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. John Typrot

    Does it affect GTR? I found a mention here..
    http://curiouss.com/scientists-estimated-the-spin-rate-of-a-super-massive-black-hole-for-the-first-time/

    March 11, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
  2. Ken

    So, black holes spin. Big surprise there, given their accretion disk is always shown as spinning.

    Question 1: Which way do black holes spin?

    Question 2: Do all black holes spin in the same direction?

    Question 3: Why?

    March 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  3. Chris.

    Let me be a kid for a second.

    Get on my level punks.

    March 7, 2013 at 11:21 am |
  4. Chris.

    I find it incredibly laughable that the majority of the individuals blatantly disregarding Christ as a myth do not even have the intellect to capitalize the first letter in their sentence. Or, for that matter, use commas. That said, I would agree with several of the people who posted on this. Jolly good show chaps. But Anyway, my personal thoughts that God and science can co-exist still stands. I simply cannot believe that a large swirling mass of atoms smashed together and spontaneously created life, and intelligent life at that. Anyone who has any knowledge of biology is surely aware of one fundamental law that we have in place. Life comes from life. That is an absolute, there are no exceptions. Even Siri was made by someone(if you even consider that sentient). What baffles me is that several people disregard Gods existence as foolish, or childish, without any knowledge of the subject. If you have so much curiosity to look into the space and time rendering of a black hole, don’t you think it would be a novel idea to at least look into the plausibility of a higher intelligence? A wise man one said “If you have explored all other options, and find them all impossible, the remaining option (no matter how unlikely) IS the answer.
    “ 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.”
    What say you about this? Several years ago, a massive army was found at the bottom of the red sea. The wood had decayed, leaving nothing but the gold skeletons of hundreds of chariots, wheels, and armor. That is all on that particular post.
    I have little to no problems with differing opinions, save for(and please excuse my frankness.) I wholeheartedly believe that most of you will burn for your non-belief. I’m not going to attack any of you, but I personally find that if there is even the SLIGHTEST chance of me burning in a lake of fire for all eternity, I would like to be on the safe side.
    I am a Christian. I am in 10th grade. If you people cannot surpass the intellect or reasoning of a 15 year old child, I suggest you take a good look at your life bud.

    March 7, 2013 at 11:19 am |
  5. Chris

    I find it incredibly laughable that the majority of the individuals blatantly disregarding Christ as a myth do not even have the intellect to capitalize the first letter in their sentence. Or, for that matter, use commas. That said, I would agree with several of the people who posted on this. Jolly good show chaps. But Anyway, my personal thoughts that God and science can co-exist still stands. I simply cannot believe that a large swirling mass of atoms smashed together and spontaneously created life, and intelligent life at that. Anyone who has any knowledge of biology is surely aware of one fundamental law that we have in place. Life comes from life. That is an absolute, there are no exceptions. Even Siri was made by someone(if you even consider that sentient). What baffles me is that several people disregard Gods existence as foolish, or childish, without any knowledge of the subject. If you have so much curiosity to look into the space and time rendering of a black hole, don’t you think it would be a novel idea to at least look into the plausibility of a higher intelligence? A wise man one said “If you have explored all other options, and find them all impossible, the remaining option (no matter how unlikely) IS the answer.
    “ 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.”
    What say you about this? Several years ago, a massive army was found at the bottom of the red sea. The wood had decayed, leaving nothing but the gold skeletons of hundreds of chariots, wheels, and armor. That is all on that particular post.
    I have little to no problems with differing opinions, save for(and please excuse my frankness.) I wholeheartedly believe that most of you will burn for your non-belief. I’m not going to attack any of you, but I personally find that if there is even the SLIGHTEST chance of me burning in a lake of fire for all eternity, I would like to be on the safe side.
    I am a Christian. I am in 10th grade. If you people cannot surpass the intellect or reasoning of a 15 year old child, I suggest you take a good look at your life.

    March 7, 2013 at 11:18 am |
  6. Doc Johnnie

    Einstein was right? Of course. He and other German scientists ran the Apollo moon program, so why start to doubt now?

    March 7, 2013 at 2:42 am |
  7. Gadflie

    I'm calling Poe's law on Bob Price.

    March 5, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  8. AmericanWoman

    I wonder how many BILLIONS Einstein spent to discover the same thing?

    March 4, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
  9. steve

    true the IRS is an unstoppable force, never satisified...........

    March 3, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
  10. steve

    wow. amazing technology. Also imagine what
    einstein could do today with all the new information out there.

    March 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
  11. you fools

    don't you think that we are in the last day technology will be greater,more invention more discovery.people we are in the last days,it time to make a choice before it too late

    March 2, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  12. amie

    Hey ya'all,are God and science mutually exclusive of each other? I mean,isn't it possible that God is a perfect mathematician and scientist? Look around Ɣõu̶̲̥̅̊,can't Ɣõu̶̲̥̅̊ see logic in events and creation? These things didn't just come about randomly,someone did all this and science (for me) actually in all its findings proves there is a higher power at work.†ђξ details in our equations are too specific †φ 'just happen'.at †ђξ big bang,someone was there,directing it all.science is actually a way for us poor humans with our finite knowledge †φ find our way †φ †ђξ creator. After all as hamlet said †φ horatio;'there are more things in heaven and earth than can be explained in your philosophies...'.open your minds †φ †ђξ possibilities.

    March 2, 2013 at 7:37 am |
  13. elza

    Thre are some misterys that, the men never would can discover.There‘s a limity for the humanity and this secrety can not be discovered.

