OnSeptember , afteryears of searching, gravitational waves were detected for the first time and astronomy changed for everUntil then, investigation of the universe had depended on electromagnetic radiation visible light, radio, X rays and the rest But gravitational waves ripples in the fabric of space and time are unrelenting, passing through barriers that stop light deadAt the twokilometre long LIGO observatories in the US, scientists developed incredibly sensitive detectors, capable of spotting a movementtimes smaller than the nucleus of an atom Inthey spotted the ripples produced by two black holes spiralling into each other, setting spacetime quiveringThis was the first time black holes had ever been directly detected and it promises farfor the future of astronomy Brian Clegg presents a compelling story of human technical endeavour and a new, powerful path to understand the workings of the universeBrian Clegg s most recent books are The Reality Frame Icon,, What Colour is the SunIcon,and Ten Billion Tomorrows St Martin s Press,His Dice World and A Brief History of Infinity were both longlisted for the Royal Society Prize for Science Books He has also written Big Data for the Hot Science series Brian has written for numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Nature, BBC Focus, Physics World, The Times and The Observer Brian is editor of popularscience and blogs at brianclegg