It was supposed to be a revolutionary breakthrough: last March, a team of scientists found what are known as primordial gravitational waves, or ancient ripples in space-time that would have been produced just moments after the Big Bang, stunning direct evidence of a theory most scientists already hold true.
Or had they? On Jan. 30, two teams of scientists — one operating a European Space Agency telescope and the other the team that submitted the original paper — have decided it was all just a mirage kicked up by ordinary space dust in our galaxy, thus debunking what had been one of the biggest discoveries of 2014, according to a report by the Economist.
Such gravitational waves had long been sought by astronomers, as it would confirm that long-held theory that the universe suddenly expanded rapidly just instants after it exploded into existence, inflating at faster than the speed of light.
Most scientists hold that it is true based on indirect evidence, but so far, no one had been able to provide hard, direct evidence that this is what happened.