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Numerical Simulation--Orbiting Black Holes (Image 4)

Numerical simulation depicting orbiting black holes

This numerical simulation is part of a series depicting orbiting black holes and represents the first time that three-quarters of a full orbit has been computed.

The simulations show the merger of two black holes and the ripples in space time--known as gravitational waves--that are born of the merger. These simulations were created on the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Itanium Linux Cluster (It) by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Potsdam, Germany. The visualizations were created by Werner Benger of the Albert Einstein Institute and the Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum in Berlin. The simulation was completed in the spring of 2002.

National Science Foundation (NSF) support was used for this project both through an NRAC proposal for computer time at NSF computing facilities, including NCSA, and also indirectly through NSF grant PHY 99-79985. [Image 4 of 5 related images. See Image 5.] (Year of image: 2002)

Credit: Scientific contact by Ed Seidel (; simulations by Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert-Einstein-AEI); visualization by Werner Benger, Zuse Institute, Berlin (ZIB) and AEI. The computations were performed on NCSA's It

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