“Jet Production from a Rotating Black Hole” by National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)

  • ©


SIGGRAPH Video Review:




    Jet Production from a Rotating Black Hole

Company / Institution / Agency:

  • National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)


    The National Center for Supercomputing Applications Advanced Visualization Lab-oratory worked with John Hawley of the University of Virginia to visualize his rela-tivistic magneto-hydrodynamic simulation of a rapidly rotating black hole surrounded by a magnetized accretion disk. As the simulation proceeds, a jet forms, and a small fraction of the disk’s matter is expelled outward along the poles of the disk’s rotation. The jet carries a helical magnetic field.

    A custom scientific data plug-in for Maya supplied the original spherical-grid simu-lation data to a fluid-effects volume. The brightness of the jet region, which is physically far less dense than the disk, is greatly enhanced in this visualization.

    Jets are observed to emerge from the environments of many real black holes into which matter is falling – those left as remnants of massive stars, and the much larger ones at the centers of most galaxies. How these jets are produced is only partly understood. This simulation represents a realization of one possible mechanism for launching and powering jets.


    NCSA Linux Visualization Cluster


    NCSA data visualization plug-in for Maya, Maya/mental ray

Additional Contributors:

    Visualization Producer/Art Director: Donna Cox

    Art Director/Camera Choreographer: Robert Patterson

    Visualization Programmer/Scene Setup: Alex Betts

    Visualization Progammer: Stuart Levy

    Sound Design: Robert Patterson

    Scientific Simulation: John F. Hawley, University of Virginia Julian H. Krolik, Johns Hopkins University