Science Art: Kerr-Flaechen.gif (Ergospheres, Event horizons and the ring singularity of a rotating black hole.)


This is an animated gif showing a ring singularity or “ringularity” of a spinning black hole. A black hole that doesn’t spin will collapse into a point; a spinning black hole (also called a “Kerr black hole” after the mathematician who described it) will bulge at the equator and create something weird: a ring with zero thickness but a non-zero radius. It’s big in one direction, but not there in another.

The center of gravity will appear to be different depending on where an observer is relative to the direction of spin. In other words, if you’re up to the north-northwest, the center will be visible in one spot, and if you’re due west, it’ll appear to be elsewhere. That’s because black holes make space curve.

One advantage here is that you don’t necessarily get sucked into the singularity with one of these black holes – you can theoretically surf around the center and use the space-bending as a kind of wormhole to get from one place to another.