Black holes rapidly spinning and twisting spacetime
Scientists analyzed X-ray light to determine the spin of the black hole at the center of galaxy NGC 1365.
February 27th, 2013
05:37 PM ET

Black holes rapidly spinning and twisting spacetime

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By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

Scientists have been able to pin down the most accurate estimate yet for how fast a supermassive black hole is spinning. The answer is "fast": near the speed of light.

The black hole in question is more than 2 million miles across, with a surface traveling near the speed of light. It is at the center of spiral galaxy NGC 1365 and is the equivalent of about 2 million solar masses. Don't worry, this black hole not an imminent danger to us, given that it's in a galaxy 60 million light years away.

Two instruments helped make these measurements: NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton X-ray satellite. Scientists used these tools to detect high-energy X-rays to determine the black hole's spin. Although similar measurements have been attempted before, this is the first time scientists have been able to show that the spin rate can be calculated conclusively.

The findings are described in a new study in the journal Nature.

Astronomers found that the spin is at least 84% of the maximum value allowed by Einstein's general theory of relativity. In other words: Einstein was right, again.

"What’s amazing in this observation is that we can see the warping and twisting of spacetime, the black hole distorting the very fabric of our universe," NuSTAR principal investigator Fiona Harrison of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena said at a press briefing Wednesday.

Harrison gave a mind-boggling illustration of what "distortion of spacetime" means: For this particular black hole, if you were standing near the event horizon - the point at which nothing can escape from a black hole - you would be turning around once every four minutes just to stand still.

You may agree with Harrison that "black holes are really weird."

Black holes are dense regions of space that have collapsed in on themselves to the point where not even light can escape the enormous gravitational pull. Still, they are some of the brightest objects in the universe because of the massive amounts of energy released when matter gets eaten by a black hole.

Around a black hole is an accretion disk, dust and gas that's being drawn into the black hole, constantly spiraling toward it. High-energy radiation shines out as the black hole compresses matter. Supermassive black holes in particular are found at the centers of galaxies, including our own Milky Way.

We still don't know how black holes came to be in the first place, but the first seeds were there "just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang," writes Christopher S. Reynolds of the Department of Astronomy and the Joint Space Science Institute at the University of Maryland, College Park, in an accompanying article in Nature.

Black holes common in early universe

What we know about how galaxies formed and evolved is closely tied to our understanding of these supermassive black holes, he writes. "The energy released by a growing supermassive black hole can be so powerful that it disrupts the normal growth of the host galaxy; in extreme cases, the AGN (active galactic nucleus) can terminate all subsequent growth of the galaxy."

Black holes start relatively small and get huge over time in one of two ways. They can just keep eating material that falls in; over time, mass accumulates. Or, when two galaxies collide, their black holes can merge into a bigger black hole.

"Measuring the spin is a way to understand how the black hole grew, and this in turn is linked to galaxy evolution," Guido Risaliti, lead study author and astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told CNN.

The "dream" is to perform these sorts of measurements on galaxies much further away, so that scientists could track the evolution of those structures, too, Risaliti said.

"In order to do this kind of analysis for hundreds of black holes in the very distant universe, we really need the next-generation observatory, a new observatory which would need to be built with much higher sensitivity," Risaliti said.

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soundoff (653 Responses)
  1. Frank

    Could someone explain the example given in the article, ": ..., if you were standing near the event horizon – the point at which nothing can escape from a black hole – you would be turning around once every four minutes just to stand still."

    March 1, 2013 at 6:42 am |
    • David C.

      I agree, that explanation really explained nothing.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:10 am |
    • Love Science Guy

      I don't unerstand that explaination either, but my guess is that if you stand there you will be spinned to a complete circle in 4min.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:29 am |
    • John

      The force of black holes imparts a twist in space, so if you are occupying a point under such influence you would have to turn once every four minutes in order to remain motionless relevant to unaffected space.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • John

      The force of black holes imparts a twist in space, so if you are occupying a point under such influence you would have to turn once every four minutes in order to remain motionless relevant to unaffected space. The relative time of 4 minutes in the example is relative to the spinning force that the particular black hole imparts.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • Masse

      The spin relates to the curl of the field. Think of a river flowing, and in some locations, the water swirls. Or a storm, forming twisters. As space/ time moves, it also rotates, in the same way.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • charlie

      At the event horizon you would be orbiting the black hole every four minutes. To keep facing the black hole you would have to rotate 360 degrees every 4 minutes. Considering how far the event horizon is from the black hole, you would be traveling very very fast, close to the speed of light.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:24 am |
      • Edcode

        You should teach

        March 1, 2013 at 10:53 am |
      • Frank

        still having hard time picturing this.....i don't see the connection of a 360 turn....i'm picturing standing at the end of a minute hand and staring at the center of a clock, the minute hand is turning at the speed of light...?

        March 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • marcus

      Monkeys created the universe....with bananas and flinging poop:)

      March 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  2. OMG

    It gives me a goosebumps to know that Einstein is a jew and the Bible says the jews are the chosen people. Would it prove that the Bible was right after all. He is a genius because he is one of the chosen people? OK you will argue that Einstein don't believe in God... but that doesn't make him a Jew by not believing in God. Some Jews don't believe in God.

    March 1, 2013 at 6:33 am |
    • mom

      Google Einstein remarks on creation, a great designer, God, etc. I think you will find that he became more and more convinced of a "Great Someone" as he got older. He said in effect that nature shows so much astonishing order and complexity that there has to be a super-intelligence.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:02 am |
      • Dan

        That's a common interpretation, but don't let it, for one second, convince you that Einstein believed in anything remotely resembling a theistic God. Many of his writings have an atheist tone, some a pantheist or deist tone. Zero theistic thought.

        March 1, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • John

      Being "chosen" is purely egocentric since the qualities of such selection were defined by Jews themselves.

      So being chosen is simply a matter of whether your telling the story or being told.

      Magical thinking remains pervasive.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:17 am |
    • open your eyes

      really OMG the bible is justs lies all of it is made up a fake a hoax what ever you want to call it an i find it really insulting that after I just read this great scientific achievement that you an a few more people think its the work of your god face the facts there is no god your priests have lied to you all religion is for the weak minded all religion is just power hungry people who are able to manipulate people to live by his rules an die in the next holy war in the name of there god...THEM heres some perfect exsamples to prove my point. the great crusade 1095, adolf hitler's holocaust 1933. or a more recent one the terrorist attack on the world trade center 2001. OPEN YOUR EYES

      March 1, 2013 at 8:17 am |
      • Counter example

        I can't believe I'm replying to your post, but I felt compelled. Some of the worst atrocities in the 20th century were committed in the name of atheism (or at least were not committed in the name of religion). First of all, the holocaust wasn't inspired by Christianity. There is nothing biblical about mass murder, so that is just a hate movement masquerading as a religious one. Second, here are examples of atrocities committed by atheistic governments: Soviet purges – 12-20 million dead, Chinese cultural revolution – 3 million or more dead, Cambodian genocide under Pol Pot – 1-3 million dead, Rawandan genocide – 1 million dead. The numbers are a little hazy, but you get the idea. I'm not saying that being atheistic causes you to commit mass murder, but let's not go around claiming that religion is the root of all atrocities. Christians have had their dark moments in history, just like everyone else. It's not being religious that causes people to kill, it's being human.

        March 1, 2013 at 9:25 am |
      • counter-counter example

        Sorry, you've setup a false correlation in your counter example.
        Even if all of those governments were non-religious, that doesn't mean that their actions were a direct result of that. Ie: Correlation does not equal causation.

        The leaders of those organizations were also all male, so, by your logic, it was because they were men that they killed all those people.

        March 1, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • mbane

      They were the choosen people at first. Than God changed his mind and sent down his son to personally choose a new group of people.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  3. irfan

    Any sign of Voyager 6? And just how did the Enterprise avoid all these black holes while worping through space?

    March 1, 2013 at 6:20 am |
    • Mr. Steve


      your ignorance and belief in movies is astonishing.

      thanks for the laugh

      March 1, 2013 at 7:24 am |
      • Jared

        Mr Steve: it was a joke, you p.rick

        March 1, 2013 at 8:02 am |
  4. Pat

    I have a layman level question for one of the folks posting on here that actually know the physics here. A black hole is a way of describing the region of space around the singularity in the center from which light ca not escape because of the extreme curvature of spacetime. I understand that....but, if the singularity is, by definition, infinitely small, what is spinning? Please help. thanks.

    March 1, 2013 at 6:18 am |
    • joe

      The spinning comes from the matter getting sucked in. Its essentially a faster version of what our planets do, with a steeper fall to a greater mass taking up less room. Think of a drain or a whirlpool.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  5. nedo

    I a ready for my theorem now.
    Why the black hole is a black hole, where nothing escape throught it. Let me explain in layman terms so all can understand.
    – As the surface rotates near the speed of light, of course whatever goes in will be devoured and nothing can be seen...
    – I have to complete the intergral of diferential to a mass in respect with angular velocity which goes in and I will be ready to solve the problem

    March 1, 2013 at 5:57 am |
    • bobo

      Luckily, with a time contiunm spacecraft with a Flux capacitor would be able to go through the black hole.... fun!

      March 1, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  6. GO_GOP

    Scientists talk about all the complicated stuff of the black hole moving at 84% speed of Einstein's speed of light, the black hole taking everything in and not letting light to escape (how crude is that? Light can never be held anywhere), the galaxy being 60 million light years away(and yet do not give us an idea of the distance in actual length like miles), the galaxy being spiral (but it does not spiral into the black hole like they said), blah blah blah. And not to mention we men came from monkeys and chimpanzees (but still the monkeys and chimpanzees exist today and they do not turn into humans.. not one instance). Yet the ignorant people choose to believe in science and ignore the Bible – the true word of our Lord in heaven. I find this funny but also feel sad for the lost souls of scientists and atheists.

    March 1, 2013 at 3:26 am |
    • LOLS

      You have to be a troll, there can't be a person alive this crazy...

      March 1, 2013 at 3:39 am |
      • hawkechik

        Or this stupid.

        March 1, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Jay

      you have got to be kidding me...if it helps you grasp how far 60 million light years is, which it wont at all- 1 light year is equal 5.87862537 x 10 to the 12th power miles. I'll let you go ahead and do the math if your really that interested in how many miles it is

      March 1, 2013 at 3:51 am |
      • Lou

        I think man's belief in God is far more wondrous and interesting than a spinning abyss.

        March 1, 2013 at 7:45 am |
      • B

        Indeed, Lou, "wondrous" as in: how could anyone be so stoopid!

        March 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
      • USAtheist

        You can roughly round off a light year to 7.7 trillion miles

        March 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Shane

      Humanity did not spring from modern chips or monkeys.

      We likely share the same ancestor.

      March 1, 2013 at 4:07 am |
      • Bob Price

        can you please explain, in simple terms, how we likely share the same ancestor. No guessing please.

        March 1, 2013 at 4:13 am |
      • Reticuli

        All life on this planet shares a common ancestor. It's just a matter of how far back and which ones, depending on the species. Chimps are distant cousins to us. And some of you should feel proud of that considering your own deficiencies. That you would be so lucky…

        March 1, 2013 at 4:28 am |
      • Bob Price

        oh I'm sorry, I guess I didn't make myself clear enough for you. Obviously my mistake, can you again, in factual terms, no guessing, no likely's, no most probably's no almosts, explain to me how we most likely have common ancestors??? I want solid, proven indisputable facts. no we could have, we should have, I want proven, direct positive proof that we are ancestors of that. I mean, if you can't give me that , just say so??? no harm, no foul, right? for a mind like yours, this should not be hard to do, right?

        March 1, 2013 at 4:37 am |
      • Bob Price

        OH and i'm sorry, but if you care to show that proof, I want all lines and genealogy, in sequence showing such proven linkage. ok??? easy for people like you?

        March 1, 2013 at 4:40 am |
      • Erik

        Its proven in the DNA. Our DNA is similar.

        March 1, 2013 at 5:01 am |
      • Bob Price

        and as we part, we get the same old garbage... no proof, no link and someone trying to goat the masses. ... well, you never answered and we aren't as dumb as you think we are???? you didn't answer because you can't. No man can. God has written what God has written. you will never "prove" God wrong. and you will never "prove" yourselves right. DO YOU KNOW WHY????? one word, ., . ,... ,,.., here it comes , .,. GOD. we walk by faith, not by sight. .... that is why.... you all go live your maybe's and your "most likely" and your "could have happened because" and we will live by what was written and has been proven to come to light. may god have mercy on your souls.

        March 1, 2013 at 5:05 am |
      • caesarbc

        Bob Price wants proof we are related to chimps...

        the opposable thumb....


        March 1, 2013 at 5:05 am |
      • caesarbc

        Bob... I want proof that God exists.
        Because right now, in the world, it appears he is non-existent.

        March 1, 2013 at 5:07 am |
      • Bob Price

        I'm sorry, I just had to comment because I saw the 2 before me??? opposable thumbs??????that is your proof???? you linkage???? and the other one??? DNA that is similar????? are you freaking kidding me???? good night. when you find a real clue,,, send a msg.... and they call republicans dumb? wow.

        March 1, 2013 at 5:12 am |
      • GodParticle

        You are correct. Humanity evolved from a bag of beer nuts.

        March 1, 2013 at 5:31 am |
      • nickgreen

        Bob answer the question. Where is your proof? What I always love about the highly religious is that they will preach being open minded and understanding, but anyone who doesnt believe what they believe is an idiot and will be condemned

        March 1, 2013 at 5:58 am |
      • Don't Worry


        you want prove on evolution? I want prove of your God. Prove that Bible wasn't written by us wanting to control the humanity and imprison simple minded people who's minds have been imprisoned by an imaginary being.

        March 1, 2013 at 7:54 am |
      • NYer in London

        Bob Price, you are a scary fella. Answer the question being asked of you. Prove to the readers, demonstrated with the same level of evidence you require of us, that God exists. You ignore the questions because you cannot provide the evidence.

        March 1, 2013 at 10:13 am |
      • Jon Price

        Guys, in the process of charting Bobs family tree, if you happen to find me in there, please omit it. (And if you find Dan Quayle, please omit him. I already know we are related.:-)~

        March 1, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • simplicity

      God is most certainly the greatest scientist, simply put.

      March 1, 2013 at 4:10 am |
      • Bob

        There is no god, religion was invented to control the ignorant.

        March 1, 2013 at 7:48 am |
      • Reason over Reason

        If that is true, please ask him to explain evolution..:)

        March 1, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • ryanyomomma

      This post gave me cancer. “The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”

      March 1, 2013 at 4:23 am |
    • Reticuli

      Provocateur. Not even a republican is that stupid. Very funny, though.

      March 1, 2013 at 4:25 am |
      • Bob Price

        UUUUMMMMM ,.,.,.,..,., still waiting???? nothing?

        March 1, 2013 at 4:47 am |
    • Pat


      March 1, 2013 at 6:08 am |
    • JC

      Spoken like a true Republican. You can trace our ancestry through our DNA, but you need to know a little science to follow the road map of our evolution there.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:01 am |
    • Common Sense

      Guys, come on now, the church said the world was flat and the sun revolved around the earth, and anyone who says otherwise would be damned....if the books says its true, IT HAS TO BE!

      March 1, 2013 at 7:01 am |
      • lexiington

        really god did not say the world was flat that was a stupid decision by scientists years ago maybe you should start read more books you know like uuuuhhh THE BIBLE!!!!!!

