Abstract: BHSKY (copyright 1999 by Robert J. Nemiroff) computes the visual distortion effects visible to an observer traveling around and descending near a non-rotating black hole. The codes are general relativistically accurate and incorporate concepts such as large-angle deflections, image magnifications, multiple imaging, blue-shifting, and the location of the photon sphere. Once star.dat is edited to define the position and orientation of the observer relative to the black hole, bhsky_table should be run to create a table of photon deflection angles. Next bhsky_image reads this table and recomputes the perceived positions of stars in star.num, the Yale Bright Star Catalog. Lastly, bhsky_camera plots these results. The code currently tracks only the two brightest images of each star, and hence becomes noticeably incomplete within 1.1 times the Schwarzschild radius.
Credit: Robert J. Nemiroff