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What does a binary black hole merger look like?

Bohn, Andy and Throwe, William and Hébert, François and Henriksson, Katherine and Bunandar, Darius and Scheel, Mark A. and Taylor, Nicholas W. (2015) What does a binary black hole merger look like? Classical and Quantum Gravity, 32 (6). Art. No. 065002. ISSN 0264-9381.

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We present a method of calculating the strong-field gravitational lensing caused by many analytic and numerical spacetimes. We use this procedure to calculate the distortion caused by isolated black holes (BHs) and by numerically evolved BH binaries. We produce both demonstrative images illustrating details of the spatial distortion and realistic images of collections of stars taking both lensing amplification and redshift into account. On large scales the lensing from inspiraling binaries resembles that of single BHs, but on small scales the resulting images show complex and in some cases self-similar structure across different angular scales.

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Additional Information:© 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 10 November 2014, revised 5 January 2015; Accepted for publication 13 January 2015; Published 23 February 2015. We would like to thank Curran Muhlberger for providing the temperature fits to the 2MASS photometric data. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. We would like to thank Daniel Hemberger and Saul Teukolsky for comments on an earlier version of this paper. The authors from Cornell would also like to thank Saul Teukolsky and Lawrence Kidder for general advice while writing this paper. This work was supported in part by NSF grants PHY-1306125 and AST-1333129 at Cornell University, by NSF grants PHY-1440083, AST-1333520, PHY-1005655, and DMS-1065438 at the California Institute of Technology, and by a grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. FH acknowledges support by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship under grant no. DGE-1144153. DB acknowledges support from the LIGO Laboratory, with funding from the National Science Foundation under cooperative agreement PHY-0757058 and NSF REU award PHY-1062293. The BBH simulations were performed using the Zwicky computer system operated by the Caltech Center for Advanced Computing Research and funded by NSF MRI No. PHY-0960291 and the Sherman Fairchild Foundation.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFDMS- 1065438
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipDGE-1144153
Subject Keywords:gravitational lensing; black holes; numerical relativity; ray tracing
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150409-104640191
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Official Citation:What does a binary black hole merger look like? Andy Bohn et al 2015 Class. Quantum Grav. 32 065002
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56527
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:13 Apr 2015 17:39
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 08:14

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