        March 1, 2013 at 8:58 am |
    • Enlightened

      Darwin's theory of natural selection does not postulate that humans evolved from monkeys and chimps. It argues that primates (including monkeys, chimpanzees and humans) had a common ancestor, which is why monkeys and chimps don't turn into humans–they won't. Might be a good idea to actually know what you are talking about before you start writing the kind of idocy you posted here.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:12 am |
    • david mann

      Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, and you want the distance of 60 MILLION LIGHT YEARS in miles?? Now that is really a stupid question if you actually think about it.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:07 am |
      • Rbnlegnd101

        I strongly suspect that he simply doesn't understand the words "light year". A light year is the distance light travels in a year. To describe that distance in miles, feet, inches, meters, yards, or leagues would involve a very large number, so large that it would be nonsense to the human mind, so,a larger unit of measure was developed, which allows for the use of a more comprehensible number. For proportion, a millionth (one over one million) of a light year is roughly 6 million miles. I still can't compare that to the distance to the grocery store, but at least the numbers sound like numbers I have heard before. People note the use of the word "year" in light year and get confused about it being a measure of distance rather than a measure of time.

        March 1, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • david mann

      SHAME! Shame on those godless scientists using facts, logic and reason to explain things.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • heliocracy

      Wow that's quite possibly the stupidest post I've ever seen.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • Sue Hutson

      Go GOP is a perfect moniker.. regressive, backward thinking, close minded, a grouping kept alive by the ignorant masses....

      March 1, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • charlie

      Look up theory in the dictionary. Theories are speculative plan based on observations and data. Many past theories have been disproved or amended as new data is collected. Many of the theories we believe today may be replaced with theories in the future. Theories are not absolute facts or laws of science.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:34 am |
      • Mason Myatt

        I have a great idea. Let's go interview survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and find out what they think about the Atomic THEORY. Like most people who are frightened by science, you confuse hypothesis and theory. Despite that, you actually make a good point. Science does change when the data indicate that a revision is needed. Religion, on the other hand, claims infallibility and so it has to deny all new learning, all new facts, all the discoveries that scientists have made. If you have your way, we who live in the 21st Century are supposed to base our lives of the mythology of a bunch of illiterate, nomadic sheep herders from about 5000 BCE. We would have no medicine, no electricity, no means of transportation other than camels and no learning or education. Yeah, that's the ticket to a wonderful future for humanity.

        March 8, 2013 at 4:41 am |
    • Can

      Light is energy, and energy can be contained. 1lightyear is 10 trillion kilometers, or the distance light travels in 1 Earth-year. So that black hole is 60 million x 10 trillion kilometers away. Galaxies do in fact spiral into super massive black holes in the center, it just happens very slowly, because they are very large, and we are insignificant specks in the universal scheme of things. Humans did not evolve from monkeys or chimpanzees. The great apes, I.e. humans, gorillas, orangatans, all evolved from a common ancestor. I feel sorry for the undevout, well we undevout feel sorry for the uneducated masses. Before you criticize science, learn a little science.

      March 1, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • USAtheist

      WOW You ignorance is quite amusing, yet very scary.

      If there was a "god" I'd pray for you... *cough

      March 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Naaaaaa

      "the true word of our Lord in heaven" really? What type of pen did he use?
      Do you think you have a foot hold in reality?

      Your name is correct, the GOP is full of nut jobs!

      March 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  7. DaveW

    A wonderfully well-put-together article about a very fascinating and mysterious subject; punctuated by some frightened readers who seem to fear scientific discovery, worrying that their belief systems will be challenged. We live in a strange country.

    The bible belt has been expanding for years while also growing hotter at its core. At the outer edges of the belt, denial spins at close to the need of fright. Far in the future, when the collection plates finally run out of fuel the belt will eventually collapse in on itself in an apocalyptic explosion, leaving a small dark spinning bible of nothingness. Of course, we will all be dead by then.

    March 1, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • Bob Price

      You are absolutely correct, because the rapture will have occurred, the bibles will be spinning, and those left will be wondering how this could have ever happened to them. Look, the Bible was written many years ago. Man knows his destiny. if they would only listen. The Bible tells us that the world would end the same as Sodom and Gomorrah. It tells us how, and who. for all of you to continuously deny what has already taken place and what will continue to happen, is just as stupid as you telling me that the snake oil you're selling is as good . I love science, but it is guessing!!! You have proven events to look at, we have nothing but maybe, could have probably happened, , , , to look at.

      March 1, 2013 at 3:03 am |
      • Jack

        You are a complete idiot. The bible and its references to events that will take place has nothing to do with what is going on today. I could write a book today and be overly broad like the bible and it too would seem like predetermined destiny in 2000 years. Truth is, types like you are what is wrong with this world. Your "ultimate end time" mindset perpetuates our civilizations downfall.

        March 1, 2013 at 3:34 am |
      • Bob Price

        well then jack, be a hero, write that book, and IF we are as a civilization are around at that time, we will all laugh at me... and as overly broad as that book is... right?? OH and our downfall is written, that book you are going to write, will never be read. good luck.

        March 1, 2013 at 3:40 am |
      • alinaw

        The end of the world tribulation is not that broad as one might think. It deals with Israel and a 7 year peace treaty. It deals with worshiping a man who rules the world and claims to be God. It also deals whit the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem and the 2 witnesses that are killed near the end of the tribulation and their bodies are put up for display for 3 days. At the end of 3 days, the breath of life from God enters them and they stand to their feet and they go toward heaven. Just then, there is a massive earthquake. So there is a lot of specifics.

        March 1, 2013 at 4:22 am |
      • Jimmy

        Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

        March 1, 2013 at 7:03 am |
      • Common Sense

        I read a book called "Lord of the Rings" It talked about little people called Hobbits....I believe in Hobbits....

        March 1, 2013 at 7:06 am |
      • Patrick

        That's funny, I don't seem to remember the Rapture being part of scripture.

        March 1, 2013 at 7:52 am |
      • BrettC

        I love people like Bob here.....The blood line concerning the history of life on this planet has been written and is continually being updated as new species are found and cataloged. There have been hundreds...maybe thousands of scientific books written about evolution. These books are based on facts and actual observation.

        The Bible was written to explain the un-explainable (at the time) to a mass of people who barely understood the wheel. The fact that you take the Bible literally is amazing to me. If it wasn't for science...the internet wouldn't have been invented and goof balls like yourself wouldn't have a forum to spew your BS to the world.

        Please let the supposed rapture come soon to get these nuts off the planet so we can start a real society based on facts!

        March 1, 2013 at 7:56 am |
      • Kirumaru

        "The historical existence of Sodom and Gomorrah is still in dispute by archaeologists, as little archaeological evidence has ever been found in the regions where they were supposedly situated." You were saying about proof?

        March 1, 2013 at 8:06 am |
      • D. K.

        Rapture? No such word is to be found in the bible!

        March 1, 2013 at 8:11 am |
      • James

        @ Bob Price
        The Rapture already happened. They left you, You were left behind with the rest of us "science belivers"!

        March 1, 2013 at 8:40 am |
      • Edward

        I am a religious person but by the way you respond makes christianity dumb and stupid. IF we look at the universe with all its greatness along with the theory of evolution that there would be a higher being that put this into motion. Science and religion correlates with each other if you read closely. The world was created in 7 days was the proof. If you want a scientific explanation the big bang says this. Im just amazed how you sound like a nutjob while not allowing yourself to grow which god told us to do. I believe he designed us to meet our fullest potential by searching for him using our intellect but its sad howwe most of us just relly on ourselves and no longer believe.

        March 1, 2013 at 9:20 am |
      • heliocracy

        Science is not "guessing." Religion is guessing. From your posts it's obvious to me that you don't know the first thing about any of the sciences, yet you're convinced they are are in no position to make such a determination, since you know nothing about the subject.

        March 1, 2013 at 9:24 am |
      • Sue Hutson

        Bob and his ilk defend the bible as if it was actually written by their god. It may be an amazing piece of literature for its time, but it was penned by many men who contradicted each other.

        March 1, 2013 at 10:17 am |
      • Edcode

        Science guessing? An you punched that on a computer. No?

        March 1, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  8. Will Terman

    I think there is something crucially missing in the article as reported. I understand a black hole to be an object totally described by its Kerr-Newman metric: 1) mass, 2) charge, and 3) angular momentum (see Kerr-Newman metric). All these values are conserved from the original imploding matter that created the black hole. At the central singularity, we would expect the spin rate to be infinite, although angular momentum would still be finite. This is anlagous to the mass of the singularity being finite, but its density being infinite. So when the author refers to "spin rate", I suspect she is instead referring to the orbital velocity of matter near the event horizon.

    The rotation of the black hole decreases the radius of the event horizon and the frame-dragging of spacetime creates an ergosphere (shaped like an oblate spheroid) outside of it. So the measured velocities mentioned in the article are indicative of an event horizon that is closer to the singularity, and which thus has a higher orbital velocity associated with it. That would be evidence of black hole rotation.

    The author's mention of spinning "once every four minutes just to stand still" is probably a reference to the frame-dragging, but that like much of the article is unclear, even granting that it is difficult to make any of this stuff very clear.

    March 1, 2013 at 2:42 am |
    • Andrew

      The paper covers all of that... although the linked version is paywalled. (As it should be, I don't want Landau linking an arXiv link to a Nature publication)

      In case the abstract is insufficient.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:47 am |
      • David C.

        Thanks for that link to Archiv

        March 1, 2013 at 7:39 am |
  9. 2LiveIsChr

    Either Believing In God Is Of No Importance Or Of Greatest Importance. No Matter Which We Must Choose. Just Know If It Is True And If Jesus Is Real Which I Believed He Is That Someone You Didn't Think Existed Or Was Crazy Willingly Was Nailed To A Cross, Beaten, And Martyred So We Can Be Forgiven. We Disbelieve In Someone Who Would Spend Their Life Trying Make A Way For Us To LIve Forever. All That Crazy Man Talked About Was Loving One Another More Than Ourself Something Many Of Us Forgot It Shows By Our Amazing Divorce Rate. All He Preached Was Giving Up Our Pleasures And To Live By Love. The Judgement System God Uses To Forgive Us Of Our Trespasses Is So Perfect That Even When We Don't Deserve It He Set You Free. The Worst Thing Jesus Ever Preached Was To Give Up All Your So Called Valuable Possessions And Follow Him. But We Are Too Selfish And Think All Life Is About Is Pleasure. We Look For A Rational Explanation When The Evidence Is In Our Face. But Also Know That Just Because You Don't Believe In Him And You Can't Rationalize Him Does Not Mean God Is Not Real. It Is Like Saying I Don't Believe In Monster Trucks. I Will Still Get Ran Over.

    March 1, 2013 at 2:33 am |
    • Bob Price

      AMEN!!!!!! and we cant NOW prove anything written here, any more than man can now prove the existence, and death of HIM. EXCEPT to say that the existence and death of Jesus was written, and it was never written of this. so who do you believe?

      March 1, 2013 at 2:41 am |
    • Andrew

      And just becuse people believe in the Loch Ness Monster doesn't mean it's real.

      I cannot prove god doesn't exist, but I can't prove unicorns don't exist. I have no reason whatsoever to believe in either. (And frankly, if pressed, I'd be more likely to believe in horned horses having existed than I am to believe in a god decribed by the bible.)

      March 1, 2013 at 2:42 am |
      • 2LiveIsChr

        I Was Just Speaking My Mind No Need For An Argument Both Of Us Just End Up Looking Like Fools. But Irrelevant To This Lochness Monsters Do Exist JK And Unicorns Could Never Exist Because They Are The Dumbest This Every Made Up Now Pegasus' Are Awesome Because They Have Wings (Me And My Sister Debate About Which Is Better A Horse With A Stupid Horn Or Awesome Wings I Say Wings :D)

        March 1, 2013 at 2:56 am |
      • Andrew

        ... I feel like I just read the naive ramblings of a 12 year old girl. *sigh*

        March 1, 2013 at 3:05 am |
      • Bob Price

        And you must believe in what you want to. but the bible has described already what will happen, and so far it has been accurate. I love science and learning about stars and black holes, but we will never know for certain. the bible was written. we know, this we don't. and to say that theory is fact, is misleading, because it is at it's very core, nothing more than a guess, that has not been proven wrong. WE STILL HAVE NO IDEA!!!

        March 1, 2013 at 3:11 am |
      • 2LiveIsChr

        13 and 17 Year Old Girl Talk Come On Now You Don't Have Any Sisters

        March 1, 2013 at 3:15 am |
      • heliocracy

        What makes you think the Bible is true? We can't prove scientific principles, so they must be false, yet we can't disprove Biblical principles, so they must be true? That makes no sense whatsoever.

        March 1, 2013 at 9:31 am |
      • Edcode

        @Bob Price
        The Qoran was also written. No?

        March 1, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • Andy Anderson

      Black holes don't care about gods.

      Ever wonder how many people you're driving away from Christ by being so obnoxious?
      You'll have to answer for that eventually.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:57 am |
      • 2LiveIsChr

        NO NEVER <3 LOL Thats A Knee Slapper

        March 1, 2013 at 3:07 am |
    • 2LiveIsChr

      It Is Funny Though How Dr. Einstein Didn't Believe In God And He Saw The Bible As Childish But He Did Believe In Jesus As Being A Real Person I Think It Might Be Because He Could Not Prove God Existed Like Everything Else He Studied But Hey Its Just A Theory

      March 1, 2013 at 3:35 am |
  10. Me

    It's so dumb to see either religious or anti-religious comments on this topic, since black holes have nothing to do with either religion or atheism.

    March 1, 2013 at 2:17 am |
    • pugh7755

      It has more to do with God than science, since God created the universe and everything in it, including the black holes. Scientist just TRY to figure out how He created them, but refuse to acknowledge Him because they will never prove His existence because they are biased and blind to the evidence that Christians have been shown and scientists cannot comprehend.

      Just like the cure for cancer has been around since God created the heavens and the Earth, but scientist do not see it because it's too simple for their minds to comprehend...and it's not profitable to the pharmaceutical companies.

      March 1, 2013 at 4:57 am |
      • heliocracy

        Science doesn't try to prove the existence of God because it follows evidence. There is no evidence for God to follow. If I claim that the universe was created by the mighty Flying Spaghetti Monster, is it rational for me to claim that science is biased because they refuse to investigate my claims?

        March 1, 2013 at 9:33 am |
      • pugh7755

        That's exactly what I said. Scientist are BLIND to the evidence of God's existence. Those who believe and have accepted Jesus Christ see this evidence everyday. Those who do not see it choose not to see it. Science deals with the natural. God is super natural.

        The closest to evidence that scientist (and all non-believers) will ever be able to see that God exists is the Bible. If non-believers made the HONEST effort to read and study the Bible (particularly Revelation), they would see that this 2,000 year old book has mentioned events that have taken place or are taking place today. Even the most successful fiction author today could not duplicate the Bibles accuracy. So, just saying the Bible is a piece of fiction written to convince people to follow a non-existent god is preposterous.

        I come from a religious background that includes being a non-believer, an atheist, a pagan (witchcraft), and a Christian. I have been through all stages of belief. It wasn't until I became a pagan that I actually seen proof of God and satan. Then when I saw the proof of God's existence, I started the journey to become a Christian. It wasn't until I fully made the effort at becoming a Christian that I was able to see the abundance of evidence of God's existence.

        The reason Christians can see this evidence that non-believers and atheist say doesn't exist because they cannot see it is because satan has blinded them. When a new Christian steps out in faith (the ability to believe even with the lack of evidence) the power of satan to blind them is broken. There are two types of non-believers, 1) those who are merely blinded by satan, and 2) those who choose to not accept God's existence because they choose a life of sin and disobedience. Most non-believers fall into the 1st type. I was both types at one point or another. Once I stepped out in faith, I was no longer blinded by satan and chose to give up my sin and disobedience. Therefore, I see the "evidence" of God's existence.

        March 2, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  11. lweba

    In a black hole and even space close to it space and time are very much bent or curved. How then can you give measurements of size and velocity of a body in this region?

    March 1, 2013 at 1:59 am |
    • Dan

      The measurements are "as measured from our frame of reference" so to speak. Were you somehow able to consciously exist and move around inside the event horizon of a black hole, space, and the concept of measuring something like that, would be quite a mess from within.
      Outside, at a distance, "looking" (term used loosely) at the mess itself, you can just view it as existing on a coordinate plane and describe where the event horizon seems to reside, start, and stop in three dimensions.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:27 am |
  12. Boxman

    The universe is like a new woman that I'm taking out on a date. She's dark and she's massive and she has a black hole. And all of those elements I want to explore, just like you would explore on a new date. You want to dive deep into them and feel around and just see what's going to come out of that.

