If you happened to be falling into a black hole, the last thing on your mind will likely be how pretty the view is. But in this NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day, some idea about the dynamic swirl of awesome energy just outside a black hole's event horizon (or is that an apparent horizon?) has been created in a computer simulation meaning we can enjoy the physics prettiness from a very safe distance.
NEWS: Spinning Black Hole Observed for the First Time
This simulation, created by the NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory team, shows the detail of matter spinning into a stellar mass black hole. The matter, which has collected in a hot accretion disk, falls toward the black hole's event horizon - the distance at which the black hole's spacetime warping is so intense that even light cannot escape. Some of the matter passes through the horizon, adding to the black hole's bulk, but the rest is redirected via intense magnetic fields, ejecting it from the poles at relativistic speeds.
As seen in the simulation, the polar jets can be seen being ejected from the black hole's spin axis. Missions such as Chandra are able to observe these jets as they generate powerful X-ray radiation. Radio wave signatures can also be observed, aiding our understanding of how these energetic beasts work.