    March 2, 2013 at 2:39 am |
  14. Alexei DeChevykh

    Citizens It take weeks travel between destinations when be suck in to like one Giant huge Black hole , should purchase plenty food and water – be shure it legal according Terrorism Legislation Database
    .Weapon and ammo as Earth poles shifting and California will be crash against China one day , it will be much faster before East cost rich Africa . People do not wont you to know truth as using HAARP program microwave waves brain wash , PSYOPS Psychological welfare personal take over major person in a Country .You not even know about first Giant one of many meteor what rich Russia
    Russian Meteor Won't Be the Last http://www.weather.com/news/science/space/russia-meteor-explosion-20130218 Purchase hard helmets and gas mask in case if Yellowstone erupt .

    And some to really need to know http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/frd.html .
    Tomorrow Sunday , have a peace in your soul and be with god – joy life as you newer know what will be soon !

    March 2, 2013 at 2:34 am |
    • Alexei DeChevykh

      Read with Humor !

      March 2, 2013 at 2:41 am |
  15. Opara Joseph

    Pls are you sure is won't harm ouR lives here on earth?

    March 2, 2013 at 1:22 am |
  16. Mike Soul

    I don't get why we need even more sensitive equipment to study SMBH's. We have a local black hole that exhibits all of the same properties. We just call it the I.R.S. Sucks up money and you never see it again. Solved, next?

    March 1, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  17. Drearily

    Religious zealots like Bob Price exhibit behaviors identical to those found in the common, ignorant bully. They are so terrified—and perhaps a little embarrassed—of things they don't understand, they have no choice but to fall back on the convenience of religion and the belief in a higher power. Those with more scientific and openly objective minds, however, have chosen a different path, one based in taking responsibility for their actions and their own destinies. People like us will never fall back into a church after making a mistake, then wipe our hands of the matter and state “Oh, that wasn’t actually our fault. That was god’s will.” If we spilled the milk, instead of running around in a circle, then falling to our knees in some sort of panicky prayer; we’ll simply invent the paper towel and calmly clean it up. It makes perfect sense that Mr. Price—and others like him—would be posting comments such as these, because they fear pain. So much so, they’ve embraced an icon which represents the removal of that pain. They simply cannot deal with it on their own accord. They lack the intellectual will to observe the universe laid out before them in a more objective manner.

    Now, we scientific people have been more than patient with the antics of these individuals—preaching the word of god, telling us how to live our lives, and tossing bibles at us like a chimp flings poop when it’s terrified—and I, personally, have grown considerably annoyed that they’ve never taken the time to actually look at the scientific data 'we’ve' gathered. They’ve clearly demonstrated here—with ignorant comments such as not knowing how many miles a light year has, or that light cannot be captured—that they have not. It is this one-sided conversation that confirms how much they are not only dragging our world’s economy down over and over, but more so hampering the development of mankind as a whole. It reminds me of a saying I once heard: “If a man thinks he’s going to die tomorrow, he’s probably going to find a way to make it happen.”

    Please, please put that depressing, doom-and-gloom, 2000 year old hack of a book down, you’re scaring the children.

    Do I have all the answers? No. Do I have the absolute truth somewhere in the back of my closet under a pile of laundry? I sure hope not! Is there a higher power out there, after all? Will we one day get to the end of the universe and find something out there tapping it’s foot going “Took you long enough!”? I can’t answer that. But I refuse to give up poking around looking for it, because I am not afraid of that final truth, no matter what it may turn out to be.

    My religion is simple: In order to understand the universe, it will require a sentience composed of nearly all the matter in the universe. And that’s the god I’d be willing to talk to.

    (Oh, uhh... Bob... please, stop wasting all those capital letters and abusing the question mark. What did that poor, little thing ever do to you? Bully!)

    March 1, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
  18. mrcozmo

    The article about black holes was interesting and basically told us that we were able to observe that one specific black hole is spinnig or rotating. Them, BAM, i'm reading about God and the bible and nonsense about monkeys and such. I do like the scientific comments as they make more sense than the emotional responses involving the bible. Overall an enjoyable waste of my morning. If I had the inclination to suffer the abuse that would follow, I'd explain to you the my truth about God, Jesus and the meaning of life and death. But since both sides are locked into their views it would fall on deaf ears. Suffice it to say, Black holes are an interesting phenominon. I wish I could understand the math behind the whole astronomical science. oh, and light years in miles? give me a break.

    March 1, 2013 at 11:06 am |
  19. charlie

    Does anyone out there know what caused the big bang?

    March 1, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • palintwit

      Some tea party patriot's still blew up.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Eric G

      No, but only the believers claim to know.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Gods Stud

      One day God Allmighty God bored, and decided to pick a hobby.. so he tried a six day project where he created everything.. than he created Adam, Eve from his Rib, Talking Snake... and Baam we had universe/earth/humanity.

      why is this so hard for ignorant atheists to comprehend?

      March 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  20. Stardust

    One thing about black holes that is confusing and would appreciate if some scientific minds here can clarify. On the one hand I read that black holes are so dense, with 'infinitely' strong gravity that nothing, not even light, can escape from their gravitational pull. Then I also read that they emit this enormous amount of energy when matter is pulled into them. How can they emit this immense energy when nothing, not even light, can escape their gravity? Once some matter crosses the event horizon and is inside the black hole, NOTHING comes out, right?

