In June, international headlines reported evidence of what could be the first light ever detected from a black hole merger. Previously thought impossible due to the nature of black holes, the black hole merger was discovered by Rensselaer alumna Saavik Ford ’98, a professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College, and her colleague, Professor Barry McKernan.

Ford and McKernan, who are both research associates at the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Astrophysics, co-authored a study detailing these groundbreaking findings with researchers from the California Institute of Technology Zwicky Transient Facility at Palomar Observatory near San Diego.

Here, Ford discusses the findings.