What a trip through a wormhole would look like
It would be the trip of a lifetime: travelling through a wormhole to emerge near Pluto or in a galaxy millions of light years away. Now you can see what an epic journey through a tunnel in space-time might look like, thanks to an animation by astrophysicist Andrew Hamilton from University of Colorado at Boulder.
First, you free fall through the outer horizon of a black hole. Once you reach its inner horizon, you see an infinitely-energetic flash of light from the outside world containing an image of the entire history of the universe. In a real black hole you would be vaporised by the burst, but the visualisation assumes you have superpowers to survive it.
As you emerge from the black hole, you enter a wormhole where the flow of space turns around and you start to accelerate back outward. The wormhole ends at the entrance to a white hole, which is a time-reversed version of a black hole. Instead of falling inward, space falls outwards at a speed faster than light. Soon you experience another flash of radiation, this time containing a picture of the entire future of the universe.
Moving through the white hole, you see a third flash of light as you reach its outer horizon. This time, a new universe appears, containing an image of its entire past. As the camera turns around, you can see the white hole from which you emerged and an image of the old universe.
Although this is as close as you’ll get to a wormhole journey at the moment, new theories of gravity could make such trips possible. To find out more, read our full-length feature, Intergalactic subway: All aboard the wormhole express.
If you enjoyed this video, check out our Seeing Relativity series to experience, for example, a mind-bending tour of the solar system or a ride on a light-speed rollercoaster.