    March 1, 2013 at 10:37 am |
    • Ziggy

      Darn good question. I'd like to know the answer to that as well.

      March 1, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • The Energy release...

      As the gas and other matter in the accretion disk gets accellerated, it gets shredded atomically, yielding high energy photons (X-Rays). These follow the magnetic field lines generated by the rotating black hole and are cast off at the poles. (See the illustration.)

      March 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  21. Ziggy

    So this is where the nerds hang out. Quite honestly, I wish I were a nerd. I play playstation, I watch ST:TNG and I'm divorced with no female prospects...I'm not a nerd, I'm a loser 🙂

    March 1, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • Alexei DeChevykh

      Looser have nick name to , what unite you with Giant Black Hole

      March 2, 2013 at 2:43 am |
  22. asdrel

    So what the astronomers are viewing now happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away...

    Sorry, I just couldn't resist my inner geekdom.

    March 1, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Depends on what you're looking at at the time...

      The center of our galaxy is about 25K light years away.
      The Andromeda Galaxy is 2M Light years away.
      Abell 68 (A huge galactic cluster) is about 7 BILLION light years away...

      March 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  23. Tank Manhammer

    Black hole? I think the correct terminology is "African American lady." Way to be PC, CNN.

    March 1, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Ziggy

      Bravo!

      March 1, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  24. Really

    Is it true there is a ring around Uranus ?

    March 1, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Mike Soul

      I'd be much more concerned if there was life on Uranus.

      March 1, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  25. Political Correctness

    I am an American liberal.
    I outmost detest using the term "Black Hole" as it's clearly discriminating towards an ethnic group of holes in the universe, how would you feel if "White Holes" came out and paraded on how proud they are to be white? Please educate yourselves and use proper correct terms before you display your bigotry on these boards.

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

      Two black holes walk into a club...

      March 1, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  26. HappyBottomRidingClub

    Let's ask the pope. Oh I forgot he quit.

    March 1, 2013 at 10:15 am |
  27. memyself

    God did not create Man, Man created God.

    The End

    March 1, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Sugar

      So, so true.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • Jess

      Well said!

      March 15, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  28. Dan

    The scientists found the missing matter, not the theorized/missing dark matter, or the theorized/missing dark energy.

    March 1, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  29. SARAH

    As a Christian, I still believe the Universe is only 2,000 years old...!!

    March 1, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • enuftrashtalk

      Well, that's not a false statement. It's at least that old.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • asdrel

      You mean that the Universe was crested at about the same time as the birth of Jesus??? How do you account for the recorded history prior to the year 1 AD?

      March 1, 2013 at 10:25 am |
  30. RM13

    To Bob Price: mitochondrial DNA is DNA that is not part of our human genome..it exists in the sub cellular structures we call mitochondria. mitochondrial DNA dose not have selective pressure causing it to evolve and is not effected by parental gene "mixing". DNA is a chemical molecule which has a constant rate of mutation as it is replicated. Mitochondrial DNA is bacterial in origin, by sequencing this DNA (or the plastid DNA in plants) we can track changes in the the DNA sequence without the complications of natural selection and discover how closely two different species are related. scientist do not just guess as to what species we think are related based on how they look.. it is based on precise measures of DNA similarity..DNA sequence that is not a "gene" undergoing selective pressure...while understanding the chemical and biological properties of DNA and the replication process. It is OK that you don't have this specialized knowledge..but it is not OK that you mock what you don't understand and declare that whatever knowledge you fail to possess does not exist... I think the would make God cry.

    March 1, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • enuftrashtalk

      Must be in the genes.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:05 am |
  31. Ron Whiteside

    Send Elizabeth Landeau back to remedial English grammer class. In next to last paragraph, the correct word is "farther" not "furtther."

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

      The farther away it is, the more it invites further study.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:05 am |
  32. NextEinstein

    So let me throw this out there: A black hole is basically a collapsed star that has used all of it fuel. What if a black hold consumes all that is around them only to refuel themselves and become a star again? Maybe the Egyptians had it right again. Ra is a god!

    March 1, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Edcode

      Great! :-))

      March 1, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  33. Lois Thompson

    If there is a supermassive blackhole in the center of our galaxy, which states there was a supermassive sun in the center of our galaxy that would explain the big bang theory; however, it would also state there was existence prior to the big bang.

    March 1, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  34. Rachel

    How is this news CNN? Get back to the important stuff!

    March 1, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • enuftrashtalk

      It's news, it just takes hundreds of millions of years to get here. Film at 11.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:51 am |
  35. Lucien Alexandre Marion

    What is writen is only theory and never been proven as pure 100% facts. Black holes are Science Mysteries. Maybe one day, but not in our lifetime..., (Oh it's not that I wouldn't like it ,) Scientists will discover more about such mysteries in the Universe and more questions will arise... The Quest of knowledge ... never ends...Thank you-Merci

    March 1, 2013 at 9:45 am |
  36. Buck Rogers

    'Black Holes' are like Mickey Mouse, they only exist in our imaginations. And the 'space agencies' have been hard at work creating these false illusions in order to 'satisfy' these imaginary holes....

    http://www.fountainsofthegreatdeep.com/Alien.htm

    March 1, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • enuftrashtalk

      That's deep. Really deep. Where's my shovel...

