GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Black hole formation. Animation (clip 6 of 11) showing a stage in black hole formation from the merger of two neutron stars. Neutron stars are immensely dense stellar core remnants, formed after a large star runs out of hydrogen fuel and its core collapses. During the merger, part of the mass of the neutron stars is rearranged to form this disc of super-hot plasma (purple) around the central black hole area. This animation is part of a sequence showing the role neutron star mergers play in the occurrence of short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Later clips in this sequence (K003/2670-2660) show the process of neutron star merger in detail, as modelled by the Damiana supercomputer at Germany's Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics.
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