Numerical simulation of two inspiraling black holes that merge to form a new black hole. Shown are the black hole horizons, the strong gravitational field surrounding the black holes, and the gravitational waves produced.
At the beginning, the visualization shows the two black holes from a distance of approx. 30,000 kilometers. The gravitational waves are depicted in orange. The black holes are surrounded by a strong gravitational field, which is visible more clearly when we zoom in. The strength of the gravitational field decreases from the inside (green) towards the outside (red). When we zoom out, the gravitational waves are visible again. The pale orange structures now appearing represent the very strong gravitational waves that are emitted along the rotational axis (perpendicular to the orbit). At the end the two black holes merge. We see the resulting black hole and the strong gravitational field (no waves).
Credit: Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes Numerical-relativistic Simulation: S. Ossokine , A. Buonanno (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics) Scientific Visualization: W. Benger (Airborne Hydro Mapping GmbH)