      March 1, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Mike Soul

      I know what you mean. Til the day he died my Grandfather believed that the 'Apollo' moon landing was staged in Hollywood for consumption by the masses. He said that the Government needed a cover story as to where all of the billions spent on NASA went and that was the truth. Pray for me as I share his genes 😦

      March 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  37. Lois Thompson

    Question? If there is a large black hole in the center of the Milky Way, our galaxy, does that mean at one time there was a huge sun at the center of our galaxy and a supernova?

    March 1, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Probably

      The theory is that when the galaxy started to form, and "spin up", the gasses nearest to the center collapsed in due to gravatic attraction and passed the star formation phase of the center. There was so much mass it just all fell into the hole. As the hole formed and spun up, the gravity waves rippled through the remainder of the gas cloud and dragged it around in a circle, and this caused the first stars in our galaxy to start to form.

      March 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  38. TRex

    Bob Price here is not interested in proof, really. What proofs would he ever accept, about Evolution or anything else in the canon of scientific knowledge? Millions of pieces of empirical evidence? Demonstrable proof in genetic analyses? No; he needs to receive a 2,000-year-old comic book explaining the whole thing from an angel descending from the sky in a flaming chariot before he would ever instead believe real evidence staring him in the face today. It is willful ignorance, folks - you can't fight it. Sorry Bob Price, it's much harder to face a reality according to our human understanding that is messy, uncertain, changeable - than it is to avoid that challenge and hide in our simple, comforting beliefs.

    March 1, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • enuftrashtalk

      Christians don't hide. They build big churches and invite everyone else in.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Dana

      Some people like to keep their head in the sand.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • albert

      But given the same "mountains of evidence", there are many reputable scientists that believe in the existence of a God or creator. How do you explain that? At best, it only shows that science is just as divided as the many religions that are making a mockery of God. Don't confuse religion with what the Bible actually teaches. Much like science uses artist conceptions and illustrations to get their point across, the Bible does the same. For example, the Bible use fire to illustrate total destruction. What happens when you burn a piece of paper for example? It is completely destroyed and can never be reassembled or created. Yet most religions use fire to try and prove that bad people will burn forever if they are "Bad" This is not a Bible teaching and has zero logic. How does something invisible burn? That is just one small example. Again, don't confuse religion with Bible teachings. Also, don't confuse illustrations used in the Bible with actual "things". The chariots you mentioned for example depict or describe a powerful army since chariots were the equivalent of what tanks are today.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:00 am |
      • enuftrashtalk

        Why should *I* explain it? Ask *them* to explain it.

        March 1, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • albert

      Here is an example where science can be accused of what you accuse religion of. Man can peer some 23 billion light years into the universe. To date, science has absolute zero proof of the existence of other beings in the universe. Yet they state that the "probability" of existence is there. That has been translated by many to mean that there is in fact other life in the universe. Doesn't that take some kind of faith to believe that? Also, the "Big Bang" theory can never be proven. In order for science to prove that, they would have to create something from nothing. Yet many believe that theory to be a fact. Again, that takes a bit of faith. And don't you find it odd that all the amazing accomplishments of science (I am not anti-science), are basically mirror copies of what already exists? We give science credit for their "creations", but we are to believe that the things they copy just happened by chance? The human brain is much more intricate than a computer. The flight of a bird is much more graceful and efficient than an airplane. Heck, I'll take the the beauty of real wood over Pargo anyway. The list goes on and on, but really, these superior "natural" things happened by chance? Where is the logic in that?

      March 1, 2013 at 10:12 am |
      • Edcode

        Did God happen by chance? What created God?

        March 1, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • Mike Soul

        Let's get something straight about science and proofs. Science doesn't prove anything. It discovers existing 'things' and the theories become accepted 'fact' by peer review and recreating the experiment. Scientists would have a very hard time reproducing the 'Big Bang'. Also, many accpeted theories are only partial explainations of something and have to be retrofit into 'fact' when even more is discovered. Evolution is possibly a partial explanation for live on earth. To accept evolution as the entire answer you would have to accept the postulation that if I took a bunch of metal, rubber, glass, leather, fluids,etc. into the desert and left them there, given enough time they would reassemble themselves into my 1955 Chevy.

        March 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  39. william bradford

    Feel real numb looking at God GOD GOD throughout the comments. What is the difference between Indians dancing for rain, Mayans sacrificing citizens for the food, and you people speaking about god in reference to black holes? Answer: nothing. You were programmed in a church by a person you respect. Leave you bible in the bed stand and look at life without needing reason, or definition. Use you thoughts without using someone else's. Try it. I won't tell anyone. promise.

    March 1, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • enuftrashtalk

      OMG, that's brilliant.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • albert

      Interesting replace God, God, God with science, science, science, and your logic still applies.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  40. enuftrashtalk

    If there was no cure for the common cold, then everyone would still be walking around, or in bed, with colds. You're just saying the cure doesn't work as fast as you'd like.

    March 1, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  41. satalink

    Wasn't it Einstein who said that black holes could never exist? Let me introduce a quagmire to his famous theory..

    Let's say from a single point two objects are launched in opposing directions, each traveling 60% the speed of light. From the point of origin, they each visibly exist and do not break the laws of relativity. If you shift the point of reference to one of the objects traveling 60% the speed of light, the other object exists to the point of origin but has exceeded the speed of light by 20%. You might argue that the point of origin is the only frame of reference that truly exists and that all moving objects in the universe must adhere to the limitations of the speed of light; otherwise it is does not exist as matter but only energy. Or does it?

