Congratulations to the three physicists at the Hanford LIGO observatory for the measurement of the gravitational waves from the two colliding black holes, confirming Albert Einstein’s predictions about the fabric of space and time.
However, saying that the waves traveled for 1.3 billion years, or that the collision occurred 1.3 billion years ago, is at best misleading, if not arguably ridiculous. I would assume that that assumption is based on the fact that the black holes are 1.3 billion light years away. A light year is, however, a measure of distance and not a measure of time. Light travels at a speed of 186,000 feet per second here on earth, even though that is not an absolute constant. The speed of light on earth is affected by the atmosphere, the gravitational pull, and the magnetic field of the earth. A light year is the distance that light traveling at 186,000 feet per second would theoretically travel in one year. That assumes that it would travel — and has always traveled — through space at that speed.
It has been proven that light actually travels exponentially faster in space, therefore, reducing the time for it to reach the earth from the black holes.
Charles Robinson, Prosser