In 1916, physicist Albert Einstein predicted gravitational waves from his Theory of Relativity. 100 years later, his prediction comes true. Scientists have now detected these gravitational waves. But what are they exactly?

Gravitational waves are ripples in the spacetime curvature that appear in the form of waves travelling outwards from the source. Think of how you drop a pebble in a still body of water to generate radiating ripples.

The detected gravitational waves appear from collision and merging of two black holes. They generated waves that were able to be ‘heard’ all the way on earth despite the blackhole merger happening about 1.5 billion years ago. This is getting us excited because we no longer have to ‘see’ what is happening out in space we can also now ‘hear’ what is happening. This is particularly useful because visible light could only let us look so far.

But to explain it better, here are some videos that help illustrate the news.

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