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A simulation of two black holes merging. Image: N. Fischer/H. Pfeiffer/A. Buonanno/SXS

Scientists have found 50 signals from gravitational waves sent out by massive objects slamming into each other in space.

Why it matters: The more scientists find these signals from cosmic crashes, the more they are able to piece together a fuller understanding of the universe, including the formation of black holes.

What they did: Researchers found 39 signals from gravitational waves sent out by colliding black holes and neutron stars picked up by the LIGO and Virgo detectors between April 1 and Oct 1, 2019.

  • "The sharp increase in the number of detections was made possible by significant improvements to the instruments with respect to previous observation periods," according to the LIGO statement.

How it works: The two L-shaped LIGO detectors pick up gravitational waves by using a laser that runs down the length of each arm of the L.

  • That laser bounces back to the bend in the L when it hits a mirror placed at each end.
  • If both lasers get back to the middle at the same time, that means no gravitational wave has passed through, but if they're out of alignment, it could indicate a gravitational wave passed by, stretching the fabric of space and time as it did.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

MLB headed for first lockout since '95 as deal expires

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (L) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is headed for the first management lockout since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.