    March 1, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • palintwit

      Your comments go a long way to explain why tea party patriots enjoy nascar. There is definitely something to be said for watching shiny metal objects going around in circles. Maybe not at 60% the speed of light, but fast none the less.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:26 am |
  42. palintwit

    The only black holes teabillies are familiar with are the trailer parks where they live. South of the Mason-Dixon line in banjo country.

    March 1, 2013 at 9:02 am |
    • enuftrashtalk

      you mean there are no trailer parks north of Maryland?

      March 1, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  43. Wilson

    Black Holes are a result of God dividing by zero.

    March 1, 2013 at 8:55 am |
  44. shatfacedpanda

    Science doesn't exist, only religion. All hail the mighty flying spaghetti monster!

    March 1, 2013 at 8:51 am |
    • Grumpster

      May his noodley appendage touch everyone.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:57 am |
  45. shatfacedpanda

    This is why we need budget cuts.

    March 1, 2013 at 8:50 am |
  46. mike

    It's true that by definition you can't prove God doesn't exist. It's called 'unfalsifiable' and is as close to nonexistent as a thing empirically gets.

    March 1, 2013 at 8:30 am |
  47. 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

    March 1, 2013 at 8:23 am |
  48. Bible Guy

    Everything and I repeat EVERTHING!! is in the Bible.. From the Ideas of Democracy, Blackholes.. Quantum Physics.. Trigonometry!! Algebra! you name it!! ou just have to know how to interpret it the right way!!
    Bible is the the ultimate Science book!! I am a creationist scientist, I should know!

    March 1, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Grumpster

      None of that is in the bible in any manner that isn't either stretched into warped versions of any of what you mention. The bible has no scientific value whatsoever. It is pure fiction created by guys in huts who had no concept that the world wasn't flat nor at the center of everything. Hell, they even mistook a comet for some "miracle" from above since they didn't know what that was. We now know a lot better, and those who have moved beyond that fairy tale long ago. The few with lower IQs or no scientific study in their lives will still cling to fable and mythos. We did move beyond Thor and Zeus...and will soon move beyond that Jeebus thing too.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:52 am |
      • Bible Guy

        It might not be there in plain english text, but you have to learn to interpret it in your own way!
        Trust me as a creationist and part time scientist that is one of the first things we are told to do... and it makes sense, cause you can not prove there is NO God!

        March 1, 2013 at 9:02 am |
      • Jess

        Grumpster! Hell yeah. Well said. I agree.

        March 15, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Dan

      Creationist scientist is an oxymoron. Keep your book of fiction and your imaginary characters to yourself.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • dATRUTH

      Lol. Now you are just trolling. that is funny

      March 1, 2013 at 9:34 am |
      • Bible Guy

        Typical Atheist, when you can not disprove the existence of God, you stoop to calling people 'trolls'.. ur giving your people a bad name son.
        God Bless and may God Guide you and point you toward the truth.

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

      Are the Kardashians there?

      March 1, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Sugar

      Thank god for atheists – lol

      March 1, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  49. Eric G

    The math works. Your god is not necessary to explain it.

    I would suggest that the believers spend their time explaining why their god supports slavery and rape.

    March 1, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • enuftrashtalk

      How do you know what he supports ?

      March 1, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Eric G

      I don't. Their Bible claims to know what he supports, and the Bible clearly supports slavery and rape.

      March 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  50. Reason over Reason

    This is what I find funny...how the religious folks in this forum always try to discredit every article that shows a better understanding of anything...anything...Always coming back to the same silly arguments...e.g., Where the missing link? Show me prove?...etc, etc...Truth is that every time a new discovery is made or an old one explained or proven (like relativity), they keep moving the "end zone" a few more yards so as to always have an argument to hold on to. Old believes like the flat earth, god is in the sky, the earth is the center of the universe, the adam and eve story (borrowed from Sumaria), the noah story (borrowed from Sumaria), the resurrection (borrowed from Egypt), the 25th of Dec (borrowed from Egypt–Osiris), the virgin birth (from Egypt - Isis).....etc....etc. have been dis-proven... BTW, god didn't write the bible,,,,men did....Show me a passage written by god....I dare you...

    March 1, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Dum Bass

      So the Christians are a bunch of thieves?? Liars?? Sounds like the history to me.....

      March 1, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • Benjamin Franklin

      The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  51. Starman

    Can we just give Bob Price the biggest idiot award and let him be happy?

    March 1, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • Reason over Reason

      Too late...we gave him that award last year...

      March 1, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • bob_price_sux

      Bob is probably dancing at his church right now with a handful of rattlesnakes....

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

        We can only hope!

        March 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Edward

      He fits the profile of one of those fanatical christians who likes to over exagerate things. BTW Im a religious person but I hate comming accross folks like that. I find them very annoying how they put god in everything. LIke hey I took a crap and he resembled christ so this must be a miracle or I won on a video game so its gods intervention. Sheeeeesh

      March 1, 2013 at 9:33 am |
    • john the atheist

      is bob price trying to get on a talk show or get his own reality series ("the biggest dummy" on the idiot channel)? because no one can be *that* stupid. even the pope - who talks directly to his imaginary god - is retiring because he's had enough of this religious nonsense garbage.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:41 am |
      • TDJ

        The Pope is infinitely more intelligent than you. That's a fact.

