Breakthrough: Scientists detect Einstein-predicted ripples

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Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in 1921. (Photo by Ferdinand Schmutzer)

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Scientists say they have finally detected gravitational waves _ the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago.

The announcement has electrified the world of physics and astronomy. Scientists say the finding opens a new way of observing the cosmos.

For many years, scientists have had indirect evidence of the existence of gravitational waves rippling across the universe.

But now, an all-star international team of astrophysicists using an excruciatingly sensitive, $1.1 billion instrument has actually detected one of these waves from the distant crash of two black holes.

One theorist says the feat ranks along Galileo taking up a telescope and looking at the planets.

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