3Blue1Brown is the most gifted explainer and visual animator I've ever seen. Every video of his is a real treat.
Source of the post
Intuitively, I do not think so either. But what in the universe is happening from 0:38 to 0:50? These spikes at the 0:50 mark look like nothing I have ever seen before and they are more or less at the L4 and L5 points.
Good question. The video was originally produced by the SXS collaboration (another very nice youtube channel
), and according to their description the heights represent the values of the space-time curvature. I think this specifically refers (or is at least closely related) to the strain
in the space-time, which is how much space gets stretched and squeezed along a particular direction, and relevant to how strong the signal will be in a gravitational wave detector. The colors represent the slowing of time, and the arrows represent the direction of the gravitational force at each point in the plane.
So as the black holes approach each other there is a very strong space-time distortion nearby. With those big red spikes at 0:50, this means an object placed at those locations would be severely distorted by the gravitational wave (and also quickly fall into the black hole.)
I don't think those locations would be like Lagrange points -- they are too close and too late in the merger to be equilibrium points.