NASA visualizes how binary black holes bend light

The movie, which can be seen below, shows how a distant pair of black holes would distort and redirect light coming from the hot gas of the accretion disks surrounding them.

When one of the discs passes in front of the other, gravity in the foreground blackhole transforms its partner’s disk into a rapidly changing sequence of arcs.

NASA scientists say that the visualization shows two supermassive black holes with a larger one of 200 million solar masses and a smaller companion weighing about half as much.

NASA believes black holes of these types could maintain an accretion disk for millions of years.

Scientists say the colors also reflect that hotter gas would give off light closer to the blue end of the spectrum, noting that material orbiting smaller black holes experience stronger gravitational effects resulting in higher temperatures.

Gravitational distortion alters the path of the light coming from different parts of the disc producing a warped image.

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