Black Hole in ‘Interstellar’ Inspires an Actual Scientific Discovery!

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black hole in interstellar

As soon as I read about Christopher Nolan’s science fiction film titled “Interstellar”, I realized that it was going to become one of my favorite movies. And I was right because it’s something more than just a great science fiction movie with fascinating visual effects – it’s also a thought-provoking story, especially for those who, like myself, are interested in science and the nature of reality and the universe.

Interstellar features such breathtaking things as flying through hyperspace, falling into a supermassive black hole and time travel. Moreover, the whole plot and the special effects in Interstellar were based on actual scientific data – real astrophysicists were involved to help make the images of the black hole look as close to reality as possible. Now it turns out that they also made a scientific discovery in the process of working on the film.

According to an article published in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity, US and UK scientists led by theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, who took part in the creation of the movie, managed to demonstrate how a black hole and the nearby galaxies would look like from a small distance.

In their work, the scientists present the basic equations that have been used to create a computer simulation that describes the propagation of light near a rotating black hole. Unlike most image-generation methods, the researchers used an unconventional technique that relies on ray bundles instead of individual rays. This is what allowed them to create realistic animation of high quality without flickering.

According to the authors of the study, this technique may be helpful in the future studies as it makes it possible to achieve IMAX-quality smoothness and avoid the problems associated with poor-quality images of curved light rays in motion.

The movie Interstellar was released in cinemas worldwide in early November last year and it has already received tons of positive reviews and as many as five nominations for “Oscar”! So, if you still haven’t seen it, you certainly should!

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Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.

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By | 2017-01-13T21:51:08+00:00 February 16th, 2015|Categories: Physics & Natural Sciences, Uncommon Science, Universe|Tags: , |2 Comments


  1. Otto Bhan February 17, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Excellent reporting Anna. Clear, concise easy reading technical descriptions with excitement and fun woven in your narrative.
    As always, its good to see you here again. Too, I’d like to commend you on your fine work at raising the level of discourse and contributors on this richly artistic thought provoking site. Thank you,

    • Anna LeMind February 18, 2015 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      thank you very much for this lovely comment! ❤ I hope my future articles won’t disappoint you either =)

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Black Hole in 'Interstellar' Inspires an Actual Scientific Discovery!