Simulation of gravitational radiation from merging black holes
Credit:Henze, NASA; J. Baker et al.

Shaking the Foundations

It comes as no surprise that Einstein was ahead of his time. He did think that he made one mistake, but it turns out he was wrong. His mathematical description of the Universe is deceptively simple; yet so complex that physicists have struggled to describe his mathematics in computer models. Recently the code's been cracked by astrophysicists, using one of the most powerful supercomputers known, and using some clever translations of Einstein's math. The image above shows a computer simulation of Einstein's description of what happens when two orbiting black holes merge. This image show the pattern of gravitational radiation produced by the two black holes as they orbit each other. After some time they lose angular momentum and fall together. It's hard to describe in words - go see the movie.

< HEA Dictionary * Archive * Search HEAPOW * Other Languages * HEAPOW on Facebook * Download all Images * Education * HEAD >

Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:20:51 EDT