Interstellar's fake black holes are helping actual scientific research

February 16, 2015 7:35 PM

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Whether Interstellar was a good movie or not is still up for debate, but what seems certain now is that it led to some good science. Last year, Wired magazine explained how the visual effects team behind the space blockbuster worked with theoretical physicist Kip Thorne to create a new computer simulation to model how light would be dragged into the black hole Gargantua. Now, the calculations underpinning this code have been published in a scientific journal, with astrophysicists saying the software could help them model other celestial objects in the future.

When the Interstellar team began working on simulations for the film, they realized that current technology wasn't up to scratch. Their visualizations of stars flickered when scaled up to the 23 million-pixel resolution of an IMAX screen. Instead, they had to create an entirely new simulation model,...

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