I saw the movie Interstellar last weekend, and loved it. I'm not usually one for long movies, but it managed to sustain the excitement and wonder of Gravity for the whole 3 hours. (Watching it in 70mm on the big IMAX screen surely helped.) As with all Hollywood movies it took some liberties with science here and there (although not as many as you may think), but nothing that diminished my joy during the show.
One very cool thing about the movie is the black hole. (No spoilers here beyond things you can see in the trailer.) The Saturn-like image you see isn't just some artist's rendition of what a black hole might look like: it's actually the result of a highly-advanced simulation to visually render a black hole with an accretion disk. (Check out the Wired video below to see the simulation in action.) The rendering system was completely custom-built, to take into account the fact that light bends (and even "orbits") near a black hole. Even Kip Thorne, one of the world's experts on black holes and a scientific advisor to the film, was surprised so see the accretion disk "refracted" above and below the hole. But apparently that's what would actually happen, and it's wonderful to see that this piece of movie-making has sparked academic papers that advance our understanding of gravitational singularities.
For more on the creation of Interstellar's black hole, check out this Wired article. And if you've seen the movie, this spoiler-laden infographic on the science of Interstellar from Space.com is also very good.
That's all for this week! Enjoy your weekend, and we'll see you back here on Monday.