Home Andrew Hamilton's Homepage

Screenshots from the Black Hole Flight Simulator (Nov 2002)

(Reduced from full screen to 800 × 600).

Please note that these screenshots are copyrighted, and may not be reproduced without permission.

Me (photo Feb 2002) with a black hole in the head.
Passing a sphere at near the speed of light. No black hole here. Notice the special relativistic beaming effects: aberration, red/blueshifting, and dimming/brightening. The background is Axel Mellinger's Panorama of the Milky Way. The sphere is painted with a semi-transparent grid texture.
The Earth compacted to the radius of a neutron star, with radius 4 times the Schwarzschild radius. The color is reddenned and dimmed according to the redshift. We are in orbit around the neutron star at about 13 Schwarzschild radii.
Black hole (Schwarzschild geometry) with a simplistic accretion disk, seen through a telescope. The disk, actually a ring, is at the innermost stable circular orbit at 3 Schwarzschild radii, and is painted with a semi-transparent noise texture, colored according to the redshift. Notice the multiple images of the accretion disk.
In orbit around a Schwarzschild black hole, shooting probes (here simple cubes) at it. The probes appear correctly lensed, redshifted, and time-delayed. Some probes are still en route to the black hole, while others, the red ones, appear frozen at the horizon. I turned off the dimming effect, so you can see the probes that have frozen at the horizon; in reality they would become too dim to see.
Orbiting the black hole at close to the photon sphere. We are moving at almost the speed of light, so the relativistic beaming effects are quite strong.
The view from just inside the horizon on a typical free-fall trajectory. The horizon is painted with an artificial `heads-up display' grid (all properly equipped starships should have one). Counter-intuitively, the horizon splits into two as we enter it. The (dim red) horizon we thought we were going to fall through still stands off ahead of us. The (whitish) horizon we actually fell through forms a bubble over our head. The horizon is colored according to the redshift of imaginary objects radially infalling through it.
Mathematically, the Schwarzschild geometry continues mathematically to a parallel Universe on the other side of the horizon. The parallel Universe becomes visible only after we have fallen inside the horizon. In reality, such parallel Universes do not exist: the interior of a real black hole is occupied by the star or other object that collapsed to form the black hole, not by a parallel Universe.

The parallel Universe is painted with another texture of the Milky Way, from COBE-FIRAS.

Passing inward through the inner horizon of a charged black hole (Reissner-Nordström geometry). The point at the center of the black disk is an image of our Universe, infinitely blueshifted, and should appear as an infinitely bright flash of light. The entire history of the Universe passes in that point. The region around the black disk also appears blue-shifted and brightened.

In reality, the inner horizon is unstable, and we would not be able to pass through it; but mathematically we can pass through the horizon.

Passing back outward through the inner horizon of a charged black hole, into a white hole. I've added a noise texture to illustrate what accreting gas would look like viewed from the inside of the black hole. The point at the center of the black disk is again an infinitely blueshifted image of our Universe, that should appear as an infinitely bright flash of light. This time the entire future of the Universe passes in that point. Lorentz beaming permits us to see both the point where we entered the inner horizon, at the bottom of the image, and the point where we are exiting the horizon, at the center of the black disk. A still image does not do justice to the beautiful lensing effects that develop.
A new design for a Wedgewood plate, or a 360° fisheye view from inside the white hole, looking back toward the black hole?

The grids show the three horizons - an outer horizon and two inner horizons - that we have passed through so far. The brown background forming the rim of the plate is the parallel Universe, while the blue background at the center of the plate is our Universe, the one we came from.

Exiting the white hole into a new Universe, which appears as an infinitely blueshifted, infinitely bright, point at the center of the black disk. We see the entire history of the new Universe in the point. The noise texture continues to show how gas accreting on to the black hole in our original Universe would appear lensed and redshifted.
We are now in the new Universe, looking back at the white hole from which we have emerged. The new Universe is painted with another texture of our own Milky Way, this time from 2MASS. The view is redshifted and dimmed by our motion away from the white hole.

Through the white hole we see light from our original Universe, multiply imaged. The noise texture continues to show the appearance of gas accreting on to the black hole in the original Universe.

If we accelerate back towards the white hole, in a frantic attempt to get back to our own Universe, we find that the white hole spontaneously turns into a black hole as we approach it. The accretion disk has been turned off for clarity.
Imagine an imaginary Universe where electric charge is imaginary. In such a Universe, light (electromagnetic waves) has negative energy. The orbits of particles in a black hole with imaginary charge pass through the central singularity of the black hole.

This image shows the view after we have flown ooph through the singularity, aah through the inner horizon, uuh back through the inner horizon, and just before we fly ugh back through the singularity. Including parallel Universes, no less than 4 distinct Universes are visible from this vantage point.

Updated 18 Nov 2002