        March 1, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Drearily

      Religious zealots like Bob Price exhibit behaviors identical to those found in the common, ignorant bully. They are so terrified—and perhaps a little embarrassed—of things they don't understand, they have no choice but to fall back on the convenience of religion and the belief in a higher power. Those with more scientific and openly objective minds, however, have chosen a different path, one based in taking responsibility for their actions and their own destinies. People like us will never fall back into a church after making a mistake, then wipe our hands of the matter and state “Oh, that wasn’t actually our fault. That was god’s will.” If we spilled the milk, instead of running around in a circle, then falling to our knees in some sort of panicky prayer; we’ll simply invent the paper towel and calmly clean it up. It makes perfect sense that Mr. Price—and others like him—would be posting comments such as these, because they fear pain. So much so, they’ve embraced an icon which represents the removal of that pain. They simply cannot deal with it on their own accord. They lack the intellectual will to observe the universe laid out before them in a more objective manner.

      Now, we scientific people have been more than patient with the antics of these individuals—preaching the word of god, telling us how to live our lives, and tossing bibles at us like a chimp flings poop when it’s terrified—and I, personally, have grown considerably annoyed that they’ve never taken the time to actually look at the scientific data we’ve gathered. They’ve clearly demonstrated here—with ignorant comments such as not knowing how many miles a light year has, or that light cannot be captured—that they have not. It is this one-sided conversation that confirms how much they are not only dragging our world’s economy down over and over, but more so hampering the development of mankind as a whole. It reminds me of a saying I once heard: “If a man thinks he’s going to die tomorrow, he’s probably going to find a way to make it happen.”

      Please, please put that depressing, doom-and-gloom, 2000 year old hack of a book down, you’re scaring the children.

      Do I have all the answers? No. Do I have the absolute truth somewhere in the back of my closet under a pile of laundry? I sure hope not! Is there a higher power out there, after all? Will we one day get to the end of the universe and find something out there tapping it’s foot going “Took you long enough!”? I can’t answer that. But I refuse to give up poking around, looking for it, because I am not afraid of that final truth, no matter what it may turn out to be.

      My religion is simple: In order to understand the universe, it will require a sentience composed of nearly all the matter in the universe. And that’s the god I’d be willing to talk to.

      (Oh, uhh... Bob... please, stop using all those capital letters and abusing the question mark. What did that poor, little thing ever do to you? Bully!)

      March 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • Deedubya

        Fantastic comment. You have described the situation very well and explained why the rational among us object to being hampered by this insane and destructive religious ideology.

        March 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Carml

      ...... and just when did we ever really think Einstein was wrong ???

      March 4, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
      • Drearily

        Who's 'we' ?

        March 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  52. mattski

    OK all together now:
    There once was a lady Miss Bright,
    whose travelled faster than light.
    She set off one day in a relative way,
    and came back the previous night.

    March 1, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • Retired Army Officer

      Matt.....a person would really have to be a geek to appreciate that little ditty.

      BTW......I liked it........

      March 1, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  53. AA

    This is... sad. I could give you the whole explanation of what the scientific method is and why it's a good way to get information, but that is redundant with what others have posted and is something you could easily look up yourselves. I'll try a different approach.

    Nothing in this article is remotely religious one way or another. I'll admit from the start that I don't believe in any sort of god, but I am pretty familiar with Christian tradition (the Jesuits were quite instructive!). According to that tradition, man was created in the image of God. Therefore, it's reasonable for me to imagine that God might look at things with a perspective fairly comprehensible to me, and one of the most basic things about creating anything is that you would almost always intend for a creation to make use of its most unique and useful features. After all, those special features that define a creation tend to be the reason for the creation in the first place; no one builds a computer with the purpose of using it as a doorstop, thereby wasting all the computational abilities they put into it. In the case of humanity, the one thing we have that is truly special is our intelligence; it would be very strange indeed for a God that is supposedly of a similar image to us to make us this way and expect us not to think about stuff very much. Even if the Bible really is divine revelation, I can't imagine a God that made us with such capability for understanding and is supposed to have a great deal of love for us to boot would expect us to use it as an end-all for knowledge and to reject anything external, basically leaving most of our gift of intellect wasted.

    Heck, I recall that same God telling us we had dominion over the rest of nature even though clearly we are not the biggest, strongest, fastest, or otherwise best at anything among the elements of nature we know other than thinking. How would he expect us to exert such dominion except by developing a superior understanding of how nature works and using it to our advantage? In the past it was figuring out how to grow crops and forge iron weapons to defend ourselves; today it may be smashing atoms and observing black holes. Either way, it sure seems like those doing that are pretty biblical to me whereas those who come on science articles and post about how we shouldn't care about this stuff are like the servant who, given the money to hold by his master, buried it in a field. You Bible scholars probably remember how that parable ended; that servant earned nothing but scorn from his master whereas those who took what their master gave them and used it wisely were rewarded. Now please stop posting ignorant stuff in articles like this. Instead, perhaps read the articles and appreciate the subject matter for what it is; you might learn something.

    March 1, 2013 at 7:07 am |
    • John

      Never try to teach a pig to sing. It doesn't work and it annoys the pig.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • Lou

      They can conclusively tell us how fast a black hole is spinning 60 million light year away, but they can't cure the common cold. What bull.

      March 1, 2013 at 7:39 am |
      • AA

        Sure we can cure the common cold. Just take any infected region, heat to 1000 F or hotter, and hold at that temperature for let's say 72 hours. I guarantee that every last virus will be eradicated.

