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Merged black holes

Merged black holes

F001/2793

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Credit

CHRIS HENZE / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS HENZE / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Merged black holes. Image 2 of 2. Supercomputer simulation of two non-spinning black holes (brown disc at centre) that have merged together. According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, the merger of two massive objects causes ripples (orange lines) in space-time. These ripples, known as gravitational waves travel at the speed of light but have not been observed directly. A black hole is formed when the core of a star collapses under its own weight, increasing its gravitational field to the point where nothing can escape, not even light. Black hole mergers are the most powerful events in the universe, releasing more energy than all of the stars in the universe combined. This simulation was created in 2006 on the NASA Columbia supercomputer in California, USA.

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