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Amazing NASA Animation: Peer Into a Black Hole

by Kenny Hoeschen

This animation of supercomputer data takes you to the inner zone of the accretion disk of a stellar-mass black hole. A new study by astronomers at NASA, Johns Hopkins University and the Rochester Institute of Technology confirms long-held suspicions about how stellar-mass black holes produce their highest-energy light. The new study involves a detailed computer simulation that simultaneously tracked the fluid, electrical and magnetic properties of the gas while also taking into account Einstein’s theory of relativity. Using this data, the scientists developed tools to track how X-rays were emitted, absorbed, and scattered in and around the disk.

Music: Lost in Space by Lars Leonhard, courtesy of artist.

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