SUMMARY: A new space observatory called the Laser Interferometer Space Antennae, or LISA, will help help astronomers watch black holes as they gorge on new matter, growing larger in the process. These binges are thought to cause gravitational waves, which are ripples in spacetime. LISA consists of three spacecraft separated by 4.8 million km (3 million miles) which keep track of their relative positions very carefully. As the gravitational waves pass, the spacecraft should move relative to each other, like boats floating on the ocean when a wave goes past. LISA should launch in 2008, and will hopefully detect several black hole events a year.
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