Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity predicts the existence of ripples in the fabric of space-time. Such gravitational waves have been detected from several pairs of merging black holes. And on October 16, astronomers announced the detection of a colliding pair of neutron stars with both gravitational waves and light, signaling the birth of a black hole!
Alex Filippenko is one of the world’s most highly cited astronomers and the only person to have served on both teams that simultaneously discovered the Nobel-worthy accelerating expansion of the universe. Voted UC Berkeley’s “Best Professor” a record nine times, he appears frequently on TV documentaries and is addicted to observing total solar eclipses throughout the globe (16 so far).