Black holes have always represented a mystery, but it appears that scientists are learning more about them every day. Recently it was confirmed that at the center of our galaxy there is a black hole, which has been named Sagittarius A*. Now it has been virtually visualized for the first time.
The virtual simulation was realized by scientists at Radboud University, The Netherlands and Goethe University, Germany. They used astrophysical models of the black hole and then they put together the created images.
“Our virtual reality simulation creates one of the most realistic views of the direct surroundings of the black hole and will help us to learn more about how black holes behave. Traveling to a black hole in our lifetime is impossible, so immersive visualizations like this can help us understand more about these systems from where we are,” explained Jordy Davelaar, one of the authors.
It is believed that these simulations will help people be more interested in astrophysics, especially children: “The visualisations that we produced have a great potential for outreach. We used them to introduce children to the phenomenon of black holes, and they really learned something from it. This suggests that immersive virtual reality visualizations are a great tool to show our work to a broader audience, even when it involves very complicated systems like black holes.”
These simulations are just the beginning, and we should receive more in the future. “We all have a picture in our head of how black holes supposedly look, but science has progressed and we can now make much more accurate renderings—and these black holes look quite different from what we are used to. These new visualisations are just the start, more to come in the future,” concluded Heino Falcke, Professor at Radboud University.
As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.