Gravitational wave background of the universe heard for the 1st time

Astronomers have heard the faint hum of gravitational waves echoing throughout the universe for the first time.

For nearly a decade, scientists have been hunting for the gravitational wave background, a faint but persistent echo of gravitational waves thought to have been set off by events that took place soon after the Big Bang and the mergers of supermassive black holes throughout the cosmos. While such a background was long theorized by physicists and sought by astronomers, signals of gravitational waves that make up that background have been hard to detect due to being faint, in addition to vibrating at decade-long timescales. Now, long-term observations have finally confirmed their presence.

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