by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) May 15, 2013
What does it look like when two stars merge, eating each other alive and forming a black hole?
According to scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center -- and the supercomputer there that helped run advanced models on the behavior of colliding stars in deep space -- it looks like this.
The video above, released today by NASA, offers a simulation of the "coalescence of unmagnetized binary neutron stars." As the two-minute animation shows, upon collision, the two stars merge, collapse and form a black hole. Specifically, the collision is of two unmagnetized stars, one bigger than the other -- or in science-speak, "with various mass ratios."
As NASA explains in its description of the star collision: "At 13 milliseconds, the more massive star has accumulated too much mass to support it against gravity and collapses, and a new black hole is born."
The black hole eats most of the two stars, but not all. Some of the less dense, faster moving star dust remains un-swallowed and, instead, for a large and rapidly rotating "torus."
In a paper accompanying the new video, scientists at NASA acknowledge that: "Although complete and accurate, our results are also far from being realistic."
As always, further research is needed.
Understanding Time and Space
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