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12 Feb, 2016 15:16

Taking the cake: Groundbreaking gravitational wave accidentally revealed in tweet

Taking the cake: Groundbreaking gravitational wave accidentally revealed in tweet

Thursday’s groundbreaking gravitational wave embargo was accidentally broken in a tweet about a cake - by a researcher who had previously broken a science embargo in a tweet about a cake.

There had been rumors of a gravitational wave breakthrough for months ahead of the official announcement, when - just minutes before the embargo was lifted - a picture of a cake confirming the existence of the waves emerged online.

READ MORE: ‘We proved Einstein right!’ 100 years on, gravitational waves confirmed in breakthrough research

The culprit behind the leak was Erin Lee Ryan, a research associate at the University of Maryland who is based at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Now, you might say Ryan wasn’t to know, it was an exciting day, she got carried away.

But wait.

This isn’t the first time she has broken an embargo and foiled a scientific announcement... with a cake tweet:

In her defense, a picture of the grativational waves celebration cake was also tweeted by astrophysicist March Kuchner, shortly before the embargo was lifted:

READ MORE: Wave reviews: Proof of gravity’s vibrations leaves internet floating on air

Erin has taken the debacle in her stride, even changing her Twitter bio to “infamous cake tweeting embargo breaker”.

Once? Unfortunate. But twice? As Wilde said, twice is definitely careless.

READ MORE: Russian scientists tell RT how they enabled discovery of cosmic gravitational waves (EXCLUSIVE)