By Calla Cofield, Staff Writer | February 11, 2016 10:34am ET

WASHINGTON — Gravitational waves, the cosmic ripples that distort space-time itself, have been directly detected for the first time.

In a highly anticipated announcement today (Feb. 11), researchers affiliated with the (LIGO) reported the detection of gravitational waves. The signal picked up by LIGO came from the collision of two black holes and was detected on Sept. 14, 2015 by LIGO’s twin detectors in Livingston, Louisiana and Hanford, Washington, scientists said.

This cosmic crash sent gravitational waves streaming outward at the speed of light, causing ripples in the fabric of space-time, similar to how a dropped pebble disturbs a still pond. Researchers said the collision occurred 1.3 billion years ago between black holes that were about 29 and 36 times more massive than the sun, respectively. During the crash, about three times the mass of the sun was converted into gravitational waves in less than a second, generating a peak power output of about 50 times that of the entire visible universe, they added. [Gravitational Waves Detected by LIGO: Complete Coverage] … read more here