Ready to scan the cosmos for gravity waves.
It looked bad for LIGO last year. Critics were grumbling that one of the most sensitive listening devices in history was, at $365 million, too expensive. LIGO (short for Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) is designed to hunt for gravity waves-energetic ripples that distort the shape of space. These waves could inform scientists about violent events that occurred long ago in the distant universe, such as supernovas or the merging of black holes. But gravity waves lose strength as they travel across the cosmos.