“It’s five sigma at point two.”

To most of us, those words mean nothing. But when astrophysics researcher, Chao-Lin Kuo, surprised long-time Big Bang theorist and researcher, Andre Linde, with the results of his research, Linde was overcome with emotion. His life’s work had just been verified.

But what did it all mean exactly? A team of scientists (from which Kuo hails) just  announced last week that a specialized telescope on the south pole had identified gravitational waves out in space that could be traced to—essentially—the very beginning of our universe. To be a precise, this is a “million billion billion billion billion billion” times closer than scientists have ever observed before.

These gravitational waves were produced by the sheer force of the Big Bang explosion and have left ripples in the space-time fields of our universe. Scientists finally detected them after decades of searching.

It provides a whopping amount of evidence for the Big Bang Theory, known in academic circles as “Inflation.” Furthermore, it opens up doors and windows into new lines of research about the creation of universe and perhaps even what came before our universe.

The announcement, less than a week old, is taking the scientific community by storm. Check out this article for more info.