    If you could put the universe into a tube, you'd end up with a very long tube, probably extending twice the size of the universe, because when you collapse the universe it expands and it would be uh... well you would want to put it into a tube.

    March 1, 2013 at 1:31 am |
    • metoogsbbs

      This is the greatest comment I have read in my entire life.

      March 1, 2013 at 3:26 am |
  13. Talok

    Whats with all the super religious commenting about something that has NOTHING to do with this topic?

    March 1, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • docparadox

      "god" works in mysterious ways *cough

      March 1, 2013 at 1:39 am |
      • Kuba


        March 1, 2013 at 2:09 am |
      • Edcode


        March 1, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  14. jim fox

    Twisting of space, becomes saggy and science called that Dark Matter or stretched saggy space. The dips and lines relax and matter gets trapped creating gravity pockets. young Scotsman found this out a few years back 3 stage black hole. looks like he was right.

    March 1, 2013 at 1:13 am |
    • TheBob

      Literally everything you've said is nonsensical. A troll, I presume?

      March 1, 2013 at 1:26 am |
  15. GO_GOP

    I find this hilarious! Scientists (the we-know-all group) claim to know everything, but all they offer is something might have happened 60 million years ago, the light is just reaching us, the speed is 84% of Einstein's prediction blah blah. All based on a theory and as we all know, theory means the scientists themselves admit it cannot be proven. This is too funny. However, we also know the Bible has simple and trustworthy explanation of all that happened from creation to how man came about. You people choose to ignore all that and believe in the fiction (theory) that is science. I feel sorry for you

    March 1, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • JC

      You should look up what theory means regarding science...hint: it's not synonymous with hypothesis.

      Relativity and Gravity are "theories"

      Maybe you should accept that many people, including many Christians, regard the bible as a book of morals and not a history book, seeing how many of the stories in said bible are way more outlandish and unbelievable than any black hole "theory" could ever be

      March 1, 2013 at 1:20 am |
      • Carrie

        Right on!

        March 1, 2013 at 1:28 am |
      • docparadox

        Amem! Eh Hmmm.....

        March 1, 2013 at 1:34 am |
      • Bob Price

        Ummm, What "people" do you talk about, that are Christian?

        March 1, 2013 at 2:20 am |
    • Ryan

      How about looking up what "theory" actually means to a scientist before you go spouting off about it? It doesn't mean what you think it means.

      "A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment."

      It is not something scientists "can't prove" – in fact it's the closest thing science has to "proof". The reason it's called a "theory" is because scientists must always be open to new evidence (observable scientific evidence, not a 2000 year old book full of unsubstantiated and disproven claims about reality) altering their understanding.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:22 am |
      • bazooka

        close to, and actual proof isn't qite the same tho... no scientist has ever had proof about anything they cannot see or touch or hear... there is a book that has been written and is circulation today, but ppl fail to realize it,, we were created by a SUPER NATURAL being "GOD" he knows all and reveals some stuff as need to know.. but u ppl who who just have to live on what you can prove. Actually aren't living, because what have you proven? if its not in your presence or you haven't seen it or heard it or touched it?

        March 1, 2013 at 2:21 am |
      • Bob Price

        No, NO, NO,,,, theory is something that has been "ALMOST PROVEN",,,, almost proven because it has not yet been proved false. or as they say in science speak, cannot be proven false. but as we all know, science doesn't know!!!!!! They have theory, and as such, CANNOT BE PROVEN TRUE! AS FACT!!

        March 1, 2013 at 2:25 am |
      • Bob Price

        "closest thing science has to proof" aint good enough bub. I want "absolutely, positively, bet my daughters virginity on it" good!!!! and that was all explained in a book they call THE BIBLE> you go ahead and bet you younuns life on a maybe. I won't. no matter how you look at hypothesis and theory, it is still a maybe.

        March 1, 2013 at 2:33 am |
      • Andrew

        Well, yes, science typically requires the assumption of induction. Meaning that we assume something that we observed yesterday can be observed today.

        If we abandon that assumption, then scientists really can't "prove" anything. We can't even prove that if you jump off a building, you won't go flying up to space.

        HOWEVER, if you don't need absolute 100% certainty, I'd go with science each and every time. If you need 100% certainty, I'd suggest suicide, since you'll never be able to reach your standard.

        If I had to bet my daughter's virginity on "gravity exists" versus "gravity does not exist", while I agree science doesn't have things 100%, can't prove things absolutly true.... I'm still going to certainly place my faith on the discipline with consistant replicable trials, than on some 2000 year old book written by now dead old men in the desert.

        Cause while I can't say gravity exists with 100% certainty, I'm a LOT more certain gravity exists (hell, I'll go further and say "gravity exists as described in part by general relativity") than in the stories in your dusty old book.

        March 1, 2013 at 2:39 am |
      • D. K.

        Theory simply means "we think". How does that make a theory proof of anything? No argument here, just a sincere question,

        March 1, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • Andrew

      "Scientists (the we-know-all group) claim to know everything,"

      They do? Cause last I checked, if we knew everything, science would cease to be meaningful. I'm pretty sure it's the job of scientists to figure out that which we don't know. That means questions where scientists have studied we can probably trust their conclusions, but subjects scientists haven't studied, like the atmospheric composition of the third star on the first spine on Andromeda are currently unknown.

      Scientists are only experts on subjects they have researched. They only seem to know everything because most questions you can think of, you'll find scientists have studied the subject already, and hence know more than you about that question.

      That takes time and effort. You aren't willing to put that in, and hence, you just think scientists know all.

      "All based on a theory and as we all know, theory means the scientists themselves admit it cannot be proven."

      Yes, based on the kinds of theories that allow GPS satillites to work. You can actually measure gravitational redshift with a sufficiently well calibrated laser and a sufficiently tall building. You can therefore confirm many of the equations required to make these 'theories'. You could, if you really wanted, get your hands on a couple scintillator tubes, hook them up together, and start measuring muon flux in your scinitllators. You'd actually be able to determine how muon strikes there are on the ground and get a fairly decent measurement on the decay constant of the muon. (on the order of microseconds)

      You could even then launch a balloon to the upper atmosphere and measure muon flux up there. Then you can see the same data that scientists back in the 1950s (I believe) had, where they could show that muons reaching earth were a lot more than you'd expect based on muon flux in the upper atmosphere. This is explained PERFECTLY if you correct for time dilation effects, which means you require these 'theories' to be accurate.

      You can actually physically do these experiments. Hell, assuming you're willing to let the experiment run for a while, you could probably do it all for under 500 dollars.

      All of that to determine if the 'theories' are accurate or not.

      That requires a ton of work. It requires a ton of education. But if you're not willing to invest that kind of time, feel free to declare science as wrong 'just because'. Cause why study a subject when it's so much easier to just reject it entirely?

      March 1, 2013 at 1:22 am |
      • Carrie

        That's what you were taught in some right-wing religion. It isn't in the real world. Religious leaders are NOT scientists!

        March 1, 2013 at 1:30 am |
      • docparadox

        Bravo! Andrew

        March 1, 2013 at 1:31 am |
    • Talok

      People like you still exist? wow

      March 1, 2013 at 1:22 am |
      • docparadox

        Indeed they do, sadly.... GO GOP LOL and he's probably one of those that thinks dinosaur bones were planted by "God" to test our faith... I know at least 3 ppl like that. too funny, yet so sad

        March 1, 2013 at 1:28 am |
      • Carrie

        And that the earth is only 6,000 years old.

        March 1, 2013 at 1:39 am |
    • docparadox

      pipe down alice

      March 1, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • Jon

      ...and who do you know alive today that can prove the bible as we read it today is accurate and written by those we believe it to be written by? No more a theory than that of Einstein's. Religion is a joke created to control the masses. If you don't see that, than I feel sorry for you as you just another lamb in the heard of sheep.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • Carrie

      I feel sorry for you for not opening your eyes to reality. The Bible also says a lot of things that most of us would not think of doing on moral grounds – Solomon and all his wives; King David had one of his generals killed in battle so that he could marry his wife; King David had many wives; Lot's two daughters had their father sleep with them because of the lack of available men; Jacob's first son slept with his father's concubine; and then there is all the killing that went on.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:27 am |
      • Old Shoe

        Abraham was a liar. Jacob was a deceiver. Moses and David were murderers and most of Israels' kings were depraved degenerates. God included the misery, the blood and gore of peoples lives as examples of His forgiveness, not examples of how to live. The Bible calls Solomon the wisest man to ever live, yet Solomon in Ecclesiastes called his own wisdom "vanity" compared to God and proclaimed his own life a vapor in comparison to God. The overall message of the Bible is forgiveness and redemption. How better to illustrate forgiveness than by showing exactly what God forgave? Right now this world is experiencing the longest period of "Silence" from God, since God sent his Son to this Earth. Why is this so? Is it because God is waiting to see what decision we make about His son?

        March 1, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Rationalist

      "Trustworthy"? According to the Bible, the world is flat. If assume you find that "trustworthy" and believe it, which makes you a m0r0n. If you don't believe it, it makes you a fu king hypocrite.

      Your religion used to hold that the sun and the planets revolve around the earth. It used to burn people who said otherwise. Where exactly do you stand on that? What an idi0t.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:36 am |
    • Can't call it.

      I can't tell if you're trying to convince people that the GOP is full of ignorance with your choice in name, or if you're actually that dumb. Really can't call it.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:36 am |
    • Rob

      I feel sorry for you. Cause you and I are using something that was once a theory the Internet and of course electricity. Which was invented by man not quote a God unquote. Don't feel sorry for me and others like me. We really don't need it and truth be told if a man did die for my sins. Then I have nothing to worry about like the war is over. Black holes we know they are real.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:37 am |
    • sarto

      wheres the explanation of black holes in the bible?

      March 1, 2013 at 1:55 am |
    • DJ

      You're right on one assertion. Religion does offer a very simple explaination of the creation of the universe.
      I personally find it a little too simple for my reasoning.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:58 am |
    • glennrobert

      GO_GOP: You must be a tea party type to be that stupid!

      March 1, 2013 at 2:01 am |
    • Pat

      I feel sorry for the GOP, Mr. GO_GOP. But, you do make for some entertaining reading.

      March 1, 2013 at 6:15 am |
    • Alex Dumas

      ^Go GOP...who wrote the Bible, and when was it written?

      March 1, 2013 at 6:53 am |
    • heliocracy

      Scientists do not claim to know everything. That is entirely false. It's also very, very funny that you would call theories based on actual, observable evidence and repeatable experiments "fiction," while at the same time regarding a book of obvious fairy tales (which is full of propositions we know to be false) as truth.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Edcode

      "we also know the Bible has simple and trustworthy explanation of all that happened from creation to how man came about"
      So we all came about from Adam and Eve. As distasteful as it may sound, some incest must have gone on at the dawn of humanity. Since the laws of God never change then incest must be, well, legal.

      March 1, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • tron

      Your understanding and IQ is so low, it is impossible to see more than what a fairy tale book tells you. I feel sorry for you. With people like you and no science, the humanity would still be in the dark ages with stone tools. Next time when you or your kid is very sick, go to your priest, Rabi, imam etc to heal you. Don't go to a doctor who studied science !

      March 4, 2013 at 1:29 am |
  16. jac999

    Wait!!! Here's a question for all those armchair astronomers and real experts alike out there:
    Hypothetically, if there were a black hole that took 60 million years for the light from that galaxy to arrive to earth eyes, and if it happened to be making a beeline for the Milky Way all that time, and if it were... say... 15 million light years away by the time we saw the light from when it was 60 million light years away.... Does this mean we would now be seeing the same object... twice?

    March 1, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • Carrie

      The black hole is mot moving closer to earth. We have no idea what it looks like in real time.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:33 am |
    • Kevin in Atlanta

      No, you wouldn't see it twice, however you would notice a doppler effect on the light waves. Just like a train blowing it's horn has a different pitch if it is moving towards you than it does if it's moving away from you, light acts the same way. If you are able to measure light waves, you'll notice that the light from that galaxy that was 60 million light years away would have a reddish hue as it moves towards you. If it were moving away from you, it'd be blue (you probably wouldn't be able to detect this with the naked eye, but certain telescopes and instruments can),

      March 1, 2013 at 1:36 am |
      • Frumpy Flier Fillet

        Other way around. Towards us is blue, away from us is red. The expanding universe means larger red-shifts for farther objects–hence the push towards better and better infrared instruments...there is so much red-shift at the long distances that we want to look that the light that gets to us is no longer visible to the narrow range of the human eye.

        March 1, 2013 at 2:20 am |
      • liz

        You have reds and blues switched.

        March 1, 2013 at 2:24 am |
    • Andrew

      I'm not sure I fully understand the question. It seems you're asking "what if the light is 60 million lightyears away, but the object only 15 million lightyears away", but that requires the object going faster than the speed of light.

      I believe the question you meant to ask is more akin to "If the object is 60 million lightyears away, and moving near the speed of light towards us, is it possible that the object suddenly will appear out of nowhere?" to which the answer is a very soft "yes".

      We actually have a perfect example of this, only it doesn't require a sun appearing out of nowhere. Instead, it requires looking at the most difficult particle we can observe, the neutrino. Neutrinos have such small cross sections that it literally takes giant underground bunkers filled with incredibly dense marterials just to record individual neutrino strikes. Thus the only real way we get to observe neutrinos are if there are a lot of them.

      In our solar system one object produces a ton of neutrinos, the sun! Beta-decay after fusion in the sun produces a bunch of neutrinos (since beta decay is a weak force process). So we actually have a pretty solid idea of solar neutrino background, cause that's what we typically measure in neutrino labs.

      However every now and then we get giant neutrino flux's. A bunch of extra neutrinos usually means something special, a "supernova" somewhere. So typically whenever neutrino labs get a giant flux, they immediatly alert observitories as to the direction of the neutrino flux, since usually a couple hours afterwards, we see the burst of light.

      Why does this happen? Two reasons, because neutrinos travel at basically the speed of light, and second, because the release of neutrinos happens before the release of photons (Like I said, neutrinos have a very tiny cross section, so once they're produced, they pretty much continue on without being absorbed. Unlike photons, which in supernova are constantly absorbed and reemitted until they reach the end of the supernova and continue on forever. (That is, until we observe the phenomenon on earth).

      In that sense, it means that if you create an object 50 million lightyears away, and then shoot it towards earth at the speed of light... the light may arrive at earth alerting us to this star only a couple years before the star itself wipes us out. (After we see the first flash of light from that star, we will be able to continue to measure the redshift of the star and so we would know exactly when it'll collide.)

      Still, that's not likely a problem we'll ever face, but it is theoretically possible.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:40 am |
      • Edcode


        March 1, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Shane

      Only if it were moving faster than the speed of light, which its not It's spinning at 84% of the speed of light.

      We'd just get the doppler effect which would tell us that the object is approaching us rather than moving away from us. In your example, the object would have a blueshift, and if it were moving away from us it would have a redshift.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:08 am |
  17. Dave

    To those here who actually know some cosmic physics: Has anyone ever floated the idea that the "extra" mass of the universe, usually attributed to "dark matter", is instead accounted for by a very large number of ancient and very massive black holes that have eaten up their accretion disks and so are undetectable? Just wondering...

    March 1, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • James Foley

      I'm still wondering if the MOND formula can be applied to find that out.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • Ryan

      Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Hawking Radiation precludes this from being the case. Black holes essentially "evaporate" due to quantum fluctuations at the event horizon that allow some of the black hole's mass to escape.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • Carrie

      Google it. I believe I saw an article recently that scientists have discovered the missing matter.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • Nick

      As a student in astrophysics, I believe I am confident enough to answer your question. Black holes have been eliminated as possible criteria from being Dark Matter because:

      Dark matter exists throughout galaxies; from their centers to the edges and beyond. Imagine if these were spread out black holes everywhere!

