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[WATCH] NASA stunningly visualizes what it looks like to plunge into a black hole

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In a remarkable feat of scientific visualization, NASA has provided the public with an immersive experience of plunging into a black hole. This extraordinary journey, made possible by a NASA supercomputer, allows viewers to venture into the event horizon, the point of no return for any object entering a black hole.


The visualization showcases a flight towards a supermassive black hole, highlighting the intriguing features produced by the effects of general relativity. The simulation was created on a NASA supercomputer and tracks a camera as it approaches, briefly orbits, and then crosses the event horizon of a colossal black hole, akin to the one at the center of our galaxy.


Astrophysicist Jeremy Schnittman, based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, was the mastermind behind these visualizations. He simulated two different scenarios: one where a camera narrowly misses the event horizon and slingshots back out, and another where it crosses the boundary, sealing its fate.


The visualizations are available in various formats, including explainer videos that act as sightseeing guides, illuminating the bizarre effects of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Other versions rendered as 360-degree videos allow viewers to look all around during the trip.


The destination of this virtual journey is a supermassive black hole with 4.3 million times the mass of our Sun, equivalent to the behemoth located at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Schnittman explains, “If you have the choice, you want to fall into a supermassive black hole,” as stellar-mass black holes possess much smaller event horizons and stronger tidal forces, which can rip apart approaching objects before they reach the horizon.



This visualization is not NASA’s first foray into black hole simulations. In 2019, they released a visualization showing how a black hole’s extreme gravity distorts our view, warping its surroundings as if seen in a carnival mirror. This earlier simulation illustrated the appearance of a black hole where infalling matter has collected into a thin, hot structure called an accretion disk.


These visualizations by NASA offer a unique and fascinating glimpse into the enigmatic world of black holes. What is your impression on this virtual plunge into a black hole? Do you think such visualizations enhance our understanding of these cosmic phenomena?



Read more: https://science.nasa.gov/supermassive-black-holes/new-nasa-black-hole-visualization-takes-viewers-beyond-the-brink/


Image: NASA

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