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The International Astronomical Union is delighted to congratulate the entire LIGO collaboration on its exceptional achievement of the direct and unequivocal detection of
gravitational waves, probably originating from the merger of two black holes. Not only does this feat celebrate Albert Einstein and his general theory of relativity in its
100th anniversary year, brilliantly confirming its most visionary prediction, but it also opens up a new window on the primordial Universe. It gives us hope that we may one day pull back the curtain of the last scattering surface, the boundary beyond which any observation based on electromagnetic radiation cannot penetrate. The planned projects for observing gravitational waves from the ground and from space will receive a tremendous boost from this ground-breaking detection. The international team who worked for years with patience and determination to finally achieve it deserves the gratitude of the world’s astronomy and physics community. Let us hope too that other communities, those who use complementary approaches — such as philosophy and art — in their quest for knowledge, will be stimulated by this fantastic achievement and will collaborate in penetrating ever deeper into the wonders of our cosmos.
 
IAU President, Silvia Torres-Peimbert said, “This astonishing result has truly opened the door on a new era of observational astronomy. It justifies all the hard work and determination that the collaboration has shown over many years. We congratulate the collaboration and look forward to an exciting future in gravitational wave astronomy.”
 
Links
LIGO website
Contacts
Piero Benvenuti
IAU General Secretary
Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 43 25 83 58
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Lars Lindberg Christensen
IAU Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 761
Cell: +49 173 38 72 621
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.