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LIGO Hanford observatory makes new discovery

Credit: NSF/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) - A different sort of galactic collision has been detected at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation's special space observatory.

Officials announced Monday that astronomers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory discovered the crash of two neutron stars on Aug. 17.

Neutron stars are the collapsed cores of a large star and are the smallest, densest stars known to exist.

The Tri-City Herald (http://www.tri-cityherald.com) reports the collision was 130 million light years from Earth.

This marked the first time that a cosmic event has been viewed in both gravitational waves and light, giving scientists a new way of learning about the universe.

The Hanford observatory made its first detection of gravitational waves in 2015, nearly 100 years after Albert Einstein predicted their existence.

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