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Lightbender Movie No. 3: Text

Some light rays travel a more circuitous path. They may do a U-turn around the black hole, so that even stars behind the observer are visible.

In fact, the whole sky is visible within this set of secondary images, but it's distorted into the shape of a ring centered on the black hole.

Under the influence of the black hole's gravitational field, some light rays may complete a full orbit before reaching the observer.

These rays belong to third set of images that form yet another distinct ring.

The next in this theoretically infinite sequence of annular rings includes images whose constituent photons have completed an orbit-and-a-half around the black hole.

Each succeeding ring is narrower and of smaller radius that the last.


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Copyright 1994: North Carolina Supercomputing Center, MCNC


Last modified by David Curtis, NCSA, September 21, 1995.