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Three "LIGO-ites" at work. (Photo: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab)

Ask a LIGO-ite

Is there something about LIGO or its scientific mission that you are dying to know about but can’t find mentioned anywhere in our site? Check the list of questions below to see if anyone has wondered about the same thing. If you still don’t find the answer here either, you can email your ‘gotta know about LIGO!' Send us a question

We probably won’t be able to answer all questions personally, but we will feature some of the most interesting, fun, important, or relevant questions (and their answers) here.

Question:  Have you ever seen a gravitational wave?

Answer: YES! The very first observation EVER of gravitational waves was made by the LIGO Livingston and LIGO Hanford observatories on September 14th, 2015. LIGO scientists determined that the waves were generated by two massive black holes colliding about 1.3 BILLION light years away. That means it actually happened 1.3 billion years ago, and the gravitational waves took all that time to reach us, traveling at the speed of light! For more information on this historic discovery, click HERE.

Question:  How does the Universe work? (Submitted by a Louisiana preschooler)

Answer:  We think the Universe operates according to a set of "rules," and as scientists we want to uncover those "rules."  Many of these rules, the “laws of nature” have been discovered and confirmed by scientists throughout the world. But there are still mysteries and unknowns that are the focus of ongoing scientific research including LIGO. That's why we do so much research - to understand the Universe better and to figure out how it works.