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Word traveled fast when gravitational-wave detectors in the US and Europe announced the detection of a binary black hole merger on 14 September 2015. Then on 17 August 2017 the detection of merging neutron stars marked the beginning of multimessenger cosmic science with gravitational waves. (See Physics Today, April 2016, page 14, and December 2017, page 19.) Once that alert went out, dozens of telescopes were pointed toward the merger; radio astronomers are still watching it. Hundreds of papers followed, including one with more than 3500 authors. The excitement created by those detections has the gravitational-wave community chomping at the bit to lay plans for more powerful observatories.

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Category: Science