Watch What Would Happen if Two Black Holes Collided in the Milky Way

By Jamie Condliffe on at

If you've ever wondered what the destruction of the Milky Way might look like, then perhaps it's a little like this. You're looking at a simulation of what would happen to our galaxy if two black holes somehow collided within it.

Created by the Simulating Extreme Spacetimes (SXS) project, the animation models how two black holes would behave if, for whatever reason, they began to approach each other in our very own galaxy. While there are only ever two black holes in the simulation, they bend the light from the surrounding stars in weird and wonderful ways, which make the entirety of space look like its melting.

Watch What Would Happen If Two Black Holes Collided in the Milky Way

Why only two black holes, and why has it taken until now to simulate how their coming together might look? That's because the physics is hard: it's not the Newtonian mechanics you learned at school, but the complex Einsteinian physics that explains the motion of such massive objects. In fact, this model reveals that, as the black holes draw closer, they lurch together at speeds not far from the speed of light, bending space-time.

Speaking to Popular Science, one of the researchers explained how, when it came to creating the model, the "equations blew up in their faces" at first. So they've gradually evolved Einstein's equations into something they can work with; this is the result. You can read the full paper over on arXiv.

Fortunately, it's pretty unlikely that this kind of event will happen in our galaxy. Not that we want it to. [ArXiv via Popular Science]