Simulation: Two Black Holes Merge
Relax and watch two black holes merge


Relax and watch two black holes merge.

Inspired by the first
direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015,
simulation plays in slow motion but
would take about one third of a second if run in real time.

Set on a cosmic stage, the black holes are posed in front of stars, gas,
and dust.

Their extreme gravity lenses the light
from behind them into
Einstein rings
as they spiral closer and finally merge into one.

The otherwise invisible gravitational waves generated
as the massive objects rapidly coalesce cause the visible image
to ripple and slosh both inside and outside the
Einstein rings
even after the
black holes have merged.

Dubbed GW150914, the gravitational waves
detected by LIGO
are consistent with the merger of 36 and 31 solar mass
black holes at a distance of 1.3 billion light-years.

The final, single black hole has 63 times the mass of the Sun,
with the remaining 3 solar masses converted into energy radiated in


Simulation: Two Black Holes Merge