astronomers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory discovered the crash of two neutron stars on Aug. 17.
Neutron stars are the collapsed cores of a large star and are the smallest, densest stars known to exist.
The Tri-City Herald reports the collision was 130 million light years from Earth.
This marked the first time that a cosmic event has been viewed in both gravitational waves and light, giving scientists a new way of learning about the universe.
The Hanford observatory made its first detection of gravitational waves in 2015, nearly 100 years after Albert Einstein predicted their existence.