Watching NASA's new '2 black holes orbiting' animation is hypnotizing

Ever wondered what it would look like for two massive black holes millions of times the Sun's mass started orbiting each other?

1 minute & 5 seconds read time

Black holes are a thing of mystery, but at the center of every galaxy, there is one, and sometimes when two galaxies merge, those two black holes begin to enter each other's orbits.

So, what happens when two black holes enter each other's orbits? NASA has released a new animated video on the NASA Goddard YouTube Channel that gives a simple yet beautiful visualization of what begins to happen. The orange black hole is 200 million times the mass of the Sun, and the blue black hole is about 100 million times the mass of the Sun.

As the black holes approach each other on their orbital path, the gravitational pull of the foreground black hole begins to "distort and redirect light emanating from the maelstrom of hot gas - called an accretion disk - that surrounds each one", NASA explains. Jeremy Schnittman, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who created the visualization, said, "We're seeing two supermassive black holes, a larger one with 200 million solar masses and a smaller companion weighing half as much".

Schnittman added, "These are the kinds of black hole binary systems where we think both members could maintain accretion disks lasting millions of years."

If you want to read more on this topic, check out this link here.

Watching NASA's new '2 black holes orbiting' animation is hypnotizing 200
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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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