A downloadable project for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android

Pocket Black Hole is a simple app that allows you to play with the light-bending effect of a black hole. Take a selfie, or a photo of your friends, with a black hole!

A black hole is a very compact and massive object, in fact its gravity is so strong that it will bend the path of light passing close by. If the light gets too close, it cannot escape, and that is why the object appears to us as a black hole in the sky.

Our app does not use the full equations from Einstein's theory of general relativity to compute this distortion. Instead we are using a much simpler formula to create a similar visual effect. This app is free on all platforms, it has no ads and no in-app purchases.


  • Use the mouse to drag the black hole around
  • Use the mouse wheel (or zoom gesture) to change the size of the black hole
  • Press SPACE to take a picture
  • Press ESC to exit the about screen or to exit the app


  • Windows PC with Windows 7+
  • or Mac with OSX 10.x
  • or a modern Linux installation
  • a working and compatible webcam

Known Issues:

  • We cannot test or support the Linux version at the moment. Not all web cameras will be recognised. If no compatible camera was found, the program simply displays a black screen but no error message.
  • The resolution of the snapshots are limited to the screen, resolution even if the native camera resolution is better.

Installation instructions:


  • Extract the downloaded archive with the OSX archiver
  • Start the PocketBlackHole.app file


  • Unzip the downloaded archive
  • Start PocketBlackHole.exe


  • Unzip the downloaded archive with 'unzip'
  • Start PocketBlackHole.x86 (for 32bit OS) or PocketBlackHole.x86_64 (for 64bit OS)

We will publish the app on the Google Play store soon, meanwhile you might want to try the apk file for your Android phone.

You can contact us at www.laserlabs.org or just leave a comment below.

More information

Published1 year ago
PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux, Android
AuthorLaser Labs
Average durationA few minutes
InputsMouse, Touchscreen


PocketBlackHole_OSX.zip (25 MB)
PocketBlackHole_Windows.zip (14 MB)
PocketBlackHole_Linux.zip (26 MB)
PocketBlackHole.apk (13 MB)

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