      The types of super-massive stars that usually create black holes are not abundantly created enough to account for the total number of black holes needed to account for all this mass. For example, Andromeda (the next closest spiral galaxy to the Milky Way) has an estimated amount of dark matter equal to normal, everyday matter.

      Next, there are an estimated 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. The super-massive black hole at our center has about 4 million times the mass of our Sun (which is pretty average for a star). We would need a lot of black holes to account for this mass, and black holes we know of are very rare compared to average stars.

      Lastly, black holes bend light enormously. If they existed in between galaxies to account for the dark matter between galaxies, then the universe would look much different.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:41 am |
  18. Capone

    NGC 1365 is 60 million light years away and we can see it.

    Do you ever wonder if there is a planet in a solar system in NGC 1365 that has intelligent life, and that someone on that planet is looking through a telescope right now at the Milky Way galaxy wondering if there it contains life?

    March 1, 2013 at 12:39 am |
  19. whoizzit

    Einstein was born 14 years after the civil war was over and figured out these mind boggling Mathematical equations and theories on a black board. Can anyone imagine what he would have come up with if he had been born a hundred years later, and had access to the super computers of today?

    March 1, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • kevin

      Honey Boo Boo?

      March 1, 2013 at 12:46 am |
      • Jeff

        Kevin, you're such a disease.

        March 1, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • Major Tom

      Actually, Einstein had a great deal of help with the advanced mathematics that forms the framework for General Relativity. Specifically from Riemann, Lobachevsky and Bolyai on non-Euclidian geometry. Euclidian geometry doesn't get you very far in General Relativity.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:23 am |
      • Andrew

        Hey hey hey!!! What about Tullio Levi-Civita? Actually most of Einstein's work was really reformulation built by physicists before him. Hell, if you're going as far back as Riemann, I'd like to throw a nod to Hamilton as well.

        March 1, 2013 at 2:23 am |
  20. black hoe

    can eye ax you somethin?

    March 1, 2013 at 12:29 am |
  21. bettyboop33

    thank you spammerhater and fearless freep for leaving me ROFL:)

    March 1, 2013 at 12:25 am |
  22. volsocal

    Funny that Albert Einstein is mentioned in the headline on the main CNN page, but not in the article.

    March 1, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • pockets

      You mean like, that god didn't make them to kinda, you know, draw us all into it, like.

      March 1, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • Sam

      It's funny how you didn't read the entire article before you posted lol. You didn't even ready the top portion. if you did you would ahve seen this section
      "Astronomers found that the spin is at least 84% of the maximum value allowed by Einstein's general theory of relativity. In other words: Einstein was right, again."
      Now if you expected to see his name a million times lol then you are right lol. It wasn't about Him it was about the Blackhole!!!! 🙂

      March 1, 2013 at 12:28 am |
    • Epic Fail

      OK, you suffer from a failure of reading comprehension "Astronomers found that the spin is at least 84% of the maximum value allowed by Einstein's general theory of relativity. In other words: Einstein was right, again."

      March 1, 2013 at 12:35 am |
  23. Black Hole

    Respect my gravita !!

    March 1, 2013 at 12:09 am |
  24. Cal Newlan

    Now THAT's how you create buzz for a new blog. Remember, folks, that's Langkard, I expect you to "follow" my blog.

    March 1, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  25. virginia

    this looks a lot like the spin on the males back of their heads sometimes you can find two of this hairspins when the dude has a temper...most babies are born with this spin mark on their heads almost alway one disappears by the age of 3 or so some keep two for ever...

    the onther picture that looks like an angels or a human is the magnetic field protecting the earth it shapes a human head or what appears to be un angel...jsut saying - this black holes look alot like a twister created by winds and other forces...the twister here on earth do also desintegrat what ever fall into the meidle of it...

    February 28, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Larry

      Back to the kitchen you go. Now.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
  26. There is no god but the only God and his last messanger is Muhammad

    There is no god but the only God and his last messanger is Muhammad

    You know I feel so sorry for the atheists! They think they are so rational, smart and strong. Let me tell you something there is nothing rational about denying the power of God. They may have eyes but you can’t see, you may have ears but you can’t hear and certainly your hearts have hardened over the years more than stones and even from stones water can flow, at least that’s how it made it to earth in the first place. Don’t forget from what you have been made? Don’t forget that you were dead then you were brought to life and just like that you will be again? God put things in motion; he is the creator and the shaper and is capable of reverse engineering your sorry behind. No wonder the first verse in the Quran was “Read”.

    February 28, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • John

      There is no god. Period. And Muhammad was a pedophile.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
      • There is no god but the only God and his last messanger is Muhammad

        Mohammad was a feminist even in the 21 century standards. He gave woman the right to vote, inherit and fight 1400 years before America did. His first wife was a business woman 15 years older than him.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Keith

      Shut up weirdo.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • Andrew

      Personally I vastly prefer the line "there is no god, and Paul Dirac his his prophet." Incidentally, I'm also pretty sure I'd actually take Paul Dirac as a prophet well before I take Muhammad.

      That's more a statement of my priorities though. I guess Dirac was an idiot for rejecting god. Perhaps Feynman was too. But still, in an article about increasing our knowledge of physics... I'm going to side with the physicists over the theologians.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
      • There is no god but the only God and his last messanger is Muhammad

        Science is a great thing to acquire. Many scientists believe in God too. There is no contradiction between science and Islam. I can tell you the Quran mentioned many scientific facts 1400 years before they were discovered. Yes it's not a science book. Imagine the bedouins in the Arabian desert reading E = MC square and expect them to believe. Good luck with that! The Quran miracle lies in its ever expanding meaning of the same words! Tell me rationally what are the odds, to have a chapter called Iron in the Koran that talks how iron descended to earth (that's the death mark of a supernova as you know) and it happens that the verse number is Fe atomic number and the chapter number is Fe atomic weight mass. You could say it can happen? I think it’s one in a trillion chance but let’s say I give you that. When you look at other verses that talk about the creation of the universe, the big bang theory, the embryos development, the space fabric piercing stars, and many many others you can’t help but to reach one conclusion that this book is divine.

        March 1, 2013 at 12:14 am |
      • pockets

        We are not long out of the cave as evidenced by some of the posts in here....

        March 1, 2013 at 12:22 am |
      • Smokey

        What about Schroedinger? What about Oppenheimer? What about all the other physicists who were/are believers in the divine? It does not take a genius to recognize that modern physics and cosmology are getting closer and closer to describing what the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavadgita described millenia ago. Science is slowly crawling towards the point that religion reached long ago...but science, with its rigorous standards of proof, will not leave any room for deniability. When science proves the existence of God – and it will not be all that long before this happens – you will all look like shortsighted fools.

        March 1, 2013 at 12:37 am |
      • Andrew

        I really wish people without a physics education would stop talking about E=mc^2. Hell, I'm annoyed with that equation period. It's useless. It tells me almost nothing interesting because it assumes we're looking at a massive object at rest. In other words, it doesn't take advantage of what relativity is supposed to be entirely about.

        See giving the bedouins E=mc^2 would be uninteresting. They SHOULDN'T believe that. But, if I were a god, I certainly would have given them that "light travels at a constant speed". We already had enough geometry back during even ancient greek times to literally be able to derive most of special relativity with that one proposition alone.

        However that proposition required maxwell's equations. I can understand not giving bedouins Maxwell's equations explicitly written out, however perhaps some hints might have been appropriate. Maybe start by at least giving us an understanding of electricity being a 'flow', cause that idea didn't take hold until the 1500s-1600s. The idea that static shocks are caused by 'excess' and 'deficiency' in some concept (charge) was fundamental to advancing physics and electrodynamics.

        So 1500 years after god's second book before we get to learn one of the most fundamental aspects of our universe? And I'm supposed to be impressed by the knowledge in these books? Hell, I'd be more impressed your iron comparison if the Quran had mentioned anything about energy density. (Which is in particular what makes iron so interesting. You don't need a supernova for iron, but you need a supernova for everything above iron. It's the fission/fusion energy gain divide. Guess the Quran couldn't be all that special for teaching you about how iron is special if you don't actually know why iron is such an impressive element)

        I'm still going to say Paul Dirac and Richard Feynman kick the pants off Mohammud.

        March 1, 2013 at 1:53 am |
      • Andrew

        Smokey, I have no problem with them. In fact if you're a fan of your physicists, you might have recognized that line. It was Pauli talking to Dirac who said "there is no god, and Dirac is his prophet". Pauli was a notable catholic.

        There's also Lamatre who famously was also a catholic who indepdenatly derived the Friedman equations. (Slightly after Friedman did). There were plenty of religious scientists, but that's not what I was responding to.

        "let me tell you something there is nothing rational about denying the power of God."

        Yes, there existed religious physicists. But there have existed plenty of totally rational atheist physicists as well. And in terms of their discussions on philosophy, I have always preferred Feynman's brand of caustic anti-philosophic reductionism to Einstein's need for a perfectly ordered universe to fit his own concept of "God". After all, Einstein's biggest mistake was probably saying "god does not play dice with the universe". He may not have liked quantum physics, but it was real nonetheless.

        March 1, 2013 at 2:17 am |
    • Brian

      WHAt you are so far into left field my man.

      March 1, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Homer10

      Who the "F" cares?

      March 1, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • Mickey1313

      All thiests, without exception, are ignorant fools. And mohamad was a christian pedophile rap eist.

      March 1, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • glennrobert

      There is a God? There is no God? Neither concept is testable. So I am agnostic.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:16 am |
      • heliocracy

        So let me tell you about the Flying Spaghetti Monster...

        March 1, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Shane

      I've read the Bible, I've read the Koran,

      I believe they are some good stories, some of them have some decent moral values, but there is no evidence of a creator inside those books.

      And parts of the Bible and Koran have already been disproven. One of the biggest parts of both books, the Exodus likely never took place because there is no evidence in Egypt or on the route the Jews were supposed to have taken during the Exodus of their existence.

      Then we have Noah's flood, again while there is evidence of local floods, there is no credible evidence of a global flood. Believe what you want, I'm not going to tell you not to, but do not insult us just because we require evidence for our beliefs instead of blind faith.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:19 am |
      • JC

        There is no evidence because Raj took them through the Stargate, and the USAF has hidden it inside Cheyenne Mountain.

        March 1, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • Naaaaaa

      heheheheeeeee ...... idiot!

      March 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  27. Cal Newlan

    If Obama would push for more funding for basic research in physics and less for his gay butt buddies' various diseases, we would all be better off. Can I hear an "Amen!"?

    February 28, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Langkard

      The sad thing is that this guy thinks he's a Christian. Real Christians are bad enough, the fake ones are worse.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Johansen

      What if some of his butt buddies are also your butt buddies? Are you speaking for them?

      February 28, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        They are Langkard's butt buddies. He's a sassy gal.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • bettyboop33

      hmmmm...well you don't have to have a degree in physics or be a rocket scientist to understand that you sir are a BIGOT. I can give you an Amen if you would please just open up YOUR wee little mind. In the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., who described bigotry in the following quotation: "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract." Boop Boop Dee Doop!

      March 1, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Sam

      NO Amen here. If the Republicans stop making a big issue out of allowing gays to live their lives instead of trying to tell them how to live their lives, then Obama wouldn't have to protect their rights. Obama is protecting the Gays HUMAN and AMERICAN rights that people like you want to take them away but you cry like a baby when they want to take your right to own a gun. No I am not gay, I am married and have a son. I am far from being GAY. I just believe in equal rights to everyone. Obama is not the cause of spending money, it's the GOP that cause of why Obama have to spend money to defend Gay rights!! Maybe you need to reach down in your your heart and think about this...

      March 1, 2013 at 12:37 am |
  28. b4bigbang

    God's chosen people, the Jews, have revealed God to us by the Scriptures, and they're also revealing the Cosmos, as well as other areas of knowledge.
    Einstein is a star in a great constellation.

    February 28, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  29. cocteautwin

    why do I long to be part of that more than I love life itself? strange.

    February 28, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  30. krozar

    Wow, Sagittarius A* is getting clearer and clearer with this new technology and telescopes. I need to read up on my astronomy.

    February 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
  31. H

    Great Scott! Can you even imagine two Black Holes merging into one?

    February 28, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • Langkard

      Even more fun is imagining what happens when the Schwartzchild radii merge and how their combined spin as they orbited each other in an ever-smaller spiral would affect space-time around them.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
      • Andrew

        It's thinking about this that makes it so hard for me to picture two black holes merging together. I can't imagine how we'd be able to picture the two event horizons colliding, since each description has an observer's frame stop when something hits the event horizon.

        So what the hell happens when two collide? Do we never see another actually enter the event horizon? Or should I just be thankful that the lack of angular resolution makes it very difficult to ever answer that question?

        February 28, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Nick

      They generate what are called "gravitational waves." Things so crazy and complex my astrophysics teachers never expected us to do the math on them. There is, though, a very thorough wikipedia article on them, though.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:51 am |
  32. tarura

    Wait a minute ! Just a minute, please !

    If this black hole is 60 mln lightyears away, that means the light was traveling to us for the past 60 mln years.
    We are now seeing what was happening there 60 mln years ago

    And since this black hole is moving with the speed near to the speed of light, it could be very near by now.
    Just around the corner. Scary stuff.

    February 28, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Pat

      Spinning at near the speed of light not moving linearly at that speed

      February 28, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Langkard

      It is rotating at around 84% of the speed of light. It's motion relative to use is different. Since most galaxies are moving away from each other as the universe expands it is likely to be moving away from us.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • jim atmad

      The surface is rotating at nearly the speed of light.

      The center of the black hole's mass (the center of galaxy NGC 1365) is moving consistent with the universe's overall expansion, not racing toward us.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Fnordz

      No... it's SPINNING at that speed, not travelling through space at that speed. Big difference.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
    • MisterSnow

      even if it were moving toward us at 84% of light, we'd still have about 9.6 million years to go.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
      • Larry

        Which is to say pretty fu king soon. RUN!!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        February 28, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • jac999

      Wait!!! Hypothetically, if there were a black hole that took 60 million years for the light from that galaxy to arrive to earth eyes, and if it happened to be making a beeline for the Milky Way all that time, and if it were... say... 15 million light years away by the time we saw the light from when it was 60 million light years away.... Does this mean we would now be seeing the same object... twice?

      March 1, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • Shane

      Spinning near the speed of light.

      And we can use the doppler effect to determine if the black hole was moving towards or away from us. And if I'm not mistaken, that galaxy is moving away from us therefore it is no danger.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:21 am |
  33. elwood

    Sigh. Yet another CNN science post lacking accuracy.

    Unlike what the article states:"We still don't know how black holes came to be in the first place..."
    we know quite well how black holes form.
    They form from the deaths of rare high mass stars.
    There are several in our own galaxy: Cygnus X-1 and
    the supermassive black hole at the center of our own galaxy
    are amongst the most well known.
    I'd suggest a little refresher course in intro Astronomy 100 before you attempt to write another
    astronomy article.
    Or even 5 minutes spent using Google.
    Try out this web site:

    February 28, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • SB

      You're half right. Stellar-mass black holes like Cygnus X-1 are the crushed cores of massive stars that collapse on themselves and then explode at the end of their lives. But we don't yet have a clear picture of how the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies formed. The short version is similar; lots of mass compacted into relatively little space. But there's far too much mass in such a black hole to have been the core of any star, and it's not yet perfectly clear where/when the formation of the first generation of stars and the formation of the supermassive black holes overlap.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
    • TheBob

      Elizabeth Landau writes many of CNN's "science" articles. One thing that is consistent across all her articles is the major errors and the flat out wrong statements.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
      • Langkard

        Sadly, you are correct. She has a tendency to gloss over or entirely ignore salient facts. This isn't the first time that she has distorted quotes from articles in the journal Nature. The best course of action is to read the actual articles in the original sources when she links to them, as she did above, and skip the rest of her article. If the original source article isn't available (such as only on a premium/pay site), looking for other sources other than her is usually a good idea.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
      • Andrew

        She comes from a journalism background, not a science background, and especially not a physics background, so I tend to forgive her for glossed over details, I'm usually satisfied that she links to the actual peer reviewed paper.

