The animation shows the coalescence of two orbiting black holes as detected by the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo observatories on the 14th of August 2017. The strength of the gravitational wave is indicated by elevation as well as colour, with dark green indicating weak fields and bright violet indicating strong fields. The amplitude of the gravitational wave is rescaled in time which allows to show the signal during the entire coalescence and not just close to merger, where it is strongest. Additionally, the sizes of the black holes are increased by a factor of two to improve visibility.
© Numerical Simulation: S. Ossokine, A. Buonanno (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics), Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes project; Scientific Visualisation: T. Dietrich (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics), R. Haas (NCSA)