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Finding Gravitational Waves In Space, A Great Reason To Party

Anna King
Northwest News Network
Scientists gathered in rural Washington state to celebrate their discovery, of gravitational waves in spacetime with bluegrass and champagne.

Thursday a group of scientists announced that after decades of research they’d detected massive gravitational waves in spacetime. And after work last night, dozens of physicists and scientists from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory celebrated their discovery in Richland, Washington.

The live band’s music and partygoers spill out onto the front lawn.

Scientists, data crunchers and managers were packed together inside a private home. Even the young woman who was manning the “owl-shift” last September when the gravitational wave was recorded, plucked an upright bass.

Fred Raab, head of Washington’s LIGO station, raises a glass of champagne.

“We did it!” he exclaimed to cheers from the crowd.

But for these late-night partying Ph.D.s, there won’t be much sleeping in. They’re expecting to announce more discoveries about deep space soon.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.