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2017 Scientific Images Contest Winners

Black hole encounter Open Access (recommended)

This image originally appeared as part of Northwestern's Scientific Images Contest. The contest and subsequent exhibitions are organized by Science in Society, the university's research center for science education and public engagement. Further information and opportunities to participate are available on their website. Prints and canvas editions of these Northwestern research images can also be purchased online (with the small net profit going to science education and outreach programming in the Chicago area). | 2017 First Place

Descriptions

Resource type(s)
Pictorial Works
Keyword
Black holes
dense star cluster
gravitational waves
gravity
binary black holes
Rights
All rights reserved
Creator
Geller, Aaron M
Abstract
This image shows three black holes and one normal star dancing in the heart of a dense star cluster. The very strong gravity near black holes bends the (normally straight) paths of starlight. This dramatically distorts the nearby star, causing these swirls and streaks. Computer simulations like these help us understand how black holes form and interact. This work is particularly timely because LIGO first discovered gravitational waves in 2015, confirming Einstein's century-old prediction and winning the 2017 Nobel Prize. Those gravitational waves came from the merger of two very distant black holes; black holes which may have been paired up in a dance like the one shown here.
Related URL
Publisher
Science in Society
DigitalHub. Galter Health Sciences Library
Date Created
2017
Subject: MESH
Stars, Celestial
Gravitation
Astronomical Phenomena
Subject: LCSH
Black holes (Astronomy)
Stars--Clusters
DOI
10.18131/G37J0H
ARK
ark:/c8131/g37j0h

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Mime type: image/png
File size: 53839.3 kB