NASA visualizes a black hole's warped world

Humza

Posts: 942   +167
Staff member
Through the looking glass: NASA's latest high-res visualization of a black hole simulates how infalling matter collects into a thin, hot structure called an accretion disk. The resulting 'carnival mirror' light effect demonstrates the extreme gravity of the black hole that skews light emitted by different regions of the disk.

Given the hostile nature of black holes, it is impossible to study these regions up close. The second best option is to come up with a visualization based on detailed data and distant observations in space. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, came up with such an illustration to give a high-res view of a black hole's warped world.

"Bright knots constantly form and dissipate in the disk as magnetic fields wind and twist through the churning gas. Nearest the black hole, the gas orbits at close to the speed of light, while the outer portions spin a bit more slowly. This difference stretches and shears the bright knots, producing light and dark lanes in the disk." said the space agency.

The extreme gravitational field of the black hole distorts the light emitted from different parts of the disk, and depending on the viewing angle, the greatest distortion can be observed by seeing it edgewise.

From the side view (shown above), the disk appears to be brighter on the left side as compared to the right. According to NASA, this happens due to the effects of Einstein's relativity that give a 'boost' to the glowing gas on the left, while the opposite is happening on the right where the gas moves away from this angle. If viewed face on, this asymmetry would disappear as none of the material will be moving along the line of sight.

Near to the black hole's center, a "photon ring" appears as a result of excessive gravitational light-bending. The ring contains multiple circles of fainting light that has orbited the black hole several times and escaped before reaching our eyes. Inside this ring is the black hole's shadow that's roughly twice the size of the event horizon, its region of space from which nothing can escape.

"Until very recently, these visualizations were limited to our imagination and computer programs. I never thought that it would be possible to see a real black hole." said Jeremy Schnittman, who generated these visuals using custom software.

Of course, it's good to remember that we did get to see the first-ever image of a real black hole back in April this year.

Permalink to story.

 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,663   +6,447
A Black Hole is still a "collapsed star" so it's not necessarily a "hole in space"....

It's a place where gravity is so high that space and time don't follow normal laws of physics.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,470   +7,297
Personally I think we would all benefit if Mr. Musk would take one of his star cruisers out there and check it out, write a detailed report with photographs, and send it back to us .... assuming he can get the report and associated light to escape ..... do I hear a second to this motion?
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,955   +1,143
Personally I think we would all benefit if Mr. Musk would take one of his star cruisers out there and check it out, write a detailed report with photographs, and send it back to us .... assuming he can get the report and associated light to escape ..... do I hear a second to this motion?

Seconded.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,954   +5,468
Finally! A visualization that actually makes physical sense, at least to me. Those "toilet flush", for example,
birth-black-hole-merl.jpg

now-blackhole.jpg
depictions from years past seemed just too unreal.
Personally I think we would all benefit if Mr. Musk would take one of his star cruisers out there and check it out, write a detailed report with photographs, and send it back to us .... assuming he can get the report and associated light to escape ..... do I hear a second to this motion?
Well, I agree with the intent, but that would, potentially, doom far future generations to suffer Musk's arrogance were he to survive and make it back. :laughing:
 

comnut

Posts: 40   +23
A Black Hole is still a "collapsed star" so it's not necessarily a "hole in space"....

It's a place where gravity is so high that space and time don't follow normal laws of physics.

no actually its a 'hole in space-time'..and since normal laws of physics do not apply, it can be anything you wish...
just like a twister or whirlpool in the ocean- it sure looks like a hole... :)
many believe it could be a 'shortcut' to another part of the universe..
 

Bluescreendeath

Posts: 256   +358
This looks like the black hole imagery created for Chris Nolan's movie Interstellar. They did have scientists consult them on that movie so it's no surprise that that depiction is more accurate than previous depictions.

ut_interstellarOpener_f.png


432


https://www.wired.com/2014/10/astrophysics-interstellar-black-hole/

https://interstellarfilm.fandom.com/wiki/Gargantua

Not 100% accurate of course, but more accurate than previous depictions:
https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26966-interstellars-true-black-hole-too-confusing/
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,005   +6,816
Personally I think we would all benefit if Mr. Musk would take one of his star cruisers out there and check it out, write a detailed report with photographs, and send it back to us .... assuming he can get the report and associated light to escape ..... do I hear a second to this motion?
Don't be impatient. Musk's Tesla roadster is on the way to one black hole or another. With a certified Tesla dummy at the wheel, it should be able to send as much detail back, as would Musk, were he personally behind the wheel.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,954   +5,468
Personally I think we would all benefit if Mr. Musk would take one of his star cruisers out there and check it out, write a detailed report with photographs, and send it back to us .... assuming he can get the report and associated light to escape ..... do I hear a second to this motion?
Don't be impatient. Musk's Tesla roadster is on the way to one black hole or another. With a certified Tesla dummy at the wheel, it should be able to send as much detail back, as would Musk, were he personally behind the wheel.
That is Musk behind the wheel in the roadster. The dummy stayed behind. :laughing:
 

XtremeHammond

Posts: 128   +79
Interstellar's depiction is accurate because Kip Thorne is a Nobel-prize winner scientist who devoted his life to studying black holes. And he was one of those who came up with the concept of the film.

Moreover, after the film was released, creators published an academic paper on black hole visualisation. It's no surprise NASA has the same picture.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,005   +6,816
That is Musk behind the wheel in the roadster. The dummy stayed behind. :laughing:
That pretty much explains his recent behavior at press conferences. That's the dummy talking, via "deep fake" technology... :rolleyes: (They're just having a few bad "glitches", in its narrative).
 
R

retsxel

A Black Hole is still a "collapsed star" so it's not necessarily a "hole in space"....
True.

It's a place where gravity is so high that space and time don't follow normal laws of physics.
Not true. The only thing that is different from normal space outside the event horizon and space inside the event horizon is that energy and matter do not have the capacity to achieve escape velocity and are then, eventually, compressed into the central mass object. None of this violates or changes the known laws of physics.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 973   +880
The laws of physics breakdown only at the singularity, not in the region between that and the event horizon.

Also note a rotating (or Kerr) black hole has a far more complex structure than a static (Shwarzchild) black hole and has a two event-horizons, the region between the inner and outer horizons is called the ergosphere and the singularity is actually a ring not a point. Inside the ergosphere matter cannot be stationary and must rotate the same direction as the central mass. But matter can escape from this region and extract energy form the black hole. It's actually more complex than this but this is a rough idea of how it works.
 
R

retsxel

The laws of physics breakdown only at the singularity, not in the region between that and the event horizon.
Incorrect. The laws of physics do not "breakdown", nor do they change on any level.

Also note a rotating (or Kerr) black hole has a far more complex structure than a static (Shwarzchild) black hole and has a two event-horizons, the region between the inner and outer horizons is called the ergosphere and the singularity is actually a ring not a point. Inside the ergosphere matter cannot be stationary and must rotate the same direction as the central mass. But matter can escape from this region and extract energy form the black hole. It's actually more complex than this but this is a rough idea of how it works.
Also incorrect. Black holes without a rotational vector are exceedingly rare to the point where such is almost mathematically impossible. Additionally, the notion of ergoshere while mathematically sound, does not hold up against testing models. Some theory's suggest that the mass object at the center of a black is not a "Singularity" at all and is simply an ultra dense form of mass. Not only does such allow for logical explanation of the existence of black holes, but also the reason why Hawking could never resolve his theory.