black holes

Category archives for black holes

Are Miniature Black Holes Everywhere?

“It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward. In the case of information loss and black holes, it was 29 years.” -Stephen Hawking When we look out at the…

Fun with Colliding Galaxies!

“Where there is an observatory and a telescope, we expect that any eyes will see new worlds at once.” -Henry David Thoreau This past weekend, the Astronomy Picture of the Day was a remarkable shot of the giant spiral galaxy NGC 6872, taken by the Gemini Telescope. (It’s not Hubble, but Gemini is pretty impressive…

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.…