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The High Energy Year in Review: 2016
Credit: NASA; NSF; ESA; JAXA; et al.


The High Energy Year in Review: 2016

The year 2016 was a startling year. Without doubt, the most important discovery of the past year was the announcement of the direct detection of gravitational radiation by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. This discovery confirmed a 100-year old prediction by Einstein and capped a 50-year effort which began with the early work of Joseph Weber to detect these incredibly small signals in spacetime. The LIGO discovery provides a brand-new window on the Universe, proving the existence of merging, massive black holes and other strange cosmic phenomena. This year also saw the launch and tragic demise of Hitomi, a Japanese-US X-ray satellite observatory, which was lost during the instrument check-out phase - but not before it obtained a surprising, transformative measurement of the X-ray emission from the Perseus cluster of galaxies. Other achievements of note include the possible discovery of Gamma-ray emission from a mysterious "Fast Radio Burst" source, the discovery of a Gamma-ray pulsar beyond the Milky Way, the first image of the Andromeda galaxy in hard X-rays, the observation of light echoes from an X-ray burst, detection of record-breaking cosmic neutrinos, the successful test of LISA Pathfinder and mysterious X-ray emission from Pluto. Here's looking towards a year of continued scientific discoveries in 2017.
Published: January 2, 2017


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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Monday, 09-Jan-2017 09:05:49 EST