Nov 27, 2022

How fast is gravity, exactly?

Posted by in categories: physics, space

The merging of two neutron stars emits both light and gravitational waves at the same time, so if gravity and light have the same speed, they should be detected on Earth at the same time. Given the distance of the galaxy that housed these two neutron stars, we know that the two types of waves had traveled for about 130 million years and arrived within two seconds of one another.

So, that’s the answer. Gravity and light travel at the same speed, determined by a precise measurement. It validates Einstein once again, and it hints at something profound about the nature of space. Scientists hope one day to fully understand why these two very different phenomena have identical speeds.

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