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Old 12-10-2008, 10:20 AM   #1
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Super black hole confirmed to be at centre of Milky Way

Source; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7774287.stm

Interesting confirmation, though generally it has been accepted in astro-physics for a number of years. What are people's thoughts on this discovery?

This thread is solely to do with science and people's thoughts on this confirmation, if people want to discuss any religious aspects to this, please post a new topic in Hot Topics Sub forum - j7



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Old 12-10-2008, 12:41 PM   #2
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I think the biggest problem with this confirmation, as far as its validity is concerned, is the almost completely theoretical nature of black holes. I have no doubt the stars are rotating, and it's rather likely that it's a black hole, but until we can actually measure the properties that define what a black hole is, this can't really be called a confirmation. It's more like... a very certain speculation.



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Old 12-10-2008, 02:03 PM   #3
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I think the biggest problem with this confirmation, as far as its validity is concerned, is the almost completely theoretical nature of black holes.
Huh?

Time for some new science books, my friend

@topic: always nice when another finding is confirmed. As you stated though: this is hardly a new idea.
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Old 12-10-2008, 03:30 PM   #4
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Black holes are very much real science and confirmed to exist, yes, they have to be measured by their effects on other things because they're often invisible, but yes they are very much real and confirmed.

Also: pretty cool, I mean, they've always kinda figured that's all it could have been, now my thoughts are: what came together to form it?


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Old 12-10-2008, 04:04 PM   #5
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This is cool and all, but does it have any practical application to the betterment of humanity at all?



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Old 12-10-2008, 04:09 PM   #6
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what came together to form it?
A super-badass star, obviously.


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Old 12-10-2008, 04:24 PM   #7
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This is cool and all, but does it have any practical application to the betterment of humanity at all?
I would say that everytime we learn something new (or confirm something we suspected...or disprove something we suspected) about our universe and how it operates, it betters humanity.

The more accurate our model, the better the predictions. The better the predictions, the more robust the theories and so on.
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:34 PM   #8
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I would agree with that assessment. Learning something new is never a waste.
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A super-badass star, obviously.
Or several of them.


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Old 12-10-2008, 05:29 PM   #9
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I wonder how long it will be until the entire Milky Way is swallowed up by it or if most of everything will keep a stable orbit around the super-massive Black Hole.


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Old 12-10-2008, 05:44 PM   #10
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I wonder how long it will be until the entire Milky Way is swallowed up by or if most of everything will keep a stable orbit around the super-massive Black Hole.
Yeah, they say that the universe is expanding at an infinite rate but then a black hole would draw everything around it into itself...

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Old 12-10-2008, 06:21 PM   #11
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Well the gravitational 'range' of an object is not infinite. The roce of the expansion of the universe so far is greater than the force of it's condensation, thus suggesting that the Big Rip or Big Freeze are the most likely ending scenarios of the Universe. You see, you can have a constantly expanding bubble filled with gases, and eventually the gases will start condensing into smaller, condensed pockets, whilst the force of expansion will the drive the galaxies farther and farther away from each other.

IE: Imagine you have a bunch of small magnetic marbles, and a curved, circular floor that is covered in metallic dust. Droop the magnetic balls on the floor, and as they go outwards from the center, they'll pick up tons of the metallic dust, whilst the balls themselves get farther and farther apart from each other. However, this isn't the whole story, as some of the odd movements of the universe and its galaxies suggest that the vast empty parts of space aren't so empty, but rather possibly filled with dark matter...

Edit: Then again, I do not yet comprehend the mathetmics involved behind a lot of the advanced physics theories, so I may have explained this incorrectly.

Edit: Sorry for the bad spelling of this post. My fingers are really cold because my home's heater isn't working.


Please feed the trolls. XD
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:56 PM   #12
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There's really not much correlation between the events of the big bang and black holes. It had been confirmed that the rate of the Universe's expansion has actually been accelerating, not slowing down since then. It is not known if it will continue to accelerate or if there's an inflection point where it will reach its limit and begin to collapse.

Black holes really should be termed 'neutron stars' because it would clearly define that they are physical spheres of highly-compressed matter. Their gravity is so strong that the escape velocity is faster than the speed of light. That is why EMR's can't escape and nearby objects are pulled in by its colossal gravitational pull.

Many still think they are actual holes in space... how does that make sense?
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:42 PM   #13
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Black holes really should be termed 'neutron stars' because it would clearly define that they are physical spheres of highly-compressed matter.
Why shold we call them neutron stars? Neutron stars are composed of neutrons, their name actually makes sense.

We can't say the same thing about black holes.
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:45 PM   #14
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I wonder how this will eventually effect Earth/if it even will.

Very interesting though

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Old 12-10-2008, 07:49 PM   #15
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Why shold we call them neutron stars? Neutron stars are composed of neutrons, their name actually makes sense.