        Of course, you'll say this is a bad solution since you may note it's very fatal to the sick person. Trying to do so little harm to someome that the treatment is less bad than a few days of coughing and a runny nose while completely eradicating thousands of tiny viruses that have infected many different types of cells when you aren't even sure which very particular type of virus you're dealing with of the thousands that could be responsible is an overwhelmingly complex and tricky problem. Perhaps we'll solve it someday, but it does not strike me as unusual that we managed to measure the spin of a black hole, a problem that involved no weighing of competing interests but merely overcoming problems of distance, before we managed to cure the common cold. If anything, your objection perhaps reminds us to be humble as there's much that we don't know, but it would be purely foolish to reject learning anything merely because we can't learn everything.

        March 1, 2013 at 8:02 am |
      • Reason over Reason

        For that matter....god cannot cure the common cold either....otherwise it wouldn't exist....

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

        @Lou You my good sir are ignorant. You probably don’t even know the first thing about micro biology. Try expanding your horizons a little.

        March 1, 2013 at 8:50 am |
      • Raegan

        Space and sickness are two completely different subjects. The reason we have trouble curing the common cold is due to the fact that the virus is always changing and never has the same structure as the last one. It is the same idea as the flu where there would have to a vaccine every year, but the common cold is more complex than the flu. Space never changes and can be easily grasped once you have a lead.

        March 1, 2013 at 9:18 am |
      • enuftrashtalk

        If there was no cure for the common cold, then every one would still be walking around, or in bed, with colds.
        You're just saying the cure doesn't work as fast as you'd like.

        March 1, 2013 at 9:20 am |
      • RM13

        Lou.. you have little to no knowledge about the virus that causes the common cold, medicine, the drug discovery process, black holes, or astrophysics..yet you have complete certainty of opinion. This is a prime example of what is wrong with people and why corrupt leaders/politicians can so easily grab power and mislead us. knee jerk reactions lead to unshakable certainty of opinion...sad.....be quick to listen and slow to speak, seek knowledge and understanding and always have an open mind.... you have done none of this.

        March 1, 2013 at 9:37 am |
      • enuftrashtalk

        If there was no cure for the common cold, people would still be walking around, or laying in bed, with colds. You're just saying the cure is not as fast as you'd like.

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

        "For that matter....god cannot cure the common cold either....otherwise it wouldn't exist...." This is where tour understanding of God is grossly inaccurate. According to the Bible, mankind has free will. We can either choose to believe in God or not. From the very beginning of the Bible, man chose to do things his own way. The question of God's universal sovereignty was called into question. The problems we have today, even down to the common cold are a result of man ruling himself. We unfortunately have to deal with the consequences of our own actions. It's interesting that man claims there is no God reasoning that if there was one, we would have no problems, and yet, we don't want our free will trampled on. Science is fascinating and has achieved things beyond our wildest dreams. But what we need to understand is that science studies, builds, and creates based on what already exists. We are to believe (and rightfully so), that "things" by science were created, and yet we are taught to believe that the very things science copies has no creator? Something very wrong with that picture. The big problem is that religion has distorted what the Bible teaches with Pagan rituals and Greek mythology. They have made a mockery of God. In my mind, science and God can co-exhist. I think is outstanding that science can peer into the universe and be awed by what they find. Among other things, perfect order that we can literally set time to and navigate by. Of all beings on earth (approx. 100 million species by some reports), we, man, are the only ones with the ability to reason, or to even the develop the concept of a God. Man has an inherent drive/need to worship something. Whether it be a God, a statue, another person, science, atheism, etc. Unfortunately, because of our desire to rule ourselves, we have lost our way. I know most of you scoff and don't want to hear it, the Bible does offer hope. The question of universal sovereignty will be will be answered. God wants us to realize that with all our gifts, we do not know how to govern ourselves. He is letting us see that for ourselves. And as the Bible promises, he will step in and save us from ourselves. Something that science does not even pretend to be able to do.

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

        I don't want them to cure the common cold. It would cost too much, insurance would be even more costly, people wouldn't have anything to complain about, and most of all I want my immune system to get some exercise once in a while without pharmaceutical help.

        March 1, 2013 at 9:46 am |
      • Jess

        @Albert,
        If god know everything you have done, are doing and will do, that is not free will. Sorry.

        March 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Greg

      Excellent post and I agree – and I'm a Christ follower..

      March 1, 2013 at 7:42 am |
      • awayidiots

        you are an idiot... Christianity is only believable if you consistently lie to yourself about reality....

        March 1, 2013 at 9:15 am |
      • joe

        Which also means you're an atheist. Because you've dismissed every other god but your own.

        March 1, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Dum Bass

      Could you find a better place to troll???? Science, critical thinking ain't the place to be thumpin' ur bible. We know better.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • CMJ

      For starters I am a Christian (I categorize myself to make it easy. I don’t agree with “religion” it is the cause of most of our problems, I believe in relationship with god.) To my point, I really agree with your post. I love science and especially computer science.

      I can’t understand why people of “religious” beliefs say not to most any science. Maybe because they are caught up in being blind sheep to their religion and refuse to think for their selves. Prime examples are Mormons, Catholics and Muslims. They do what they are told and that is it. Free thinking not permitted. I can say this because I was Mormon for the first 18 years of my life but that is another story for another day.
      Anyway good post and good points (the parable was a great example).