        That's not really meant to be a slam against Elizabeth, that's more a reflection of science reporting in popular media in general. It's frequent you have scientific studies reported in the popular press by people with no scientific background, and incredibly rare to see papers reported by people with specific expertise in the subject being reported.

        If you're looking for that, you should be sticking to just Nature, Science, any of the APSs, etc. Phys. Rev. X is actually pretty cool.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Nick

      You should note that she's actually quoting an astronomer (kinda).

      But, regardless, she is right for super-massive black holes. We know how regular black holes are created, but the formation of such super-massive black holes is actually very hard to account for.

      In black hole astrophysics, there is something called the Eddington Limit. The equations show that our ~4 million solar mass super massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way is too large to have gained all its mass since the formation of the galaxy with the rate at which it can consume mass. There must have been some strange beginning or happening during its life that allowed it to form or get so massive that our science has not yet determined.

      March 2, 2013 at 4:12 am |
  34. dan

    there is a black hole right here in the US!!!!!! its in the white house!!!!!

    February 28, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • JamesFoley

      Impossible,your mom's never been to the white house

      February 28, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
  35. BigAl

    I don't understand Harrison's illustration, " would be turning around once every four minutes just to stand still."
    Can somebody say that in a better way?

    February 28, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Langkard

      The author of the article apparently left out the part about standing at one of the poles of the rotation. Thus, turning around every 4 minutes just to keep facing the same direction away from the black hole. Unless the person explaining it meant something entirely different and the author just failed completely.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
  36. There is no god but the only God and his last messanger is Muhammad

    Now If I say the Quran 1400 years ago talked about black holes, supernovas, space fabric piercing starts, iron element atomic weight and mass and refer to the verses many people will take that with a grain of salt (maybe a bag of salt). But I stumbled on a rare clip for Stephen Hawking (an atheist) saying the following "Allah Akbar, Ashhado an la elaha ella allah, wa anna mohammad rasoolo allah" which means “God is greater, I bear witness there is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger” ? ya, it's just a fabricated clip you would think. But before ALS completely took over Stephen’s ability to talk, he used to say exactly that over and over again as if Allah wanted it to be a sign. Google "Stephen Hawking Videos: When Hawking Was Talking " and hear it for yourself. The ironic part the translator translated it completely different, it was way easier to hear what I said above even for someone who knows nothing about Arabic than what the translator said. How is that a proof of God!

    February 28, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Cal Newlan

      There is no God but God, and Muhammad was gay.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
      • bencme

        Love that freedom of speech in the free world, saying thing like that is fine.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
      • Langkard

        This coming from someone who runs Cal Newlan Ministries. How very Christian of you to say Mohammad was gay. You really are quite a tool.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        Muhammad WAS gay. Lying about it certainly wouldn't be Christian. (Checking me out on the web, huh, Langturd? Creepy.)

        February 28, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
      • Langkard

        I was looking for other instances besides yours of the misuse of the non-word empirico-positivism and happened upon the only such misuse – yours, at the Cal Newlan Ministries website. Trust me when I say I didn't bother looking at your website. Your posts here and the evidence in the Google summation is more than enough to make me wish that retroactive abortion was legal.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        Langturd's an angry girl.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
      • Langkard

        You're just brimming with typical Christian hypocrisy, aren't you?

        February 28, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Langkard

      (With apologies to Lewis Black)

      Where does one go to get drugs that can make someone as delusional as this guy?

      February 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
      • dike

        That drug my friend is being a fanatic Muslim. Which will make you think like this and do atrocious in humane things. Only cure is to send these people to the black hole.. That is described in the last page of Quran.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
      • Langkard

        Actually, I find all religions to be just as fanatical. Christianity is no different from Islam when it comes to fanaticism and delusion. Consider the so-called witches burned at the stake, the Jews exterminated in pogroms long before the Holocaust, native tribes dismantled in North America and Australia so their children could be sent to "proper" Christian school, and many more. Religious belief breeds delusional fanaticism.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
      • There is no god but the only God and his last messanger is Muhammad

        You know I feel so sorry for the atheists! They think they are so rational, smart and strong. Let me tell you something there is nothing rational about denying the power of God. They may have eyes but you can’t see, you may have ears but you can’t hear and certainly your hearts have hardened over the years more than stones and even from stones water can flow, at least that’s how it made it to earth in the first place. Don’t forget from what you have been made? Don’t forget that you were dead then you were brought to life and just like that you will be again? God put things in motion; he is the creator and the shaper and is capable of reverse engineering your sorry behind. No wonder the first verse in the Quran was “Read”.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
      • Samson

        It is not drugs. This is more of a case of being born with a serious brain defect.

        March 1, 2013 at 12:11 am |
    • BigAl

      Is there a coherent thought in there, somewhere?
      I can't tell if you are pro-religion, pro-atheist, pro-christion, pro-islam or just high.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • TheBob

      There is no god. Period. And Muhammad was a pedophile.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • cynthia

      Evolution is the only messenger of G-d. There is no voice but the voice of Evolution. Agile, adaptive, spontaneous, continuously and iteratively self-improving, self-organizing, self-sustaining, self-inducing, self-learning percolating the survival of the fittest. G-d is the scrum master of the universe. And the Holy Sabbath is the only path of salvation in this dog-eat-dog universe – the Kanban regulator, ensuring the rest points necessary for process synchronization and flow optimization. Where Evolution is the Gevurah and the holy Sabbath the Chesed of the Sephirot.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
  37. Dan

    Don't ya just love it when they guesstimate stuff like they do. We're you there then or now? You look at a black hole 60 light years away, take some measurements, and say that some weird stuff happened 5 billion years ago like you saw it or something. Man, I wish I could be that sure of something. I do know a guy who lives under a bridge who says stuff like that.

    February 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • JamesFoley

      Actually Dan,if you were familiar with things like mathematics, trigonometry, and the half life of certain elements, you wouldn't be so ignorant or flippant of the findings. 🙂 Glad I could clear that up for ya 😉

      February 28, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
      • TheBob

        Likely a troll. Nobody is that stupid.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
      • JamesFoley

        True, but you'd be shocked to know just how many people actually agree with these trolls

        February 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Getting these theories and models correct is what makes things like GPS work accurately over a long time. Do you really think that your lack of understanding should be respected?

      February 28, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • Paul

      If you spend your life meticulously studying and taking measurements and discussing with colleges and being shown wrong and revising your hypothesis and retesting and experiments and sharing your data and repeating over and over and over again, then you, too, would be able to say with some certainty something about a black hole across the universe.

      Or, you can throw stones on the internet, and pretend your as smart as a dedicated astrophysicist.

      Either way, I guess.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • M

      Just because you are not smart enough to learn how to do the things they talk about in the article doesn't mean that other people are as dumb as you.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
      • JamesFoley

        wow,that reminded me of How to Train your Dragon..."Why do we have to learn about stuff? Why can't we just go kill the stuff the books tell us about?" ~Snotlout

        February 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Langkard

      You displayed your ignorance quite clearly in the post. If something is 60 million light years from away, then the things observed happening there took place 60 million years ago. The fact that you don't know this explains why you don't get anything in the article.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • AnonymousRex

      You do realize the same measurements and understanding that allow physicists to understand how these black holes evolve over billions of year are what allows the GPS in your car to work as well as it does.

      You should be ashamed of your ignorance, not proud of it.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
    • Fnordz

      There are no supermassive black holes 60 light years away. The closest one is at the center of our galaxy- 25,000 light years away. You're off by a factor of greater than 400.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
      • Andrew

        "Off by a factor of 400".

        I take it you're an engineer, and not an astronomer? (An astronomer would be content saying just 'two orders of magnitude off'. I only know engineers who would give constraints as tight as a factor of 400. 😛 )

        March 1, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • cynthia

      In semiconductors, my employers required us to make and record guesses. We have the academic theoretical guessing model but our applied-guessing model horrendously off the precision of the theoretical one. Sometimes I keep wondering when certain religious people say we should not trust in scientific theories because they are mere "theories".

      But they do not realise that the computers and machines they use, and on which their survival and livelihood depends, are built on bulwarks of "theories". And if they do not trust "theories" how could these esteemed fellow-humans unconscionably and recklessly trust those modern machines built by people like us who use "theories" to guess to achieve their proper functioning.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
  38. tony

    Excuse me stewardess, what exactly is a tad?

    February 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • Major Tom

      Airplane F T W !

      February 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
  39. ironman59

    First of all keep the religion/gawd carp out of the disucssion. This is a science story, not philosophy. What is most amazing isn't want the scientists confirmed rather that Einstein did all of this nearly 100 years ago. Without computers, without space telescopes, without a lot of sophisticated equipment. Yes, he was way wrong on a number of things but with each validation like this it is amazing how brilliant he actually was for his time or any time.

    February 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Cal Newlan

      Science, too, is philosophical, ironman. It's called "empirico-positivism."

      February 28, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
      • Langkard

        The word you're looking for is empirical-positivism, not empirico-positivism.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        No, Lankard, I'm correct. "Empirical-positivism"? LOL!

        February 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
      • Langkard

        No, you're entirely incorrect. Go look it up. "Empirico" doesn't exist, except in your own mind. If you Google "Empirico-positivism" only one example occurs. It is rather sad that the sole example of that usage occurs on a website called "Cal Newlan" Ministries, isn't it? At least you're quite blatant in your ignorance. I applaud your willingness to display your cluelessness in public; in much the same way as I would applaud a mentally handicapped person finally managing to get 1+1 = 3 after much study. It's truly heart-warming.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        Poor, ignorant Langkard. Look up "Philosophy of Science" and do some reading. You wouldn't know positivism from positive thinking.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
      • Langkard

        Positivism is a correct usage. Empirico-positivism is not even a word. Empirical positivism is a type of positivism, though. I'd give you the benefit of the doubt and just assume that you meant empirical, but you have entrenched yourself with it and misused the non-word previous to this. If you wish to discuss logical empiricism and positivism and the roots of the philosophy of science, then the least you can do is use words which actually exist. Making them up as you go along is not helpful, but also not entirely unexpected from a religious fanatic.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
      • James Foley

        Actually, Emperical positivism would be a philosophy that incorporates science into it's structure, but Emperical positivism isnt' the equivalent of science. A simple google search could clear that lil ignorance up for you 🙂

        February 28, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
      • Langkard

        It's a lost cause. This Cal Newlan twit is way deep into pro-Christian, anti-science delusion. His misunderstanding of science is obvious, but so is his misunderstanding of philosophy. As the great Richard Feynman said it, "Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds."

        February 28, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • hhh

      you are wrong because religion is right !! Praise the lord alleluia brother!! ;)0

      February 28, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • JamesFoley

      Actually science is NOT a philosophy. Science is the study of...philosophy is the speculation of along a set line of preferences

      February 28, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        No one said science is "a philosophy," only that it is philosophical. You don't suppose that the University of Minn. Studies in the Philosophy of Science is just a big waste of time do you?

        February 28, 2013 at 10:53 pm |
      • James Foley

        Science is NOT philosophical. Scientists can be however.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
  40. swirilling vortex of entropy

    Perhaps they are dynamos of creation\destruction, anchors to masses, and governors of galaxies.

    February 28, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • todd

      I don't see what studying black holes has anything to do with us. If those screw balls want more money for their research, they can go take a mop and mop some floors at night, pool all the money together and do it. Its waste of time and money to give them anything. None of that stuff will ever help us eat. They are talking like priests about religion. Same thing. God this god that, Black hole this black hole that. Not like we will ever see one, or be next to one.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
      • TheBob

        People like you should be cared for the way mushrooms are: kept in the dark and fed cow manure. It's a shame thought that your contribution to humanity doesn't reach that of mushrooms. But it may be something you can aspire to. Try to be as useful as a mushroom.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
      • bmurdoc

        You sir, are a waste of time

        February 28, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
      • Fr33th1nk3r

        You are a moron.

        Pure research has lead to most of the innovations you use and take for granted on a daily basis. Studying the awesome forces that power blackholes and the cosmos around us gives us a better understanding of the nature of the universe, which in turn leads to game-changing scientific innovations.

        Do you think they were actually looking to invent the cellphone? No, it is an innovation based on research and lessons learned while investigating other lines of technology.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
      • Mark Shadows

        Are you kidding me? The possibilities of technological advancements, of the safety of our imminent galaxy, all can be derived from studying those black holes. Think of how energy is released after absorbing any matter, whatsoever. Maybe it will help us find a new way to get the shallow minded off of burning dinosaur poop.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
      • arduino

        That's a pretty ignorant view point. We don't need anything but food and water to survive. To have a civilized and advanced society, we need science and discovery. The moment we stop funding exploration and knowledge advancement, is the moment we will relapse into a 2nd and 3rd world country. Just because you are ignorant of the sciences does not mean they are not important and fundamental to society.
        Studying black holes does impact us. To put it simply, if we understand what happens inside a black hole, we will find a unifying theory of everything. This would have huge implications for human advancement. It may take a while to implement this new knowledge for its benefits to reach the general populous, but then again, what major discoveries don't?

        February 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
      • Data

        The reason you have a computer to type on is because some people looked up at the sky in wonder and asked the question "why?". Computers work based on the principles of quantum mechanics, a priceless piece of empirical wonder discovered by people who simply wanted to peak behind the cosmic curtains. That being said, I would gladly relinquish some of my tax dollars to learn more about the universe we live in, regardless of the terrestrial implications.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
      • Charles

        Somebody had to invent that time machine that brought you from the dark ages.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • Timetraveler

      Uh, no. There are no "governors of galaxies". Just galaxies.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
  41. Crocker

    How do we even know it is still in existence since it takes 60 million light years for the light to reach us? It could be long gone and we won't know about it for millions of years.

    February 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • John

      What does that have to do with anything?

      February 28, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
      • Norman

        What does that have to do with anything?! I've been asking the same question. Can anybody prove that objects tens or even hundreds of millions of years away still exists?

        February 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Why does it matter if it still exists or not– as long as there is another 60 million years worth of "recorded data" on its way to earth for us to study?

      February 28, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
      • Crocker

        We won't be around long enough to find out.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Shane

      You're right, but I fail to see why that would matter.

      The likelihood of a Supermassive Black hold disappearing is pretty low though.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:26 am |
  42. Cal Newlan

    "Black holes" and general relativity are explained quite well in Genesis–for those with eyes to see.

    February 28, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
    • TheBob

      You know, when you leave your prime spot at the busy intersection where you were standing with a cardboard sign hanging off your neck that reads "Repent! The End is Near", some other loser is likely move in and take it. Or maybe you figured you sold enough pencils for the day and can call it quits till tomorrow?

      February 28, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        Jesus loves you. But He does not love your poor punctuation. Place the comma inside of the right quotation mark, please.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
      • Seansa

        Sorry Cal, the only sentence in your retort that is grammatically correct is the first one. Pick at substance, not grammar.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
      • Langkard

        The sentence structure you needed there was "Jesus loves you, but he does not love poor punctuation." If you're going to criticize someone's punctuation, then it is a good idea to make sure your own punctuation is proper. "But" is a coordinating conjunction connecting the first sentence with the second and should thus have been separated with a comma. A semi-colon would also have worked.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Oh, you mean the "firmament", which consists of a huge tent pulled over the "dome of the earth" (harkening back to the days of the Bible's flat earth) with little holes poked in it so light shines through and we think they are stars? Are we talking about the same "Genesis" that claims the universe came into existence in 6000 years (laughable– there are cultures on earth whose written history goes farther back than that)?

      February 28, 2013 at 10:22 pm |
    • bmurdoc

      How can a person be so ignorant?

