image 24-October-2017 00:41:43

Two black holes merge into one

Date: 11 February 2016
Copyright: SXS, the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) project (

The collision of two black holes – an event detected for the first time ever by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO – is seen in this still from a computer simulation. LIGO detected gravitational waves, or ripples in space and time, generated as the black holes merged. The simulation shows what the merger would look like if we could somehow get a closer look. Time has been slowed by a factor of 100. The stars appear warped due to the strong gravity of the black holes.

Note: more image download options are available on the LIGO Caltech pages.

Last Update: 21 April 2017

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