NASA recently posted a video on its official Twitter handle which shows what happens when two black holes pass each other. According to a NASA blog, when viewed from the orbital plane, each accretion disk takes on a characteristic double-humped look. As one black hole passes in front of the other, the gravity of the foreground black hole transforms its partner into a rapidly changing sequence of arcs. The video traces how the black holes distort and redirect light emanating from the maelstrom of hot gas.
Jeremy Schnittman, an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who also 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”. He added, “These are the kinds of black hole binary systems where we think both members could maintain accretion disks lasting millions of years”.
All that you need to know
The disks can be seen having different colours red and blue. As per the blog, this makes it easier to track the light sources. The hotter gas gives off light closer to the blue end of the spectrum. Also, the material orbiting smaller black holes experiences stronger gravitational effects that produce higher temperatures. Both accretion disks would emit most of their light in the UV. Let’s have a look at the video.
Captivated by the video, netizens took over the comment section. One Twitter user wrote, ‘My hope of black holes finding each other to create one massive black hole and swallow us is now gone”. Another person wrote, “Imagine the light is so powerful (in speed) than you, but when it meets a blackhole, it said “Even I will get swallowed by one, don’t bother to think two”. Tweeples can be seen Retweeting the video with their own captions. Im the caption, one person wrote, “Tango between two black holes”.
(Image Credits: Twitter/NASA)
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