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Visualizing a Black Hole

  1. Aug 26, 2010 #1
    Of course one would suspect the title is quite odd because Black Holes don't allow anything with the velocity from 0 to c to escape once they pass the Event Horizon, excluding Bekenstein-Hawking Radiation but that is a concept that is irrelevant in this context. The trouble I'm having in visualizing a Black Hole is the apparent shape of the Event Horizon or the Black Hole itself, is it spherical as though it would appear similar from any observer dependant on their position around the Black Hole or is it a two dimensional circle then so from a front observer and opposite observer it would look "identical" but not to a side observer.

    Thanks, Kevin
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2010 #2
    A non-rotating black hole is spherical; rotating one is ellipsoidal.
  4. Aug 26, 2010 #3
    Thanks, concise and the answer I was looking for. By a rotating black hole do you just mean a Kerr Black?
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  5. Aug 27, 2010 #4


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    Also, for a boosted black hole, you can imagine the event horizon simply appearing lorentz contracted, so that it pancakes perpendicular to the line of motion.
  6. Aug 28, 2010 #5
    Yep, it would be a Kerr black hole. In that scenario Nabeshin's point would be pretty impressive too. Beyond the structure of the hole itself, you'd also have the effects of gravitational lensing of starlight behind and around the event horizon, warped and "squashed" into the ellipse of its rotation. This assumes no accretion disk to obscure the view.
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