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Super-Giant Black Hole Baffles Scientists

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by CowboyMcCoy, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    You would probably not enjoy the galaxy NGC 1277. Never mind that it's far - 220 million light-years away in the constellation Perseus. The problem is that at its center is a giant, giant black hole, 17 billion times as massive as our sun, so big that scientists calculate it makes up 59 percent of the mass of the galaxy's disc.

    Astrophysicists have long believed that there's a black hole at the center of our Milky Way, but it probably accounts for something like 0.1 percent of the galaxy's center. The one in NGC 1277, scientists report in today's edition of the journal Nature, is the second largest they've ever observed, and it upends what they thought about how galaxies form.

    Black holes, as you'll recall, are objects in space so massive that their gravity consumes everything around them - stars, planets, matter, energy, even light. Earthly scientists can only observe their effect on the space around them, not see them directly. Be grateful we're not close to one. They're actually useful to astrophysicists in explaining the nice spiral shape of many galaxies - you need something massive in the middle for the stars to circle - but NGC 1277 is an extreme.

    "This is a really oddball galaxy," said Karl Gebhardt of the University of Texas at Austin, a member of the team that made the find. "It's almost all black hole. This could be the first object in a new class of galaxy-black hole systems." Gebhardt and colleagues at the McDonald Observatory have been calculating the mass of different black holes - no small task considering their powerful gravity.

    http://news.yahoo.com/super-giant-black-hole-baffles-scientists-174556589--abc-news-tech.html
  2. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    This black hole. It's um, 17 billion times larger than our sun. No big deal guys?
  3. dexternjack

    dexternjack World Traveler Zone Supporter

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    Not a big deal compared to 220 million light years away. Come to think about it, I did not think our universe was that big, 220 mil lt years is a long, long, long........, ways aways.
  4. CowboyMcCoy

    CowboyMcCoy Business is a Boomin

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    That's very true.
  5. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    Random reactions...

    [IMG]

    'Great, now I won’t be able to sleep at night knowing that thing is out there.'

    Link
  6. BlindFaith

    BlindFaith Active Member

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    So how big did you think the universe was, if not infinite? Some big infinite brick wall at the edge?
  7. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    Well, Shazam...

    :laugh2:
  8. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    The universe is estimated to be 15 billion years. That 220 million is almost 1.5% of that.
  9. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    Approximately 1,290,453,120,000,000,000,000 miles away...

    So if I remember correctly, that is:

    1 sextillion, 290 qunitillion, 453 quadrillion, 120 trillion miles away...

    One trillion = 1,000 billion
    One quadrillion = 1,000 trillion
    One quintillion = 1,000 quadrillion
    One sextillion= 1,000 quintillion

    I think I got it right...
  10. Joshmil53

    Joshmil53 Active Member

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    Meh, not that far.
  11. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    that sir is what us neurosurgeons call "right around the corner" thank you very much.

    Wow thats some impressive work on the math. My mind is still boggling it.
  12. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    The good news is that your Prius could make it there with only 25,809,062,400,000,000,000 tanks of gas...

    Call us when you get there... oh... and take a flashlight... :D
  13. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    I have a friend that recently got a job at UT's McDonald Observatory. That is where I heard about this from.

    17 billion solar masses is unfathomably large. It takes light 8 minutes to reach the Earth from the Sun. That is 93 million miles traveled in 8 minutes.

    Neptune is 30 times further from the Sun. (2,780,246,913 miles) It takes light from the Sun 4.12 hours to reach Neptune. Neptune's orbit is twice that. (60 times the distance from the Sun to the Earth, or well over 5 billion miles)

    NGC-1277 is 11 times wider than Neptune's orbit. That comes to about 61,165,432,086 miles. (61.1 billion miles wide) The size of NGC-1277 dwarfs our entire solar system. It is 11 times larger!

    Traveling at the speed of light, it would take you 4 days to cross the diameter of this black hole.

    Edit: Here is an image talking about what I said.

    [IMG]
  14. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Astounding.

    It has to be an ancient merged cluster of some sort to become that large. Hard to inagine how anything exist anywhere close to it...any by that I mean within light years of it.
  15. ShiningStar

    ShiningStar Well-Known Member

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    u ll be the first to get a post card from there.
  16. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    This picture is crazy.
  17. jobberone

    jobberone Orangutans make great bass players Staff Member

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    What's interesting is they didn't think super massive black holes could be that large a percentage of a galaxies size or mass. It throws a monkey wrench into how galaxies may have formed.
  18. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    The bottom line is that we know very little about what goes on outside of our own galaxy...
  19. dexternjack

    dexternjack World Traveler Zone Supporter

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    Most scientists agree that the universe is ever expanding, so that would, in fact, mean that the universe is expanding into something. In short, a lot think the universe is finite at any point in time but will never stay finite, if that makes sense.
  20. dexternjack

    dexternjack World Traveler Zone Supporter

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    Those are two totally different measurements. The universe is almost 15 billion years old, but that has no relation in going a certain distance in light years/speed.

    One is a measurement of how fast something is traveling, the other is just a measure of time.

    Assuming the universe is expanding slower than the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), I was saying if a spaceship traveled at that speed for 220 million years in time, that it would eventually catch the 'edge' of the universe (if there is or isn't one).

    Never-mind, too hard to express my thoughts, no way to explain what I am trying to say in words here :(

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