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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.10.17 @ 09:00 PM
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    i dig this kinda stuff. this is a good read. freaky shit.

    Telescope Sees Black Holes Merging
    Tue Nov 19, 5:29 PM ET Add Science - AP to My Yahoo!


    By PAUL RECER, AP Science Writer

    WASHINGTON (AP) - In a looming collision of giants, two supermassive black holes are drifting toward a violent merger and an eruption of energy that will warp the fabric of space. It is all happening in a bright galaxy 400 million light years away.

    Reuters Photo

    Astronomers See Black Hole Merger
    (AP Video)



    Images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory have captured for the first time the circling dance of two black holes — each millions of times the mass of the sun — as they whirl around each other in a 100-million-year pirouette to merger.

    "This is the first time we have ever identified a binary black hole," said Stefanie Komossa, an astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and the co-author of a study of the double black hole. "This is the aftermath of two galaxies that collided sometime in the past."

    Each of the galaxies was about the size of the Milky Way, with billions of stars, and each contained at its center a supermassive black hole with a mass equal to perhaps 100 million suns, Komossa said Tuesday at a news conference announcing the discovery. When they blended, the galaxies formed a single, extraordinarily bright galaxy known as NGC6240. Because of its distance from the Earth, the image now seen is 400 million years old.

    Although NGC6240 is far away, astronomers said the merger is a glimpse of what may await the Earth's galaxy. Astronomers believe that in about four billion years, the billions of stars and the black holes of the Milky Way and of the nearby Andromeda galaxy will collide and merge.

    "We're seeing our own future," said Steinn Sigurdsson, a Pennsylvania State University astronomer who participated in the news conference as a visiting expert.

    The astronomers said as the galaxies of NGC6240 merged, the two black holes began circling each other, starting a 100-million-year spiral toward a collision that was expected to spew radiation and gravitational waves across the universe. That collision would not be viewed on Earth for at least another 100 million years, the astronomers said.

    Gunther Hasinger, a Max Planck astrophysicist and co-author of the study, said the Chandra images indicate the black holes are about 3,000 light years apart and circling each other at a speed of about 22,000 mph. As they grow closer and closer over millions of years, the circling speed will get faster and faster, eventually approaching the speed of light, about 671 million miles an hour, said Hasinger.

    When the black holes do merge, much of the angular momentum of their waltz will be converted into gravitational waves that will race across the universe, touching and affecting everything they pass, Hasinger said.

    Joan Centrella, a NASA (news - web sites) astrophysicists who did not participate in the Chandra study, said the merger would briefly warp the fabric of space, just as a pebble thrown into a still pond will cause bank-to-bank ripples. The effect of the gravitational waves on other stars, galaxies and planets will be like the way ripples in that pond cause floating leaves to rise and fall slightly, said Centrella.

    "The ripple across space will be such that a planet could pulsate," said Sigurdsson. "A whole planet could be squeezed by an inch or so every few minutes," depending on how close it is to the merged black holes. Satellites would jiggle and navigation equipment could wobble momentarily, he said.

    The merge will also trigger an enormous eruption of light and X-rays, spewing in all directions, along with jets of plasma matter racing out of the ends of the donut-shaped cloud of dust and gas swirling about the black holes.

    Hasinger said the two black holes have enormous appetite — each minute sucking in mass equal to about the mass of the sun.

    A black hole is a point in space so dense with matter that its gravitational field will not let anything — not even light — escape. Stellar black holes, equal to a mass 3.5 to 15 times that of the sun, can be formed by the collapse of a single massive star. But galactic black holes, such as those in NGC6240, are much larger, equal perhaps to many millions of solar masses, and are usually at the center of galaxies. The Milky Way, home galaxy of the sun and its planets, has a black hole at its center.

    With its immense gravitational pull, a black hole can suck in gas, dust and other matter from the surrounding space. Entire stars can be stripped and pulled into the bottomless maw. As it spirals in at near light speeds, matter captured by a black hole heats by millions of degrees and gives out intense radiation in several parts of the spectrum, including X-rays. The orbiting Chandra observatory can detect these X-rays down to the very edge of the black hole and relay the data to Earth for study by astronomers.

    NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999.

    ___

    On the Net:

    Chandra: http://chandra.harvard.edu/

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  2. #2
    Eruption
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    yayyyyyyyy [img]graemlins/bounce.gif[/img]
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  3. #3
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Madonna and Courtney Love are going to hook up?

  4. #4
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 07:37 PM
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    Originally posted by JMJ:
    Although NGC6240 is far away, astronomers said the merger is a glimpse of what may await the Earth's galaxy. Astronomers believe that in about four billion years, the billions of stars and the black holes of the Milky Way and of the nearby Andromeda galaxy will collide and merge...
    Well, better load up the minivan with guns and provisions and go stake my claim in Montana or Idaho while there's still room!

    I get confused by all this though - they say all this stuff actually happened 4 billion years ago and we're just able to see it now (that whole concept boggles my mind to begin with) but then it sounds like the collision hasn't happened yet, but they say it should happen in 1 billion years - well, then shouldn't that have happened about 3 billion years ago?

  5. #5
    Unchained
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    02.12.11 @ 01:16 AM
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    sometimes I think it's pure speculation as to what will happen. They've never seen this happen before. How do they know that this collision is going to basically cause an explosion? What if one Hole is bigger/deeper than the other. Couldn't the bigger one just swallow the other? How do they KNOW that the holes are results of galaxies colliding? Then it goes on to say that the two galaxies that collided became one massive BRIGHT galaxy. I thought they became black holes? WTF? I'm confused?!

    Sometimes I get the feeling that astronomy is like a scientific religion. It's high-tech, yet also in an early stage of knowledge. It's alot of guessing about what will happen/what things are. For an example, people in early bible times believed that the sky was heaven and that the stars were angels. Move up 2000 years and you have people and "scientists" believing the earth was flat and that you'd fall off into nothingness/space/whatever.

    It is fun though to hear what they have to say.
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  6. #6
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Pretty interesting stuff...makes you realise how insignificant we are!
    It's hard to get your head around these concepts. The distances and sizes they talk about are mind blowing.
    My brain hurts,I have to go now.
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  7. #7
    Good Enough ScottRoberts's Avatar
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    04.05.12 @ 09:06 AM
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    Donor

    Originally posted by Miah:
    Sometimes I get the feeling that astronomy is like a scientific religion.
    No, that's evolution.
    Scott Roberts
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  8. #8
    Sinner's Swing! Mario VH's Avatar
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    07.09.17 @ 06:30 PM
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    Astronomy has always been an interest of mine and I find all this stuff extremely fascinating.
    It's amazing trying to comprehend the vastness of the universe and our small place in it. Some of the images that we've gotten back from telescopes like Hubble are absolutely breath taking. It really must be Gods work, this can't be just one big accident ie-The Big Bang Theory.
    "It's now officially 5150 time!!!"

  9. #9
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    11.30.17 @ 06:15 PM
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    Donor

    absolutely fascinating...
    sheepa latta peepah dabba looka foh a moopy

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