360-degree Simulated View of the Sky Between Two Supermassive Black Holes

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This 360-degree video places the viewer in the middle of two circling supermassive black holes. The simulation shows how the black holes distort the starry background and capture light, producing black hole silhouettes. A distinctive feature called a photon ring outlines the black holes. The video represents a 46 minute orbital period. This corresponds to a binary with a total mass 1 million times the Sun's mass. The black holes would be separated by about 18.6 million miles (30 million kilometers). The background is a mosaic of the images covering the entire sky as observed by ESA's Gaia mission.
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Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center; background, ESA/Gaia/DPAC
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Category
Science

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