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Head-on Collision of Two Black Holes
Gravitational Wave Pattern
This movie begins a series illustrating the head-on collision of two
equal-mass black holes which begin at rest. As the black holes fall
towards each other, gravitational waves are emitted. One aspect of the
gravitational wave is shown by the white contours and another by the
yellow and blue color map.
Initially, each black hole has its own surface, or apparent
horizon. However, after a certain time, the black
holes merge and form one black hole with a single apparent horizon. The
location of the apparent horizon is shown as a black ring near the
center of the screen.
Once the black holes have merged, the
subsequent behavior of the system is very much like the single
distorted black hole system. The black hole oscillates and emits lobes
of gravitational radiation. As the vibrations die away, the hole
settles down to a single spherically-symmetric black hole.
Ed Seidel, NCSA, on-camera
QuickTime Movie (1.7 MB);
Sound File (1.0 MB);
- Investigators: Ed Seidel, Peter Anninos, David Hobill, Larry Smarr, Wai-Mo Suen,
- Visualization: Mark Bajuk
- Video Post-Production: Tony Baylis, Lynn Gephart
- Copyright (c) 1993: Board of Trustees, University of Illinois
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Copyright, (c) 1995: Board of Trustees, University of
David Curtis, NCSA. Last modified 11/9/95.