black holes

Category archives for black holes

Some Surprises about Big Black Holes

“Einstein was wrong when he said, ‘God does not play dice.’ Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that he sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can’t be seen.” -Stephen Hawking Welcome back to Starts With A Bang after a brief vacation! Apparently, I go away for…

Black Hole Q&A

“Black holes are where God divided by zero.” -Stephen Wright Yesterday, I told you about all the evidence for the Black Hole at the center of our galaxy. In particular, we see multiple stars orbiting a single point that emits no light of any type at all. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the comments became very active.…

“Why it is that of all the billions and billions of strange objects in the Cosmos — novas, quasars, pulsars, black holes — you are beyond doubt the strangest?” -Walker Percy Black holes. You’ve all heard them before, and you can visualize them pretty easily. How so? Start by thinking about the Earth. Held together…

Q & A: How can anything come from a black hole?

“Consideration of particle emission from black holes would seem to suggest that God not only plays dice, but also sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.” -Stephen Hawking Last week, I wrote about how high-energy cosmic rays strike Earth’s atmosphere and wind up bombarding everything on Earth’s surface with super-fast moving particles, some of…

“The whole fabric of the space-time continuum is not merely curved, it is in fact totally bent.” -Douglas Adams As many of you know, if you take a whole bunch of mass, and you’ve got nothing going on except gravity, it’s going to gravitationally collapse. And if atoms, nuclei, pressure, and nuclear reactions don’t (or…

“No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilites — always see them — for they are always there. -Norman Vincent Peale Dark matter. I talk about it a lot here for a number of reasons. These include: the fact that it makes up about 85%…

Extreme Tides!

The Truth is far more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction. -Gandhi Last time, I spoke to you about how tides work on Earth. In a nutshell, a nearby massive body (like the Moon or the Sun) pulls on the Earth’s center due to its gravity. But the portion of the Earth that’s closest…

A Black Hole without a Singularity

All that matters, in the real world, is that something is both massive and compact enough so that, within a certain radius, light cannot escape from it. That is the astrophysical definition of a black hole. -me We’ve been talking about black holes a lot recently, and with good reason. They’re fun to think about.…

The Lights Stay On Inside a Black Hole!

The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness. -Vladimir Nabokov Last Friday, I posed a question to you, and you kindly responded by voting as to whether, when you crossed the event horizon of a black hole,…

Believe it or not: A Black Hole Question!

Black holes have come up a couple of times this week, and I’ve always wondered something. When you fall into a black hole, all sorts of strange things happen. The most well-known one is that nothing — not even light — can ever escape once it falls in. Well, my question is, if you fell…