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Sep 10, 2020

Catholic university astrophysicist creates black hole simulation in VR

Posted by in categories: cosmology, virtual reality

A team of researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica VR Lab at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile has released a virtual simulation of the black hole at the center of our galaxy. Known as “Galactic Center VR,” the short video, released on the Chandra X-ray Observatory Youtube channel, offers a 360-degree view of the center of the Milky Way, which takes the viewer through about 500 years of stellar movement.

The simulation puts the viewer in the place of the black hole itself, Sagittarius A*, and allows for full rotation of the camera. The team explains in the video notes that the simulation shows “stellar giants” moving around the galactic center, while “stellar winds” blow off their surfaces to create different colors. Thankfully, they went into a little detail as to what these colors represent. They wrote:

Blue and cyan represent X-ray emission from hot gas with temperatures of tens of millions of degrees, while the red emission shows ultraviolet emission from moderately dense regions of cooler gas with temperatures of tens of thousands of degrees, and yellow shows the cooler gas with the highest densities.

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