Unlike the typical artist’s portrayal of a black hole as being surrounded by a massive glowing accretion disk of inwardly-swirling matter, like some sort of galactic bathtub drain, this scenario shows a rather naked-looking black hole exerting a lensing effect on the background field of stars. This is a result of a new simulator application created by developers Thomas Müller and Daniel Weiskopf at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. Users can input their viewing perspective and movement relative to the black hole…meaning you can make it pan across the sky or “fall” into it. Background stars are based on actual positions as mapped by the ESA’s Hipparcos satellite. The downloadable app runs on Windows and Linux platforms (meaning I can’t run it on my Mac. Bummer.)
Read more on New Scientist here.