It’s A Factory!

Continuing along the lines started with the first post….astronomy…..this science seems to adding to our knowledge of the universe daily…..the possibilities that some of the worlds circling distant stars are inhabited…..and then there is the search for dark matter, dark energy and those elusive black holes.

The science knows it is there just that we have not been able to find them….that may have changed…..

The center of our galaxy is teeming with black holes, sort of like a Times Square for strange super-gravity objects, astronomers have discovered. For decades, scientists theorized that circling in the center of galaxies, including ours, were lots of stellar black holes, collapsed giant stars where the gravity is so strong even light doesn’t get out. But they hadn’t seen evidence of them in the Milky Way core until now, the AP reports. Astronomers poring over old x-ray observations have found signs of a dozen black holes in the inner circle of the Milky Way. And since most black holes can’t even be spotted that way, they calculate that there are likely thousands of them there. They estimate it could be about 10,000, maybe more, according to a study in the journal Nature .

“There’s lots of action going on there,” says study lead author Chuck Hailey, a Columbia University astrophysicist. “The galactic center is a strange place. That’s why people like to study it.” The stellar black holes are in addition to—and essentially circling—the already known supermassive black hole, called Sagittarius A, that’s parked at the center of the Milky Way. There are good reasons the Milky Way’s black holes tend to be in the center of the galaxy, Hailey says. First, their mass tends to pull them to the center. But mostly the center of the galaxy is the perfect “hot house” for black hole formation, with lots of dust and gas. Hailey says it is “sort of like a little farm where you have all the right conditions to produce and hold on to a large number of black holes.” (Another galaxy mysteriously seems to have no dark matter.)

I find all this just fascinating……any thing you guys would like to add?

Us Coast residents are watching that small hurricane headed for the Gulf…..we are always watching these storms……I will not be caught with my pants down…..not by any storm.

I shall take my leave… whatever it is the better half has planned….I will be back to form tomorrow… well, be safe……chuq


They Are Stealing The Light

How many times in your life have you looked up in the evening skies and thought about the universe?  The expanse…..the wonder of it all.

Today is Sunday and I think that I have done enough history….so how about a little astronomy?

Have you watched the night skies and thought you saw a star twinkle and go out?  Is it possible that advanced civilizations are stealing starlight?

Watch out for stars moving across galaxies or losing power—it could be aliens gathering energy before the lights go out. Dan Hooper, an astronomy and astrophysics professor at the University of Chicago, posted a paper in the preprint journal arguing that aliens in far-off galaxies may be sucking energy from stars to offset risks posed by an expanding universe, LiveScience reports. “The presence of dark energy in our universe is causing space to expand at an accelerating rate,” writes Hooper. “As a result, over the next approximately 100 billion years, all stars residing beyond the Local Group [of galaxies including the Milky Way] will fall beyond the cosmic horizon and become not only unobservable, but entirely inaccessible, thus limiting how much energy could one day be extracted from them.”

Therefore, he argues, an advanced civilization may use something like “Dyson spheres”—an imagined solar-powered satellite dating back to 1930s science-fiction, notes LiveScience—to harvest a star’s energy or use that energy to move it closer to home. Hooper hinges his case on the work of Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev, who argued in 1962 that technologically advanced civilizations would expand via three steps: harvesting resources of their planet, then the nearest star, then all stars in the galaxy and nearby galaxies. So how to spot energy-grabbing aliens? Massive stars emanate certain light wavelengths, which will appear in galaxies’ light signatures if stars are drained energy—that is, when humans have powerful enough instruments to detect it.

This news should aid those “Ancient Alien” people smile with anticipation of upcoming TV documentaries…..and a hardy round of “I told you so”……any thoughts?

A bit cooler today but the humidity is still hovering around 90%……so the garden is out and A/C is called into action….