      March 1, 2013 at 8:33 am |
      • Aimz

        I am a Mormon, and I love science! That's why I became an engineer. I find that the LDS church does encourage "free-thinking" by promoting personal prayer, personal scripture study, personal revelation, and secular education. Great post, AA, that pretty much sums up my feelings as well. If we really believe that God created our universe, then that should give us even more reason to discover what He has created. I suspect that fear of science stems from insecurity in faith, but the two should never be in conflict if God truly created all things.

        March 1, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Excellent Post

      That was an excellent post

      March 1, 2013 at 8:35 am |
    • Ray Zimmerman

      Well said! I'm a Christian and find this absolutely fascinating. Thanks for trying to find common ground instead of being a moron.

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

      'god' is an idiotic idea promoted by immoral people to control and pacify the weak minded.

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

      Dude right on I agree with you! The complexity of the human mind is a mirror image of that of God's. Though on a smaller scale..

      March 1, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • Grumpster

      All of this is not relevant since there is no god.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:49 am |
    • Rios

      Well put, AA. You are a wise individual!

      March 1, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • dATRUTH

      Brilliant man. Brilliant

      March 1, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Shirley Saum

      That is a very thoughtful answer. People have wondered for years if there really is a heaven and a hell. My gut feeling is that Black Holes were created as Hell where the unrepentant child abusers, Syrian mass murders and other evil creatures will be sent to spend eternity Take a look at the painting "The Scream" – looks like the subject iss running from a Black Hole.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:09 am |
    • Edcode

      AA ++
      Rightly said

      March 1, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Aaron

      As a deeply religious person with a strong Christian belief system,. I can honestly say that this is the most reasoned and respectful response I've ever heard an Atheist give to those who hold a belief in God on any subject. Intelligence is not to be held in disdain. I just happen to believe in God. That does not keep me from learning all that i can on this earth. I have faith that those things I do not understand will eventually be made known unto me, either through further learning or sometime after this life. I went to a university that, while owned by the church I attend, did not throw science out the window in the face of scripture. I took anthropology and learned the same things about australopithecus that would have been taught in any other school. I found this refreshing and loved the fact that we were taught what we as people know and then were left to ourselves to find common ground with our beliefs.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  54. Warren Zebrof

    God is present most people have just given up trying to seek Him out

    March 1, 2013 at 7:03 am |
    • John

      I find it unsurprisingly ironic that the term "intelligent design" was born out of ignorance.

      I am relieved that science is not actually hinged upon the dogma of religion, for it would be a dark and cold existence for eternity.

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

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

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

        So well said! The more intelligent a person, I find, the less likely they are to believe God created all. Geez – the Bible was written when people probably still believed the earth was flat; it has been rewritten a gazillion times it seems. Oh, well...

        March 1, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Dan

      Keep your imaginary friends to yourself.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • dATRUTH

      Well tell me where he is and I'll find him

      March 1, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Wrathbrow

      So people should stop going to church to seek out god. I agree.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Dana

      Invisible and imaginary are very similar.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • bspurloc

      same for the great spaghetti monster

      March 1, 2013 at 10:46 am |
  55. John

    Wouldn't it be an interesting destiny if the black holes continued to devour everything around them until black holes were finally consumed by one super massive black hole, leaving only a point of singularity once again which violently erupted into a big bang and the process started all over.

    March 1, 2013 at 7:00 am |
    • Reason over Reason

      Now, THAT would be interesting....

      March 1, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • End Religion

      That is one hypothesis ( see Big Crunch or Big Bounce http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_fate_of_the_universe ), however there is increasing evidence we live in a flat, infinitely expanding universe that won't crunch or bounce but continue to expand as stars die out over billions of years (Big Freeze).

      March 1, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Trey

      I was thinking something along the same lines, except you nailed it to the t. Very good observation, like a huge recylcing pit. And possibly this happens over, and over infinite, so possibly trillions of years from now, we will be typing the very same thing we are now because eventually this all may repeat itself somehow.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • MarylandBill

      It is alas highly unlikely given our current understanding of the Universe. At one point we believed that the expansion of the Universe was slowing down and could possible shrink again back to the Big Crunch. However for the last 10 years or so we have known that the rate of expansion is increasing. In other words, it seems unlikely that the Universe will ever shrink again.

      March 1, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Dan

      I think it's possible that it has happened many times before.

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

      I was wondering the same thing, as I now see some others were too. Perhaps it's not too far fetched at all. It would be one good way of recycling all the good we've taken out of and all the crap we've put back into this wonderful planet. Maybe next time around greed won't be the main goal in life. Sadly though, with humans that will probably always be the case.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • GFrederick

      Very good TEDTalk on this subject. Very theoretical of course but scientists now postulate that there is a 'multiverse', a series of universes which populate an infinite expanse much like galaxies populate our universe. So even if our universe were to either collapse in on itself (Big Bounce) or expand to being incoherent (Big Freeze), there might be other universes which our galaxy would collide into (provided the Milky Way lasts that long). Interesting stuff.

      March 1, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • RKNY

      A fun thought indeed, but over the billions of years it would take for the black holes to amalgamate, they would also, eventually, dissipate into the freeze via the Hawking radiation that does escape. Even if a few giant holes formed and evaporated or blew up, eventually only background radiation would exist in this universe, using current thought.

      The only escape from that (if our descendants are alive in many billions of years) is to learn, through billions of years of scientific development, to create a new universe (or sustainable bubble within our own) to inhabit.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:17 am |
    • Jon Price

      I believe Carl Sagan made that point in Cosmos. There's still the question of how many times it's done that and what started the process.

      March 1, 2013 at 10:24 am |
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