Monday, 6 February, 2012
Ever wondered what a black hole actually looks like? The Event Horizon Telescope, a joint venture project combining the efforts of some twenty astronomical and scientific groups, which will attempt to capture high resolution images of the huge black hole located at the centre of the Milky Way, may soon enlighten us.
Over the next decade, our group proposes to combine existing and planned millimeter/submillimeter facilities into a high-sensitivity, high angular resolution Event Horizon Telescope that will bring us as close to the edge of black hole as we will ever come.
astronomy, astrophysics, black holes, science
Thursday, 8 December, 2011
A super-massive black hole, some ten times the size of our solar system has been found in a galaxy about 336 million light years away from Earth… a distance that, hopefully, constitutes just a little more than mere breathing space.
astronomy, black holes, science
Tuesday, 10 May, 2011
If we live in what is referred to as an oscillating universe, where the cosmos goes through cycles of collapses, called big crunches, to rebirths, called big bangs, then the universe should reboot, or start again from scratch, without carrying forward any matter from the previous incarnation.
While none have been identified though, it is possible that some black holes may have survived the destruction of the previous universe, to continue their existence in a new one.
By some accounts, a Big Crunch generates a singularity that ought to cause everything in the Universe to merge. But Carr and Coley say that in some circumstances, black holes of a certain mass could avoid this fate and survive the crunch as separate entities. The masses for which this is possible range from a few hundred million kilograms to about the mass of our Sun.
Not only is this a mind boggling concept, it also begs the question, if black holes can endure the ultimate big crunch, could other forms of matter also do likewise?
astronomy, Big Bang, black holes, oscillating universe, universe
Friday, 8 April, 2011
The more advanced the civilisation, the greater the need for keeping computer and communication equipment cool. But how to keep such equipment cool enough to operate properly without expending more heat generating energy? One solution may be to take advantage of the near frigid temperatures in the vicinity of black holes…
If you build an insulating shell outside the event horizon of a black hole, everything inside the shell would eventually cool down to the temperature of the black hole. However, it would not be necessary to build a complete shell around a black hole in order to take advantage of its low temperature. For example you can simply point the radiators of your black hole orbiter toward the black hole and insulate the side facing away from the black hole.
By the way, I’m not sure if this is also 1 April reading but it’s still an interesting idea.
alien civilisations, black holes, science, technology
Thursday, 29 July, 2010
A somewhat mind-bending thought, our universe may be residing within a black hole, an idea that may have some credence, especially if the behaviour of certain neutrinos is anything to go by.
How would we know if we are living inside a black hole? Well, a spinning black hole would have imparted some spin to the space-time inside it, and this should show up as a “preferred direction” in our universe, says Poplawski. Such a preferred direction would result in the violation of a property of space-time called Lorentz symmetry, which links space and time. It has been suggested that such a violation could be responsible for the observed oscillations of neutrinos from one type to another.
astronomy, black holes, cosmology, multiverse, neutrinos, science, universe
Thursday, 15 April, 2010
A new theory states that black holes, rather than being conduits to other parts of the galaxy or universe (assuming we could stay in one piece if travelling through them), may instead be portals to entirely different universes.
According to a mind-bending new theory, a black hole is actually a tunnel between universes – a type of wormhole. The matter the black hole attracts doesn’t collapse into a single point, as has been predicted, but rather gushes out a “white hole” at the other end of the black one, the theory goes.
black holes, multiverse, science, space exploration, universe
Thursday, 2 July, 2009
A supernova, referred to as SN 2008HA, which didn’t explode in spectacular fashion – usually the case with supernovas – has astronomers puzzled.
Her discovery did indeed turn out to be a supernova, but it goes against all the rules we thought we knew. For example, it’s in a galaxy that’s in the process of “eating itself,” UGC 12682, where supernovas don’t usually occur. It’s also one of the least luminous supernovas ever detected, and scientists haven’t found any evidence of hydrogen, which usually turns up around dimmer supernovas. Now scientists are theorizing that the lack of hydrogen may stem from the fact that this was a massive star that lost mass. Perhaps its core collapsed into a black hole without transferring any energy to the outer layers of the star.
Antares, on the other hand, is predicted to be quite different.
astronomy, black holes, hydrogen, SN 2008HA, space exploration, stars, supernovas
Friday, 3 April, 2009
A video depiction of a possible trip into (but not out of) a black hole.
The strangest sight is reserved for your last moments. So close to the centre of the black hole, you feel powerful tidal forces. If you’re falling in feet first, gravity at your head is much weaker than at your feet. That would pull a real observer apart, and it also affects the light falling in around you – light from above your head is stretched out and shifted to the red end of the spectrum. Eventually it gets red-shifted into nothingness, so your whole view will be squeezed into a horizontal ring.
black holes, light, science, space, space exploration, space travel
Thursday, 16 October, 2008
Sure black holes threaten to gobble up the entire universe one day, but in the meantime some of the smaller specimens may actually be useful. Here’s just one of 15 possible applications a mini black hole could have:
There is an obvious pun lurking in your brain. You have a dirty and angry mind. One that must be cleansed of euphemisms, of relating vital body parts to astronomical features (in this case terrestrial). In fact maybe you should do to “black holes” what your adolescent brain is conjuring. At least then I doubt you could spread your genes on to anything beyond the blob like creatures living in the 97th dimension. But then again, late at night after drinking a bottle of mouth wash, I might feel the exact same way. Ah the sucking power of the micro black hole is all powerful, all wonderful.
black holes, humour, space, universe
Friday, 21 March, 2008
Biggest Black Hole in Universe Discovered – and it’s BIG
It threatens to gobble up all of creation, but rest easy, at least the behaviour of the largest known black hole, and that of a (slightly) smaller orbiting companion, are consistent with the observations Albert Einstein made in his theory of General Relativity.
Whatever gave birth to this monster can be real proud. The biggest black hole in the universe weighs in with a respectable mass of 18 billion Suns, and is about the size of an entire galaxy. Just like in the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito flick â€œTwinsâ€, the massive black hole has a puny twin hovering nearby. By observing the orbit of the smaller black hole, astronomers are able to test Einstein’s theory of general relativity with stronger gravitational fields than ever before.
Albert Einstein, black holes, cosmos, general relativity, space, theory