Many of us have seen the standard artist’s representation of a black hole: a giant floating disk with roiling, glowing outer rings and an abruptly dark center from which we’re assured nothing, not even light, can escape. Such images are compelling, but they fail to portray the complex physical forces manifested by the black hole itself. When viewed through a real-life telescope, it turns out these cosmological beasts take a curious shape.
The first to accurately visualize a black hole was a French astrophysicist named Jean-Pierre Luminet. In 1978, Luminet used punch cards to write a computer program calculating the appearance of a black hole, and then—in what must have been an equally painstaking process—reproduced the image by hand using India ink on Canson negative paper. The resulting drawing, made of individual dots converging into a pleasantly organic, asymmetrical form, is as visually engaging as it is scientifically revealing.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.