We can't say the same thing about black holes.
well, mostly neutrons anyway.

Would people who don't know about black holes kindly just google them? Wiki will even tell you enough about black holes to explain all these misconceptions away.

They're called "holes" 'cause stuff goes into them, and the idea that they could go somewhere else is because we don't know everything about them.


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Old 12-10-2008, 09:13 PM   #16
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Would people who don't know about black holes kindly just google them? Wiki will even tell you enough about black holes to explain all these misconceptions away.
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Old 12-11-2008, 11:22 PM   #17
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This is cool and all, but does it have any practical application to the betterment of humanity at all?
Some of the information that's come out of studying the abstract theories of light have had very practical applications in visual science and how the eye sees.


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Old 12-12-2008, 12:36 AM   #18
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Not to mention, the more we know about our universe, about the formation of the universe, the better we understand ourselves. It's entirely possible that studies like this could lead to innovations farther down the line. Studies of birds eventually led to the airplane. Who knows what innovation could come from the studies elsewhere.
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Old 12-12-2008, 04:00 AM   #19
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Why shold we call them neutron stars? Neutron stars are composed of neutrons, their name actually makes sense.
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well, mostly neutrons anyway.
Like white dwarf stars, neutron stars are degenerate stellar material, whereupon the mass of the stellar remnant is such that its gravitational effect defies the ability of the electromagnetic force to stand up to it. Since there are no electron/proton pairings (which require the electromagnetic force by definition) all the interior matter becomes densely packed neutrons by default, although in superstring terms these retain information (ie. the immediate potential of other/former subatomic properties).

The Schwarzchild, Kerr and Reisner-Nordstr'm solutions exist both as a postulate of what should happen if the strong nuclear force is defied by gravity in the same way as the electromagnetic force postulated by Chandrasekhar (and confirmed by observation); and also as a map of properties for such an object should it exist.

Now this part is extremely confusing, therefore inherently controversial among some (I can provide link/references to a PhD theoretical physicist if need be or suggest using the Physicsforum student resource, the Hyperphysics website and so on...erm, I don't like wikipedia myself, it reminds me of a television show).

The Black Hole models do not describe an object. They describe the properties of an object which is as yet undefined. This would be because once you defy the strong force, there's nothing left to work with. I mean quarks and things is as far as our celebrated physics has gotten, though there are plenty of ideas...most of them amounting to alternatives rather than developments as such. In terms of Black Holes this would be the Superstring Theorists "fuzzy stars". There's not much else which addresses the glaring problem of having a bunch of quite workable properties, nevertheless which describe something so exotic the math experiences singularities (a scientific no-no). It means we effectively disappear the degenerate matter which still necessarily exists at the heart of a Black Hole because there's nothing after neutrons, it's our failure, not a mystical magical object. I strongly suggest one look up "mathematical singularities" for a description of what this "phenomenon" is actually describing (ie. nothing related to the physical universe).

Doesn't mean there are any errors so far though. This is important. Under any workable circumstances the existing solutions should and do work.

This brings us to the next glaring problem. The closest model to a physical Black Hole is the Kerr solution, and this inherently forms a naked singularity given appropriate and quite encounterable conditions. It's an impossible object. An effectively massless ring floating around in space, touch it and it stops time and catapults the speed of light to infinity. In real terms it is the equivalent of a gigantic mathematical equation in bright neon lettering, floating around space causing godlike effects.

Black Holes, whilst describable with our current physics by the working models, do not exist in the form of those models, not really. No scientist or astronomer I am aware of with some frequency at several leading forums, has confirmed empirically what the "physical Black Hole" really looks like or is. It is something, but still quite something of a mystery.

Quote:
Black holes really should be termed 'neutron stars' because it would clearly define that they are physical spheres of highly-compressed matter. Their gravity is so strong that the escape velocity is faster than the speed of light. That is why EMR's can't escape and nearby objects are pulled in by its colossal gravitational pull.

Many still think they are actual holes in space... how does that make sense?
This is closer to accurate than was given credit. Superstring theorists' fuzzy stars is essentially what it was alluding to, whether or not knowingly and the final point is utterly concise. Actual holes in space does not make sense in scientific terms. Not a single PhD physicist thinks so, and I'm lucky enough to be friends with a few.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:31 PM   #20
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Why shold we call them neutron stars? Neutron stars are composed of neutrons, their name actually makes sense.

We can't say the same thing about black holes.
Neutron stars are black holes. They have a gravitational pull so great that light cannot escape its surface. They cannot be 'seen' because they do not project EMR.

I'm sure people have seen models of the atom and were told that 'if the nucleus was this size, the electrons would be a mile away.' This emphasizes that atoms are mostly empty space. Imagine if you had all that space occupied by compressed atom nuclei, you could have a cubic centimeter of matter that weighs literally thousands of tons.

