11/02/2016 16:19 GMT | Updated 11/02/2016 17:59 GMT

Discovery Of Gravitational Waves By Scientists Is 'Scientific Highlight Of The Decade'

For the first time in history scientists have detected ripples in the fabric of space, otherwise known as gravitational waves.

This 'historic' discovery means that after nearly 100 years, one of Einstein's greatest and most ambitious theories was actually correct.

black hole

The waves were detected when two black holes collided with each other around 1.3 billion years ago.

The discovery of gravitational waves is significant for one simple reason - it allows us to see further into the past of our own universe and better understand the 'dark' side of space.

Incredibly the waves themselves were detected back in September 2015 when two locations of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) gathered similar readings in the aftermath of two black holes merging.


The black holes were between 29 and 36 times the density of our own sun and collided a staggering 1.3 billion years ago.

According to Einstein's Theory of General Relativity when two black holes orbit each other they lose energy through the emission of gravitational waves.

This in turn brings them closer together before finally resulting in a merging of the two into one giant black hole. This final merging causes a huge burst of energy, sending giant gravitational ripples through spacetime.

It was these ripples that the LIGO was able to detect.


The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detector in Livingston, Louisiana

Prominent scientists from around the globe have already taken to Twitter to offer their congratulations to the team who made the discovery.

Prof Karsten Danzmann, European leader on the collaboration believes there could well be a Nobel Prize on the horizon