The Atlantic

The Slack Chat That Changed Astronomy

The groundbreaking discovery of a neutron-star collision unfolded in a flurry of online messages.
Source: ESO / A.J. Levan / N.R. Tanvir

In between its silly chatrooms and custom emojis, Slack is a place where real work gets done. But in some offices—no offense—the projects managed on the messaging platform are way cooler than others. Some even have cosmic significance.

On August 17, observatories in the United States and Italy detected gravitational waves, forces that bend the fabric of the universe, as they washed over Earth. Space telescopes observed a short gamma-ray burst, a

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