That could give you an idea as to just how much gravitational force could be exerted by something the size of a planet. It doesn't 'suck' surrounding objects in, but pulls them with their extreme gravitational force.

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Old 12-12-2008, 11:41 PM   #21
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Erm, well technically the term "Black Hole" describes a postulate of breaking the strong nuclear force with gravitation, but this is indeed important only among theoretical physicists. It is especially important among alternative theorists because such a thing gives ground to Superstrings and m-Brane theory.
You are quite correct the term is often largely interchangeable among many astrophysicists. Most cosmologists find the distinction irrelevent. For all intents and purposes a Black Hole is a neutron star, however it is one for which its tidal mass (ie. gravitational force) is so great the math defies the strong nuclear force, hence neutrons could not exist.
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:26 AM   #22
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Alright, I said absolutely that neutron stars were black holes... they are truly the last phase of a star's life before officially being designated 'black hole.' I really can't make such bold statements that PHD-bearing scientists can only postulate.

I just think that they should change the official term to something that cannot be mistaken for an opening instead of its true nature. 'White dwarf' 'red giant' and 'neutron star' are all associated with a star's life cycle, but I think 'black hole' is just misleading to common folk. You can't have a tunnel, hole, or opening in a vacuum based on the physics we understand, yet many people still think of it as such.
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Old 12-13-2008, 07:43 PM   #23
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I agree with you. Misunderstanding Black Holes and Wormholes is a catalyst for fiction, I think perhaps an inspired common interest is not entirely discouraged by some elements of the scientific community.
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:51 PM   #24
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You check BBC news. I like you Johnathan7.

I agree too, vanir. I bet the interesting stuff scientists come up with that doesn't necessarily pan out ought to have some kind of justice done. After all, Is it not through creativity (which is by and large fiction works) that innovation is at least partially born (with most of the rest being necessity and perspiration with a bit of work).

I'm not exactly on the up and up of this and it is nice to see that so many of us here have studied into it. Does anybody think Tesla's resonant interplanetary communications was for real or a bunch of bunk?

Also I am interested to see what you people have on 'dimensions'.


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Old 12-21-2008, 10:55 PM   #25
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If I remember correctly it is believed that the majority of Galaxies have a black hole at the center of them and that Black Holes are somehow important to the formation of Galaxies.
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Old 12-24-2008, 07:01 AM   #26
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Source; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7774287.stm

Interesting confirmation, though generally it has been accepted in astro-physics for a number of years. What are people's thoughts on this discovery?

This thread is solely to do with science and people's thoughts on this confirmation, if people want to discuss any religious aspects to this, please post a new topic in Hot Topics Sub forum - j7
Well, it basically just confirms what we already "knew." Nonetheless, still pretty cool. Something to add to the textbooks, for sure.

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Old 12-24-2008, 07:25 PM   #27
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Also I am interested to see what you people have on 'dimensions'.
M-brane theory? Best account for the missing degenerate matter in a Black Hole that's causing all that gravity. Problem is it being a leap from (possibly) incomplete Quantum physics. Superstrings attempts to solve the latter (equivalent) possibility.

The Hyperphysics website is a great general pointer for anything to do with physics. It can provide the specific genre material for further research within a matter of a few links. If looking for detailed explanations (rather than say, math research) try the Physicsforums website, though keep in mind opinions will vary even among the intensely qualified...about everything.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:53 PM   #28
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The article seemed to be pretty vague about the study itself, it said that they tracked 28 stars over the span of 16 years and that this proved that their was a black hole at the center of the milky way. I'm going to to assume that that means that the paths of the stars indicated an outside force was "pulling" on them.

Is this the case or can someone enlighten me, also if someone else has addressed this, my bad, but I didn't see a post about it. I'm new here so you'll have to bear with me, interesting stuff though. I think I'll end up doing some research later on, I'm a bit ignorant on the subject.
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:13 AM   #29
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Results are correlated with interferometry, gravitational lensing and all other methods of attaining observational data. All skeptics are routinely invited to test any published results, which are inherently open to public debate of a strictly scientific nature.

Scientific publications can indeed tend to be slightly sensationalistic, in that they will often take data researchers have known about for decades and make a big hoohah about it, calling it a new finding because some university student used it in a curriculum thesis, or just to sell some issues, or just because the journalist was bored.

Science journals are however an excellent way for researchers to ensure credit for a particular finding or a confirmation on an old piece of data.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:46 PM   #30
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it is said on various articles found on yahoo news, nasa reports etc that the gravitation pulls, alignment of stars and planets will be coming soon, when this happens they will align with the black hole and a sh** storm will result, apparently :/


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