"We did it!" Reitze said to an unusual standing ovation.
"These gravitational waves were produced by two colliding black holes that merged to form a single black hole 1.3 billion years ago."
Such a collision has never been seen before. Black holes are powerful objects, collapsed stars that pull in vast quantities of matter and concentrate them into a very small area.
"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE DETECTED GRAVITATIONAL WAVES."
These two were about 150 km, just under 100 miles, in diameter. "Pack 30 times the mass of the sun into that," Reitze said. "Accelerate it to about half the speed of light."
Two of these massive, fast-moving objects circled one another, crashed, and merged to form a single black hole.
"That's what we saw here. It's mind-boggling," Reitze said.