Hanford's space observatory makes new discovery - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Hanford's space observatory makes new discovery

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An artist’s rendering of the merger of two neutron stars from Aug. 17. Credit: Robin Dienel/The Carnegie Institution for Science An artist’s rendering of the merger of two neutron stars from Aug. 17. Credit: Robin Dienel/The Carnegie Institution for Science
RICHLAND, Wash. -

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.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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