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Single, Non-Rotating, Distorted Black Hole

Low amplitude disturbance: close-up with "height mapping"

The same calculation is shown again with a close-up view of the black hole. Instead of white contours, one aspect of the gravitational waves is represented by the height of the graph. Some of the waves are quickly swallowed by the black hole, which then begins regular oscillations, generating waves as it vibrates. With each vibration of the black hole, a new lobe of gravitational waves is formed, as seen here in yellow. By measuring the waves emitted by a black hole, physicists will be able to determine not only the existence, but also the mass of a black hole.

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Copyright, (c) 1995: Board of Trustees, University of Illinois

NCSA. Last modified 11/9/95.