A new simulation from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center shows what it looks like when two neutron stars collide and form a black hole – one of the most violent events in the universe.
The two-minute video (which in actuality would last mere milliseconds) places two neutron stars 11 miles apart, which begin to spin around and rip each other apart due to the exertion of each’s gravitational pull on the other.
Neutron stars are the smallest and most-dense stars in the known universe. Though only about 12 miles across, they pack a mass 1.3 to 2.5 times greater than that of our sun, meaning a single sugar-cube-sized amount of material outweighs Mount Everest at more than 1 billion tons.
Eventually the two stars form a black hole, which squeezes ten times the mass of our son into a spherical diameter the size of New York City, and emits a gravitational field so strong not even light can escape.