      February 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
      • Cal Newlan

        You're the one responding to a troll.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Ruby Long

      Ageed, it is there but most refuse to see.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • glennrobert

      Genesis explains nothing!

      March 1, 2013 at 2:38 am |
  43. generichost

    So, what ever galaxy you happen to live in, you are basically black hole food 'on a timer' spinning closer every day towards the event horizon.

    ~pass the popcorn and wait for the movie to start~

    February 28, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Ralter

      No, not really. You can orbit a black hole just like any other star of the same mass and not be "dragged in" at all. It's only when things get too close and the tug of gravity on one side is far greater than the tug of gravity on the other side of the object is when things start to go very very bad.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
  44. Uncle Hank

    It's a common belief that gravity prohibits light escaping black holes. Light, photons, have no mass. They are unaffected by gravity. The event horizon is where space is bent back on itself, returning the photons inward. Gravity has nothing to do with it.

    February 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Brian

      No. Gravity does affect light. It also gets bent as it passes large objects.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • Mark Hooper

      Ahem. Sorry, photons have no REST mass. They do indeed have momentum and are affected by gravity. The experiments performed measuring the change in the trajectory of light passing close to stars was the proof of Einstein's General Relativity theory.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
    • ajk68

      Uncle Hank, the bending of space is gravity.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • bob

      Gravity warps the space time fabric and things "fall" around objects. If they do not have enough momentum, then they spiral on in to the gravitating object's surface. There is no "action at a distance distance" with gravity. I think that this is where the op is getting that gravity doesn't affect light, but warps the space so that it travels back in. By his view, he is right. Gravity doesn't really act "on" any abject itself. Rather, it warps the space time fabric so that objects "roll" or "fall" toward each other.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
      • bob

        I should point out, however, That Uncle Hank is very wrong in saying that "gravity has nothing to do with it". BTW, my post should have read " action at a distance". Not two distances.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
  45. PC

    Pardon me, but it's an African-American hole. Thank you.

    February 28, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • bgg1175

      Maybe to you but Quentin Tarantino calls them the "N-word Hole!"

      February 28, 2013 at 9:32 pm |
  46. sharath

    He got the behavior right, just the understanding what is and what is going on is way off. There is not such thing as twisting time, time is not a bendable dimension. If your theory states that time can be bent, well it time to go back to the drawing board to rethink the theory from "SCRATCH".

    February 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • Andrew

      "He got the behavior right, just the understanding what is and what is going on is way off. There is not such thing as twisting time, time is not a bendable dimension. If your theory states that time can be bent, well it time to go back to the drawing board to rethink the theory from "SCRATCH"."

      So what you're saying is we need to readjust all of General Relativity "from scratch"? Cause it's not only time that "bends", space bends too. (Space behaves mostly the same way as time, except that they are orthagonal to each other)

      I suggest you google the phrase "gravitational lensing". Since light is forced to travel on a very particular pathway through spacetime (invariant interval I=0... which is basically like saying that light always covers the exact same distance through spacetime in the exact same time.) it is succeptible to being "bent" literally by having a giant mass distort spacetime around the light path. The path light typically takes is distorted by the mass, so it tends to distort, and hence we observe the phenomenon known as "gravitational lensing".

      You can actually even observe gravitational redshift with a sufficiently well calibrated lazer at the top of a sufficiently large building. People have done it before, use the height of the bilding and the incredible precision we can generate lazers with to be able to determine a change in frequency at the bottom, caused purely by gravity.

      All of these require first and foremost that general relativity be accurate. They require space-time behave exactly as this article above describes.

      Time can be bent just like any of the three spacial dimensions. I'm sorry but your intuition is not strong enough for me to abandon the past nearly 100 years of research and evidence supporting general relativity.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
      • Jason

        lazer is actually laser or rather light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, just a factoid to further validate your claims

        February 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Lokari

      Let's see... believe a professional astrophysicist, or some random poster on the net. Hmmm. Tough call.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • Ralter

      You forgot that the big idea from Einstein is that space and time are not separate from each other. So yes, time is being warped, pretty badly even. If you got into a low orbit around a black hole, you'll go into the future. If the black hole is spinning near light speed, the effects are even worse. He even came up with a time-travel idea using wormholes and relativistic speeds.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
  47. Andrew

    Thank you Landau!!! I always appreciate it when you remember to link the actual paper that was submitted. I hate when I have to track down the source from just author and the name of the journal, worse still when it's just author and publishing date.

    February 28, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  48. JamesFoley

    This article reminds me of The Modified Newtonian Dynamics theory. I wonder if there is a connection? Anyone have an answer?

    February 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • lolwut


      February 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
      • JamesFoley

        google it

        February 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • Will Terman

      Doesn't seem to have anything to do with MOND, which hypothesizes a change in the force of gravity at galactic scales and beyond. MOND attempts to account for the flat rotation curve of stars about the galactic center by tweaking the force of gravity instead of positing the existence of some as yet undetected "dark" matter.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
      • James Foley

        So then can the MOND formula be applied to black hole gravitational pull as it's gravity applies to a cosmos? Can MOND be applied to our own galaxy's central black hole for example? And then the results expanded to include other nearby galaxies?

        March 1, 2013 at 12:56 am |
      • Will Terman

        @James: The "tweak" I mentioned re MOND theory, involves a proposed new constant, a(0), that would adjust the actual acceleration experienced by a body far from the galactic center of mass. Its value is 1.2 x 10^-12 m/s/s, which is very small relative to typical accelerations on the scale of our solar system. When compared to the huge accelerations involved with black holes, it is even more insignificant. See

        March 1, 2013 at 2:10 am |
  49. Major Tom

    Shoddy reporting again, Elizabeth Landau:

    "[...] not even light can escape the enormous gravitational pull. Still, they are some of the brightest objects in the universe [...]"

    You didn't notice that you contradict yourself in two adjacent sentences? Or did you realize it and just said "ah the f* with it"?

    Black hole are in fact "black" because not even light can escape from them. It's the rim of the black hole's event horizon that is bright.

    February 28, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • David Nelson

      In your hurry to point out an error you missed the part where the article is actually correct.

      Unless you are just trying to be a jerk and intentionally overlook the material that is swirling around the black hole just beyond the event horizon.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
      • Major Tom

        In your hurry to post a comment you missed the part where I say "it's the rim of the black hole's event horizon that is bright". The rim of the event horizon is not the black hole.

        February 28, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
      • Andrew

        "The rim of the event horizon is not the black hole".

        Honestly I find this to be splitting hairs. Yes, light cannot escape, but if we're looking for a black hole, as she said, we are looking for among the brightest objects we can find, not the dimmest. Yes technically the brightness is "right outside the event horizon" but considering you couldn't fit a hair in between the distance between the high energetic 'rim' and the event horizon itself, I mean 'splitting hairs' in as most literal a sense as possible.

        February 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
      • Major Tom

        You're obviously not familiar with the precision of the discipline called "physics". It's a little different from say, cooking, or sports, or fashion, where you can arbitrarily mix and match things and call it good. There is the black hole, and there is the glowing stuff orbiting around it. And the two are not one and the same. In fact, there is typically a distance of millions to thousands of millions of miles between the two. If you think that's "splitting hairs", you really shouldn't be commenting on science articles. At all.

        February 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
      • Hobo to Science

        A black hole and all the parts of the black hole, from the event horizon to the outer rim of the event horizen make up a black hole. So like a toilet, from the bowl to the water in the bowl to "other objects" in the bowl can't excape the black hole, its all the same.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
      • Major Tom

        @Hobo – I'll try to water it down to your level. When you go to Home Depot to buy a toilet, does it come with the water and the "other objects inside it"? If you don't know the answer, visit your local Home Depot or any favorite home supplies store. Hope that gets the point across.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
      • drjrf

        " millions to thousands of millions of miles between the two. If you think that's "splitting hairs", you really shouldn't be commenting on science articles. At all."

        In terms of space, considering its rather large size, one could argue that extremely small distances is splitting hairs?
        Are Saturn's rings considered part of Saturn?

        March 1, 2013 at 1:28 am |
      • Andrew

        "You're obviously not familiar with the precision of the discipline called "physics"?

        I'm not? Cause I've taken a number of physics classes and I'm pretty sure most of my professors would likewise agree that was splitting hairs. Remember physics is the discipline that inspires jokes along the lines of "consider a spherical cow", and intuition is to think in terms of orders of magnitude. When we start talking about arbitarily small boundary conditions, yes, in my experiance studying physics, that is where being overly pedantic can start.

        It's a precise subject, but between the high energy "rim" and the physical event horizon, there is an infiniticimal difference in distance, which makes calling them the same seem fairly reasonable.

        This is also the subject where Fred Hoyle's "big bang" statement became the de facto name for an exapanding universe model. Physicists aren't so concerned with tiny lexicon details so much as they are quantifing uncertainty in data.

        March 1, 2013 at 2:53 am |
    • Rob

      More like Major Hole...

      February 28, 2013 at 9:41 pm |
    • Jayson

      It's "bright" because of the radiation it admits, not because of light that can escape it. Reread the article and maybe google Hawking Radiation. Black holes do emit radiation, and a TON of it. I'll quote for you the part of the article that mentions this:

      "Still, they are some of the brightest objects in the universe because of the massive amounts of energy released when matter gets eaten by a black hole."

      February 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
      • Major Tom

        Distinguish between the light *emitted* (not "admitted") from objects getting sucked into the black hole, which is due to violent , high energy collisions at the rim of the event horizon, and Hawking radiation. The two have NOTHING to do with one another. Hawking radiation is due to quantum effects. It's not even visible light.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Jason

      This was already touched on but it needs to be addressed again. Black Holes do emit light, it just isn't light on the visible wavelengths. So not only is the rim of the Black Hole bright with visible light, but the actual mass in the central part leading to the singularity emits non-visible light such as X-Rays and Gamma rays. The article would then be correct depending on what way you view the Black Hole. So Major Tom, just because it isn't visible light doesn't mean it isn't light.

      March 1, 2013 at 12:36 am |
  50. Lew

    Eat at McDonald's ©

    February 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
  51. lolwut

    If Jesus had wanted us to know what was in a black hole, he would have told us when he wrote the Bible!

    February 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • phazon

      To bad Jesus didn't pen the bible it was men under the direction of God the father of Jesus.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • John

      If the tooth fairy had wanted you to run your mouth he would have given you a good punch to get it started.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • oldesalt

      So our intelectual ability to answer these questions must have been given to us by Satan.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
      • toothball

        Praise Satan and his sinful science.

        March 1, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  52. buuubbba

    where does santa fall in to all of this?

    February 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • TheBob

      Into the chimney. As always.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  53. dotheflippin'math

    First of all, it's not an empty "hole." It's the exact opposite. It is so full of matter and energy that it creates a gravitational "sink-hole." You don't go through a black hole, you become a part of it...only it takes infinite time to reach it...go figure. The light and energy that is emitted comes from the edge of the event horizon (awesome movie, BTW). As matter falls into the event horizon, some of it explodes outwards, away from the black hole. Once you venture inside the event horizon, you don't come back out, even if you're a photon. We observe the black holes by their energy emissions (at the event horizon), bent light/energy waves that are affected by its gravity, and its pull on other visible space objects. Galaxies would fly apart without them. It's a Catch-22. No need to lose any sleep over them. There aren't any even remotely close, not even the one at the center of our own galaxy (the Milky, not the candy bar).

    February 28, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • FireLikeIYa

      Thanks for your contribution. People like you make the world a better place for all.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • TheBob

      "...only it takes infinite time to reach it..."? Who told you that?

      You really need to learn physics by attending a university, not from cartoons and CNN.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • Brian

      If I understand the astrophysics correctly, it only appears to take forever for something falling into a black hole from the reference of an observer outside of the event horizon. From the reference of the thing falling into the black hole, I'm not sure what to make of that.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
      • Andrew

        You are correct. Fully.

        February 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • elissa jung


      February 28, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
      • sqeptiq

        Congress IS one.

        February 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Andrew

      "Only it takes infinite time to reach there".

      Ah, the beauty of people playing armchair physicist. If I wanted to be pedantic, I'd say such a line has no meaning in context... but for most general purposes, 'you're wrong' is sufficient.

      The reason has to do with the nature of spacetime and relativity. You measure time according to a "reference frame", now for everything in your own referance frame time is moving at the normal rate you've always experianced it moving in.

      This is known as the object's frame (or your own frame) by which you can define as exhibing "proper time". Now the thing about "proper time" is that it's shortest in your own frame. Once you examine your timeline from a different frame of reference (like a person looking in on an object entering a black hole) you then get to apply a time dilation corrective factors.

      From there it implies that on a black hole's event horizon, if you're being sucked in, you'd be sucked in perfectly normally, as though nothing were happening. You'd cross the event horizon in your own time and other than being flatened, stretched, and burned to a crisp, you'd be fine.

      It's only from the observer looking in that things are different. To them, you'd appear moving slower and slower until you finally stop at the event horizon. That's the difference between a dialated time and a proper time... but to the individual being sucked in, things procede normally.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
      • DarthChip

        Ah, the arrogance of those who "think" they're smarter than everyone else.

        "Only it takes infinite time to reach there"

        This is not wrong, as you assert, but absolutely corect. Now, you got it right when you say they will appear to go slower and slower until they stop. But they just "appear" to stop. In fact, from the observers standpoint, they're moving imperceptibly slow. They're still moving closer, though, and will continue to do so for all eternity.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
      • HappyBottomRidingClub

        LOL. He said "Pandantic"

        March 1, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • BMainski

      Referencing Poplawski notes, it is possible for spinning, compressed matter to expand beyond the other end of a black hole even causing the creation of other universes. The big bang has many unsolved questions and Poplawski may be on to something helping to answer some these questions. Big bang suggests that the universe began as a seemingly impossible “singularity,” an infinitely small point containing an infinitely high concentration of matter, expanding in size to what we observe today. The theory of inflation, a super-fast expansion of space proposed in recent decades, fills in many important details, such as why slight lumps in the concentration of matter in the early universe coalesced into large celestial bodies such as galaxies and clusters of galaxies.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
  54. cati adamson

    Jacob. I see what you mean... Edna`s st0rry is impressive... on tuesday I bought a top of the range Lancia Straton since getting a check for $6965 this-last/five weeks and even more than ten-grand last-munth. this is really the best job I've ever done. I actually started 10-months ago and right away started making a cool at least $85 per/hr. I went to this site.......... BIT40.ℂOℳ

    February 28, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  55. Tinaz

    I must be living near a black hole because I feel I'm turning around every 4 min. every day & I still seem to be standing still.

    February 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • BMainski

      No, you're just living too close to a meth lab.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  56. nate

    i think its cool

    February 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  57. dotheflippin'math

    To dcoke and all the other amateur physicists/professional idiots, unless you can do the math, I would stop guessing. I don't understand the author's analogy about the man turning to stay in the same place, and judging by his lack of explanation, neither did he. The recent finding that the universe is unstable, and will eventually fall apart into a new dimension is reassuring. Logic says the entire universe (including "other universes" and/or dimensions that we cannot observe) cannot have a finite existence. If there is a god, where does he/she/it exist? There must be something that exists outside our known universe. Maybe our whole universe is just a marble in some next-dimension's kid's toy box. All that dark matter and dark energy is probably the duct tape and gummy-tack holding our universe together.

    February 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • ricdesan

      Just mention the imminently logical metaverse hypothesis and go about your business. Its the only thing that seems to hold up the more we discover with concrete results. Hell, it makes perfect sense that black holes bust holes in our reality to create big bangs in quatum states outside our universe.

      How do you think we began?

      February 28, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • enuftrashtalk


      March 1, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  58. Tychi

    If a star dies then how does a black hole die?

    February 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Lynn

      After there is no more matter for them to digest, they enventually evaporate via "Hawking Radiation" .

