You can now visit a black hole in virtual reality

Black holes are scary. They’re like bottomless pits that nothing can escape from, even light and you probably wouldn’t want to get too close to one. Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is thought to feature a supermassive black hole at its center at a point known as Sagittarius A* and thanks to the wonders of virtual reality you can now visit it from the comfort of your couch.

Researchers from Radboud University in The Netherlands teamed up with scientists at Germany’s Goethe University to produce an incredible VR simulation using data models, turning past observations and readings of the black hole into a visualization that puts you right next to it. The work was published in Computational Astrophsyics and Cosmology.

“Synthetic images at four astronomically-relevant observing frequencies are generated from the perspective of an observer with a full 360∘ view inside the accretion flow, who is advected with the flow as it evolves,” the researchers write.

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