      February 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Me

      They evaporate! Read "a Brief History of Time"

      February 28, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
  59. Esu Miwa

    Leroy, Dcoke and Others:

    How do we know
    1) There is a blackhole at the center of our galaxy:
    Observations across time. Took 5 years of observations to capture the evidence of a blackhole at the center of our galaxy by plotting the orbits of fast moving stars at our galactic core.
    2) Gravity can escape a blackhole:
    No, a blackhole IS gravity. The Gravity that is pulling/holding a star together eventually wins against the energy created that is pushing outwards from the center of a star. The star is no longer producing enough energy to fight against gravity pulling at the substance of the star taht it collapses on itself
    3) Blackholes destroy everything
    A blackhole is everything collapsed into a single point of infinite density. The matter/energy is still there, just infinitely small and dense. Its not lost or destroyed.
    4) An artists paints the blackhole and NASA says its a real object.
    Really? REALLLY?

    February 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • David

      I like the idea of curvature as a description of gravity a lot better than graviton particles. When they come up in calculations we are supposed to find them in nature or by experiment. It sounds like a contradiction that a Graviton particle could move faster than light which is what the escape from the Schwartzschild radius would mean. Physics is still incomplete and I look forward to future discovery.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • BMainski

      You’re just identifying assumptions without applying the facts.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • enuftrashtalk

      Have you ever seen a virus ?

      March 1, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  60. Esu Miwa

    "How does energye come from a black hole"

    Well, from what I understand, the energy and matetr we can detect doesnot emerge form the event horizon or the infinite point of density.

    Rather, at the Event Horizon matter and energy are coliding with each other at near light speed which causes heating/friction/collisions producing even more emergent energy. But it is not created or emergent from the blackhole or its point of infinite density. Its coming from the stuff that isnt fallinf toward the black whole, into the area of no return, but rather the stuff that is literally in orbit around the black hole and the event horizon.

    February 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • I'm The Best

      There is also Hawking radiation that comes from a black hole, although not nearly as much as from the stuff falling into it. It's how black holes eventually lose mass. This happens so slowly that a black hole that started at the beginning of the universe wouldn't be much smaller now than it was then. But it's from the massive amount of energy that is around the black hole, particle/anti-particle pairs pop into existance at this high energy, ocasionally, instead of annihalating each other like they usually do, one of the two fall into the black hole and the other one escapes.

      So even a black hole that isn't destroying things is giving off some sort of radiation, not enough for us to detect though. The heat and friction of the mass falling into black holes is the cause of all the radiation we see.

      February 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
      • Esu Miwa

        I was responding to the question of "how can energy escape a blackhole if light cannot even escape".

        As to the theory of Hawking Radiation, to my limited knpowledge, we do not have physical evidence of hawking radiatipon yet, its a mathematical theory at the moment,.

        The articale is pointing tophysical evidence supporting/proving a theory about the affect and effect of a blackhole.

        However, the decomposition of an elementary hawking particle is not intrinisnct to the function of the blackhole but ratehr to the UNiverse itself. Or, in a better statement, the hawking radiotion is not created BY the blackhole but a result ofv the blackhole. Where as Light is created by a star itself thru th e fusion of atoms.

        Of course, I do not completely claim any authoratative understanding of Hawkings, or Tuarek or any other physcicsts theiory, theory on blackholes. =)

        February 28, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  61. Esu Miwa

    So, not a physicist, but read and try to understand what I can.

    1) A black hole is a single point of infinite mass that, by "pulling" the fabric of the Universe (Space-Time), alters both the flow of Space and Time around the infinite point of gravity.
    2) A black hole influences all of the fabric of teh Universe – Space-Time – around to a certain distance to a point where any matter/energy will definately fall "towards" the infinite point or not fall "towards" the point of infinite density. This is the Event Horizon.
    3) To visualize this, an artist piants the concept as an area with no color – no information about the Universe (Space-Time) can be percieved as it is falling "toward" the infinite density point but surrounded by information about the Universe that has not fallen "toward" the infintie density point.
    4) SInce the infinite density and its resultant sphere of influence from the Event Horizon is a sphere – a three dimensional object formed by all the gravitational force being applied equally across its surfece – and it si rotating in space time, the force of its spinning litterally grabs at the fabric of teh Universe( Space-time) and twists its. A visual way to graasp this is to grab a pice fo cloth between two fingers – that is teh pioint of infinite density – and then twist the fabric. Thus, in order to "stand still" at the edge of the event horizon, you would have to turn – or better twist against the direction of the fabnric of space time so as to remin in one direction/facing a given direction by turning 1 rotation of spce in 4 minutes of time. This can be visualized by our moon: it orbits fast enough to keep one side facing the earth!
    5) Black holes merge with other black holes
    6)Black holes continue to grow simply by drawng in more and more mass. Remeber that noihing can be destroyed: its either converted to mass or to energy, so anything falling toward the point of infinite density adds to the total sum of the infinite density. 14 billion years is a lot of time to lioterally gain weight!

    Big post, excuse the typoes/spelling and punctuation...thanks.

    February 28, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • David

      Thank You!

      February 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Major Tom

      1: Wrong. NOT infinite mass. Nothing in the universe is infinite.
      2: Wrong. NOT infinite gravity. Nothing in the universe is infinite.
      4: Wrong. NOT infinite density. Nothing in the universe is infinite.

      Too many other wrong statements.

      You need to understand the difference between "very large" and "infinite". If a black hole had infinite mass and gravity, the entire universe would have collapsed into it.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
      • Pat

        Major Tom – Wrong

        Any mass greater then zero that is in an infinitely small space has infinite density.

        For someone who likes correcting other you should think things though before posting

        February 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
      • MisterSnow

        calculus much? In this case, as in most layman oriented translations of physics, "infinity" is shorthand for "approaching infinity" which is correct from our local perspective. Something with a density that has exponents upon exponents might as well be infinite to something with the density of a human. (but maybe not the density of a human mind)

        February 28, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
      • TheBob

        Obviously neither of you really know what "infinity" is. Or for that matter have any familiarity with basic mathematics.

        Think of the largest number you can imagine. Now raise it to the power of itself. Now raise the result to the power of that result. Now do that for the next 24 hours. Take THAT result and raise it to the power of itself. Keep doing that for a year. Is that "infinity"? No. Is that anywhere near infinity? No.

        Major Tom is right. Nothing in the universe is infinite. Infinity exists only in mathematics.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
      • MisterSnow

        Well, TheBob proves my last point without ever having taken calculus. Seems he only likes the math philosophy idea of infinity. See, in basic calculus, we learn that once an ever increasing number exits our observational limit, it is said to be "approaching infinity." Here is some proof, depending on his age bracket, that we need more money for college students, or more prescription coverage in medicare.

        March 1, 2013 at 12:11 am |
      • TheBob

        @MisterMoron – Where exactly did you learn your version of "calculus"? Somewhere in Kansas perhaps? The state that prohibits teaching of science and once declared pi to be 3.0 by decree?

        Real calculus says nothing about "observational limits". You need to demand a full refund from whatever for-profit "school" you attended. Try attending a real school. You may have to move hundreds of miles from the backwater you live now, but it'll be well worth it. "Observational limits". LOL!!!

        March 1, 2013 at 12:46 am |
      • enuftrashtalk

        You guys could go on through infinity. Except, no one knows what that is . . .

        March 1, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  62. lasermetrologist

    How does the energy coming out of the black hole escape it's gravitational pull if light can't even escape? I'm not being sarcastic, I'd really like to know. If anyone on here has a good understanding of black holes and the physics that make them work, please explain it to me.

    February 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Buck Rogers

      Here's how the physics of black holes work:

      1) Scientist makes up idea of black hole.
      2) NASA hires starving artist to create an 'image' of imagined black hole.
      3) Light from alleged black hole illuminates computer screen.

      Any questions?

      February 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
      • Sy2502

        There's these imaginary things called "books". Crack one open once in a while. It may save you from posting embarrassingly stupid posts online.

        February 28, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
      • Pat

        And math is all made up too. You know that math that is used in all technologies today like that fancy new fangled light box with keys you type on to post here. That same math shows that re-entry is possible giving the proper materials and geometries to mitigate the heat generated. Your unintelligent arguments are just silly at this point.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
      • enuftrashtalk

        Yes, how did you learn to string all those words together like that?

        March 1, 2013 at 9:28 am |
      • Sugar

        Get back into your strait jacket, dude. Geez!! I'm surprised you're allowed to use a computer.

        March 1, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Gilad

      Hawking radiation

      February 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • ajz

      because its just a "make believe" story from papa NASA/media

      February 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • CA Liberal

      In a black hole below the event horizon nothing can escape. The huge energy comes from above the event horizon. Matter is being torn apart by the gravity and sends most of it's energy outwards.

      February 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • Saltydog01

      @lasermetrologist –
      Black holes earned their moniker because inside a certain radius,
      known as the event horizon, nothing escapes – not even light.

      Uncertainty principle
      Or so it seemed. Then in 1974 Hawking showed that, according to quantum theory, black holes should emit radiation after all. This is a consequence of the uncertainty principle, which says we can never be sure that an apparent vacuum is truly empty and, instead, that virtual particles are constantly appearing in pairs. These couples, made of a particle and its antimatter counterpart, rapidly annihilate and vanish again, so normally go unnoticed.

      However, if a pair of photons pops up right at the event horizon, they may find themselves on different sides, with one flying free outside and the other trapped forever within. This prevents them from merging and vanishing, so the outside photon is effectively emitted by the black hole (see diagram, above right).

      Hawking predicted black holes should give off a steady stream of such radiation – and many scientists assume he is right. The problem is that no one has ever actually seen it.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • David

      Using experiments on earth and mathematical insight, we have an idea of how it works. Gravity can it seems, escape a black hole. For someone not sure of how they are observed, suns and other matter have been seen with their huge mass in close orbit around something not seen if there is no infalling matter. It lights up with spectacular brilliance when something falls in. Recently, a star being torn apart was observed from the microwave signal. Fake matter or a part of space that for a tiny moment looks like an electron or a heavier particle pair will appear out of space. Because the black hole is rotating at near light speeds an electron e- and a positron e+ will briefly appear. A cosmic ray striking the earth because of the effect of Einstein's relativity might only see itself as moving a yard yet we see it as moving a hundred miles or so. One particle is pointed at the black hole and for it time slows to zero. Its done! The other particle of the pair follows the twisted space away like water spinning off of a ball. It becomes real by stealing the energy from the rotation of the black hole. The escaping particle will see itself moving a short distance in time where if we saw it from far off it would have traveled a long distance. Black hole slows down, gets smaller. Some time maybe 10 to the 100th years or 10 followed by 100 0's it will be slowly spinning, hot and quicky shrinking and will mildly explode into more particles and x rays. This example wil also give you an idea of how thin the black hole surface could be to allow escape.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  63. Buck Rogers

    Does anyone know what version of photo-shop NASA uses in order to create their cartoon 'images' of outer space?

    February 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • MarsQ

      Wow. Just when I thought that ignorance has reached an all time low, you, Buck Rogers, post these asinine comments. Please say that you are simply joking around and that you're really NOT that stupid.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  64. Leroy

    and this was all figured out by what?? a telescope or the cartoon picture?? or wait did someone go there and watch it happen? or no maybe it was all figured out by someonone timing the speed with a stop watch... its all just theory not fact

    February 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Sy2502

      Wow I feel dumber just for reading your post.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
      • Blaze

        Wow. Take it easy, these guys are just trying to liven up the comment area.

        February 28, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
  65. Pilgrim

    It is a SIn to try to understand the mind of God! Seek not the answers in Science – seek it in the Word of the Lord!

    February 28, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Colby

      It's ignorant people like you that hold the human race back. Unbelievable.

      February 28, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • AMR

      Troll successful

      February 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • anferco

      Be honest..have you ever seen "The Lord?

      February 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Kevin F

      Troll or not I just thought I would point out a logical flaw here. If it is a "Sin to try to understand the mind of God" then evey one who tries to do so by reading the Bible is a sinner.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Andrew

      Dude, I am a devout believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I tell you that science is not evil. It is one methodology (and a good one) to explore and understand this incredible universe God put us in. In some ways, to understand the universe is to understand some elements of God's infinite nature and know Him better.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • David

      I have thought about what you said about the relationship of science and the Biblefor decades. God creates truth. Make a study of what He made in great detail. Make a study of the first part of Genesis. The order of events and the knowledge contained in the description of the events is very unusual. What are the chances that primative people could get all of that right? How many numbers do you have to pick in the big lottery? What are your chances of winning? The order of creation is correct. (Don't equate this with creationism.) You see the first light, Cambrian explosion of life. The size of the creatures in the ocean. The kind of life that came from the ocean to dry land. Early in Genesis there is a mention of creating on the surface of the waters. Something happening on the surface of a fluid is the description of the information contained on the surface, not the volume, of a black hole. Leonard Susskind talks about the very new idea (2008) of the Holographic universe. Every detail of the tiniest volume of space of the entire universe can be contained in a surface like the one around a black hole. Leonard quotes this often, When you eliminate everything you can, what is left no matter how unlikely is the truth. (Sherlock Holmes stories) Here is what is left. A stone age early bronze age nomadic people had the order of events and description of the early universe and life on earth correct over a period of 14.5 billion years. That is impossible. The only way that Genesis could be written down is there had to be an observer who told them. The information only exists in our time not three to six thousand years ago.. How old was the observer? At least as old as the beginning itself. Days are defined as you progress from billions of years to the definition of the rotational period of the earth a 24 hour day. There is a message left for the people of our time, parts of the book will remain closed until the time of abundant knowledge. In the entire history of Man, that is now. The same observer just predicted our time thousands of years into the future of Genesis. Let us make man in our own image corresponds to the findings by Richard Leakey Jr. in "Origins Revisited". He found that there was a large change in the behavior of man six to ten thousand years ago. He said that if this had happened in any other animal he would call it a new species. Modern Darwinism shows there can be rapid or catastrophic evolution. The Old Testament is a reccord of the first of the new kind of Man, the first kings, trechery, war, heros, cities, and inventions. Take the time scale of man as a day, we the highly inventive species represent only a few minutes. What does this tell you about Genesis? What is the old Hebrew name of the Observer? A name is a prophesy not a noise. Before readers write hurtfull replies, just relax and live your life the way you want too. Nothing will change for you. If you read and understand here is the proof of God told to be for the people of this time from thousands of years ago.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
      • BMainski

        Although the power of the human brain has grown very little in the past 4 thousand years, our shared knowledge in the last 200 years resulted in answers not easily understood as an explanation found in the bible. Some people need to keep on believing.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
      • MisterSnow

        God creates truth, science relays fact, both limited to human comprehension of the time. Odds are that what may be God was some 4th dimensional creature trying to give information to some Australians and/or Africans quite a while ago. Then, through human limitation and thousands of years of the telephone game, things got a little mixed up purple monkey dishwasher.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • MarsQ

      Pilgrim, are you for real? I hope you don't contract a fatal disease that requires medicine that was developed by a thinking scientist..NOT YOUR GOD! If we were to follow your advice, we'd still be living in the Stone Age. Do you have a cell phone? Flat screen TV? Car? Men with brains to THINK invented those. Get off of your holier than thou crap. You have got to be kidding.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
  66. palintwit

    Most people don't realize that Sarah Palin University ranks a close second to the United States Air Force Academy in the field of aerospace engineering.

    February 28, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • will s

      ...but it is second to none in both Geography and Russian Studies...

      February 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
      • palintwit

        Ha. Good one.

        March 1, 2013 at 8:21 am |
  67. Kai po che full song

    wow! many thanks for that amazing piece of writing. I really liked it for the core. Hope you retain posting these kinds of incredible content articles Kai po che full song

    February 28, 2013 at 9:53 am |
  68. Paulo

    Halle Berry

    February 28, 2013 at 9:36 am |
  69. Buck Rogers

    Back in 1949, the military made an interesting discovery whilst launching V2's into space. Since then, these former Nazi rocket scientists mapped-out the coordinated the alleged 'space race' to con the entire world into thinking that they could 'land' man-made meteors (dropped from cargo planes). Since we now know that human 'spaceflight' is the grandest scientific fraud in human history (they cannot reenter the upper atmosphere w/o vaporizing at hypersonic), then we also know that these alleged 'images' via NASA, are indeed fake as a three dollar bill. Yet due to this incredibly, massive deception led by a group of astro-evolutionists, we have the International Fake Station and these pathetically goofy 'photos' of outer space to entertain us, and the con is still duping the masses, just as planned.....

    February 28, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • David

      Sad, just so damn sad.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • SethB

      I would like to vote this man off the planet

      February 28, 2013 at 9:52 am |
      • Karen M

        I would like to volunteer him for the first manned black hole orbit.

        February 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • MisterSnow


        February 28, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • MikeyNYC

      Its more than sad, its frightening! In this day and age, to believe that man never was launched into space is complete and total ignorance! I guess our satellites and the space station are NASA constructs as well. If everything burned up in the atmosphere before it could ever reach the ground, how do you explain meteor impact craters scattered all over earth? In fact, a meteor come through into our atmosphere about a week ago. Is this also a construct of the "Nazi" NASA scientists? I hope and pray that you have no contact with children, since to teach a child such utter drivel should be a crime!

      February 28, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Frank Zappa

      For what reason would a bunch of people perpetrate this elaborate hoax?

      February 28, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • CaEd

        Unlike a black hole, human ignorance has no known boundaries.

        February 28, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • AMR

      Is this website meant to be ironic? Sure looks like it.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • The Truth

      I think your tin foil hat is crooked or your off your meds.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Sy2502

      How's that tin foil hat working out for you? Is it so tight it's cutting circulation to your brain?

      February 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • Ray

      It's really a shame that the internet has allowed your kind of intellectual ignorance to propagate and take up bandwidth. Perhaps you should consider the following: before composing screeds targeting provable science, you might want to expand your mind by trying to understand it... even if you're only capable of only a little bit.

      The fact that you are posting your 'comments' from a computer, containing electronics developed by engineers and scientists, that is connected to a network of computers, also developed by engineers and scientists, would be enough to get a person of average intellect thinking. The fact that this escapes you is a testament to your IQ.

      February 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Observer

      Who is the "we" that you continually refer to in your post, i.e. "we now know that space flight is the grandest scientific fraud...." Since when does the word WE signify a group of dumbf**ks?

      February 28, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Blah

      Hail Satan!

      March 1, 2013 at 6:06 am |
    • Kaiser

      Thats funny, because I've seen the ISS with my own eyes. Give your zip code to NASA and they'll tell you when she'll pass over your tin foil shack.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:20 am |
  70. Marty M

    The more I read these galactic characteristics, the more convinced I become that galaxies are independent communities with their own life cycles. For example, there is no singular Big Bang that creates the entire Universe. It seems the existence of Black Holes at the center of all galaxies is a strong indicator that the Black Hole is the key to the life cycle of a galaxy. Perhaps a Black Hole sucks in all matter within its reach (its galaxy). At some point, it becomes so dense and superheated that it explodes (the Galactic Big Bang), thus releasing much of the matter to form a new galaxy. The spin of the Black Hole determines the spin, and the shape, of the galaxy. Once the Big Bang expansion settles out, the galaxy will then begin to shrink and collapse back in on itself as the Galactic Cycle begins anew.

    February 28, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • B

      Makes sense...our sun has similar characteristics...

      February 28, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • nwg6011

      If Eienstein were wrong, even if his calculations were off by a tiny fraction, your GPS would never work.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • Weston

      Actually, that's a pretty good theory. Now go get some evidence to back it up and we'll have yet another theory to the beginning of the universe.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • bob

      black holes don't suck moron. it is pushed in there. example: does a blow dryer "suck" in air and "magically" turn it around to push it out?nope. or does a plane get "sucked into the air? really marty it's basic physics a small child can understand

      February 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
  71. rar

    maybe the black holes created by God are a force that tugs at the ever expanding universe so it has a counterforce against it.

    February 28, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  72. Caveman

    I cannot stand the use of the word "space-time" .. First of all, Einstein is wrong about one thing, that space itself bends. This is a huge misconception. What is going on is that matter receives energy from its environment – space. Then, at the core of every atom, the energy that is being absorbed from space is being turned into a gravitational field... energy first, then field generation.. at which time photons pass through this field causing the bending of light... it is NOT space which is curved, it's the gravitational field around matter that gives you the "illusion" that it is curved... wake up people.. Einstein was wrong, and Nikola Tesla's Dynamic Theory of Gravity is correct, which is classified.

    February 28, 2013 at 8:53 am |
    • Smart

      Um, You are missing the point. Matter IS ENERGY.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:07 am |
    • xirume

      WOW ! Finallly!!!! A Monday morning quarterback who can prove Einstein was wrong. HOW F****G AMAZING !!!!!!!!!

      February 28, 2013 at 9:10 am |
      • CaEd

        Where has this person been for the past 70 years and why hasn't he published.

        Must be a government cover-up or a conspiracy perpetrated by the Alien Space Society of Higher Order Life Evolved Species (A$$ho1es).

        February 28, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Marty M

      It is right to expand on Einstein's theories. Yes, Einstein was a brilliant man for his time, just as Galileo was for his time. However, as new discoveries are made, those brilliant theories need to be adjusted accordingly. If everyone accepted a universal position, then human knowledge will stop expanding as it always has!

      February 28, 2013 at 9:19 am |
      • TZToronto

        Science is always changing theories. That's why they're theories, not facts. Faith, on the other hand, demands belief in unchanging "fact." Of course, the "facts" of faith are untestable. Science tests its ideas (theories) and makes adjustments when findings make bits and pieces of theories untenable. So if Einstein's theories need some re-thinking and adjustment, he'd probably be OK with that.

        February 28, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Kevin C.

      hahaha awesome. classified why? because if we were to find out it would blow our collective minds? certain people can't afford to be wrong? if it was the true alternative to Einstein, what delusional conspiracy is going on that would suppress it?

      February 28, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  73. skyatimus

    So if you're flying a space craft at about 50 percent the speed of light and pass between one black hole of 4 million solar masses exerting a gravitational attraction equivalent to 5 percent the speed of light and another black whole of 8 million solar masses exerting a gravitational force of about 10 percent the speed of light, and the ship follows a straight path between the two, what's the astronaut's name?

    February 28, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Docente

      Roger Wilco

      February 28, 2013 at 8:58 am |
      • skyatimus

        No, Silly! It's you! Docente! I wrote, "...if YOU'RE flying a space craft..."

        February 28, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • jorgath


      February 28, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  74. Stanley Tweedle

    I wish I had a dollar every time an article about black holes uses the exact phrase "not even light can escape".

    February 28, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Smart

      Not even a dollar can escape.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • TZToronto

      Isaac Asimov suggested that if a gravity particle exists (a graviton), then it might be possible for such a particle itself to be sucked into the black hole. In effect the black hole might effectively cease to exist since, with no gravitons escaping, nothing further could be sucked into it. Mass, light, gravity–all would be gone. Perhaps this would be the origin of the singularity that resulted in the Big Bang and will eventually result in another singularity and another Big Bang, ad infinitum.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Tom

      Yes, it is an over used phase that just means nothing. Just a repeat again and again due to nothing else known to say.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
  75. Jim

    This is cool I want to fly into one

    February 28, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  76. its all fake

    Is it true there is a ring around Uranus ?

    February 28, 2013 at 6:59 am |
    • urfake2

      Not sure. The best way to find out is to get down there and look.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:18 am |
      • Morwen

        That was the perfect comment! I havent seen one like that in a long time. Thanks for making my day!

        February 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Marco

      More like a burning ring of fire

      February 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  77. Byrd

    Wonder what effects these twists might have on us...Chubby...

    February 28, 2013 at 6:57 am |
  78. sburns54

    I understand there is a black hole on Uranus.
    Well, SOMONE had to be infantile enough to say it- I figured I'd get it out of the way.

    February 28, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • randy

      LOL, thanks for the laugh! Best post on the page.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • ErikSchaefer

      No, that would be a brown hole...

      February 28, 2013 at 10:19 am |
      • Blaze

        right you are

        February 28, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
  79. President Santorum

    Can I shack up with someone else for the trip?

    February 28, 2013 at 6:51 am |
    • urfake2

      You can go with "its all fake". You both have something in common.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:19 am |
  80. da

    nothing to see here move along.

    February 28, 2013 at 6:38 am |
  81. Bill

    Welcome to the wonderful world of wormholes! Now all we have to do is build a station nearby, and call it Deep Space 9.

    February 28, 2013 at 6:02 am |
  82. Molundak

    A hole is empty so why is the black hole a hole?

    February 28, 2013 at 5:26 am |
  83. james

    The black hole condenses matter into energy and explodes, creating a new universe. Then the Martians come to earth in flying saucers , and destroy the earth.

    February 28, 2013 at 5:15 am |
    • nwg6011

      Why do we need Martians? We're perfectly capable of destroying the earth by ourselves.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:34 am |
  84. russell lee

    The Big Bang – so-called – is not a given. It's possible that two or more things can clash together in space without making a sound.

    February 28, 2013 at 4:59 am |
    • nwg6011

      Who said anything about sound? The big bang was about a massive explosion of energy. It has nothing to do with how loud something is.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • MisterSnow

      Usually after a Big Bang, all I want is space.

      February 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  85. Kevin C.

    so when all the galaxies spiral into their black holes and all that are left are black holes, then will they attract each other, becoming bigger, warping spacetime to the point the universe reverses acceleration and condenses into itself, causing another big bang? makes sense ehh?

    February 28, 2013 at 4:53 am |
    • earl


      February 28, 2013 at 5:52 am |
    • Smart

      Our galaxy is located at the end of a black hole.... everything here is just the reconstructed space-stuff sucked up by the black hole on the other side and spit out here.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:11 am |
  86. 7

    space-time oxymoron statement have you been to Grenitch (names spelled wrong I think)
    did you know the measuring of objects passing through space is that we (Grenitch) biased time
    there are 2 major first inertia push for nebulas, other p.articail mass clusters and small cluster solar objects.
    the rolling mountain when objects first roll from top of one objects side to the bottom starting the wheel spinning
    second black hole effect first inertia to the spin of the galaxy wheel.

    February 28, 2013 at 4:52 am |
  87. massive scary black hole

    I will crush your soul (to a mathematical point).

    February 28, 2013 at 3:54 am |
  88. Matthew


    The issue is, that while you can explain relatively "small" blackholes as the collapse of a star, you really can't explain a 2 million solar mass blackhole as the result of a massive star collapsing.That would require absolutely gargantuan stars (the maximum size I have ever seen discussed in my classes have been about 300 Solar masses or approximately 4 orders of magnitude smaller). Further, there are some blackholes another 3 orders of magnitude larger even than the one discussed here.

    Also, don't forget that a super-massive blackhole seems to be a central characteristic to almost all galaxies. So it seems likely that these blackholes are tied galactic evolution rather than a big star collapsing. So the question is actually how did these specific black holes form?

    If you want more information, wikipedia is never bad place to start...

    February 28, 2013 at 3:54 am |
    • lasermetrologist

      Matthew, you pose some good questions and I would love to hear some informed responses to them. I have no education in astrophysics, but I find it fascinating. For many years, since I was in high school (about 12 years ago) I suspected that black holes played some role in holding galaxies together and it looks like that is true for the most part. I hope that the coming years bring more discoveries about black holes, I think they are fascinating!

      February 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  89. David

    NGC6240 has two black holes orbiting at 3,000 light years apart. We can be certain that they are disk like in shape with only the rim moving at close to the speed of light. The poles are not moving at speeds where the sum of the velocity of the two is relativistic. The rims can't collide because time becomes zero. In between the rims will be turbulance where tiny black holes are formed as twisted areas of space-time collapse. If the sum of two twisted or dragged space-time frames is greater than the speed of light then it must collapse. If they last long enough they can explode in jets of photons and particles draining away energy from the black hole interractions. You would think that the sum of two black holes spinning close to the speed of light would be less than the sum of their mass before collision. The rest of the back hole should form a vertical torus until they violently recoil.

    February 28, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • Spock

      You have failed to take into account the berilium time flux equation. Fool.

      February 28, 2013 at 8:33 am |
  90. Mo

    How about the spin of the black hole? If 2 galaxies, with 2 equal in size black holes spinning in 2 different directions, collide and merge, do we expect a different result than the usual merge and expansion of the resultant black hole?

    February 27, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
  91. dcoke

    They got it all wrong. This is Harry Potter science.
    99% of unverse is made of plasma, charged particles that are accelerated by electric currents and spiral in the resulting magnetic fields, creating synchrotron radiation that can shine in all high energy frequencies, including extreme ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays.
    No need for supernatural super-fast spinning hypothetical "black holes" here.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Karen M

      No...most of the Universe is dark matter.

      February 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
      • Nick

        No, most of the universe is Dark Energy 😉

        March 1, 2013 at 1:35 am |
  92. RT

    "For this particular black hole, if you were standing near the event horizon – the point at which nothing can escape from a black hole – you would be turning around once every four minutes just to stand still."

    Bizarre description... but I guess we're like comic characters in a 2D world trying to understand what 3D physical objects are like. LOL!

    February 27, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
  93. William

    Sometimes I feel like I'm in the wrong century. Maybe we're close to a black hole.

    February 27, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
  94. DLMuerte

    "We still don't know how black holes came to be in the first place."


    Don't they come from stars collapsing upon themselves, which came from lots of dust in the beginning of the universe? I think the correct term here is that you guys don't know where matter came from.

    And then again, no one knows that.

    February 27, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
    • Matthew

      I am really sorry, 3 am is an unGodly time. I posted a response to this separately, but here it is as a reply to your comment. Just in case you are interested.


      The issue is, that while you can explain relatively "small" blackholes as the collapse of a star, you really can't explain a 2 million solar mass blackhole as the result of a massive star collapsing.That would require absolutely gargantuan stars (the maximum size I have ever seen discussed in my classes have been about 300 Solar masses or approximately 4 orders of magnitude smaller). Further, there are some blackholes another 3 orders of magnitude larger even than the one discussed here.

      Also, don't forget that a super-massive blackhole seems to be a central characteristic to almost all galaxies. So it seems likely that these blackholes are tied galactic evolution rather than a big star collapsing. So the question is actually how did these specific black holes form?

      If you want more information, wikipedia is never bad place to start...

      February 28, 2013 at 3:57 am |
      • jorgath

        Couldn't you explain it by having a normal black hole be created in a region that's especially dense with stars, like the center of a galaxy? Or a few dozen such black holes that then crash into each other and merge?

        February 28, 2013 at 9:11 am |
      • Smart

        Sounds plausible J.

        February 28, 2013 at 9:14 am |
      • Matthew

        I suppose that sounds reasonable. The issue would be, space is really big, and really empty. Even if it was "dense," it would not be dense to us at all. Also, even assuming each of these stars became a 100 solar mass blackhole, that would require 2000 such blackholes for this example. In the case of a blackhole at 6 billion solar masses, this would be more like 60 million solar masses.

        The big thing is that we really, really don't know. So, the initial statement by the scientists still stands.

        February 28, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • earl

      read the book called 'a universe from nothing.' turns out we don't understand what 'nothing' is. but we know it is unstable. that.s where matter comes from.

      February 28, 2013 at 5:58 am |
    • President Santorum

      I let you know. I'm going to Detroit next month

      February 28, 2013 at 6:53 am |
  95. minor von

    til I looked at the bank draft that said $8383, I be certain neighbour woz like they say truly bringing home money in there spare time on their apple laptop.. there dads buddy haz done this 4 only and resently took care of the depts on there apartment and bought a brand new Ford Mustang. this is where I went........... BIT40.ℂOℳ

    February 27, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Spammer Hater


      That is all.

      February 28, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • Fearless Freep

      There is a black hole with your name on it.

      February 28, 2013 at 9:48 am |
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