Holey Space


Massive holes, deep holes, old holes – space holes. Holes in the vastness of space – vague, imperceptible apparitions free to behave anyway they please. Invisible cosmic riddles hidden from all but infrared light. Holes of unimaginable scope occupying the vast expanse  perceived as “empty”.  Holes without explanation or understanding – can they bend time, are they portals, do they obliterate everything foolish enough to wander up and say hello?

Images from the European Space Agency (ESA)  Herschel Space Observatory found a .2 light year wide hole in constellation Orion. Using infrared technology, Herschel verified a “blob” in nebula NGC 1999 (a star cluster within the confines of Orion) was indeed a hole in space as we know it. Science has a theory as to how the hole opened  (a void left when fledgling star cluster V380 Ori was born), beyond that – questions from depth to destiny are anyone’s guess.

A "hole in space" captured by Herschel.

A dark patch in a green blob of gas and dust (top) is a hole in the nebula NGC 1999.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100512-science-space-black-hole-herschel-stars/

Our Milky Way galaxy churns around a “super massive” black hole. Black holes are all about gravity – imagine our planet the size of a dime – small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but weighing the same and packing the exact gravitational forces as its former self. Next multiply that by hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions, and you have a black hole. A region of space so densely packed with matter, gravitational pull won’t let light escape. By definition – an object in space so dense that its escape velocity exceeds the speed of light.

Watch this video – black holes are beyond cool.

http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/black-holes/

Super Massive Black Hole Encounter


Super massive black holes are the cement holding galaxies together. Massive is a word fitting extremely large objects – preface it with “super” and you have unimaginable size. Asking anyone to visualize something hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions or billions times larger than our sun is pointless. If a super massive pimple came up in conversation – few in the room would struggle over mental images.  Super massive black holes defy common understanding, they elude definable points of reference. Ridiculous vastness aside, black holes are considered fictional science fiction devices rather than concrete science fact.

Princeton physicist John Wheeler came up with “black hole” in 1967. Albert Einstein surmised their existence as part of his theory of relativity – simply put, when a star “dies” it collapses in on itself, resulting in a core of dense mass. Picture New York city instantly compressed onto a pin head and you have “baby steps” towards visualizing just how dense is dense. If the “remnant core” exceeds three times the star’s mass, gravity screams “oh hell no” – a black hole is born.

Galaxies cluster around the extreme gravitational pull of black holes. The Milky Way galaxy boasts a respectable super massive behemoth over four million times the mass of our sun. Indiscriminate cosmic glue, responsible for galactic rotation, orbits, and sealed fates for anything passing the “event horizon” – a  gravitational point of no return, the threshold of absorption by forces so powerful, not even light can escape.

Astronomers are buzzing over an opportunity to witness a black hole in action. In 2011 German astronomers noticed a gas cloud  oblivious to its ill fated path, speeding up as it neared the event horizon. Recent data indicates part of the cloud has begun “spagettification”, a certified sign of black hole might –  gravity elongates as it pulls towards oblivion. The main body of this cloud is expected to succumb by April.

To actually observe an object, to see how it behaves as it vanishes into mystery – how cool is that?  Ponder a moment capable of catapulting science fiction into fact.

http://earthsky.org/space/almost-snack-time-for-our-galaxys-supermassive-black-hole?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=2a1b8f0bbc-EarthSky_News&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-2a1b8f0bbc-393970565

Image via ESO/MPE/M. Schartmann/L. Calçada

Image via ESO/MPE/M.Schartmann/L.Calcada

The Conspiracy Conspiracy


I don’t believe we are alone in the universe; it isn’t reasonable to think in all those millions of galaxies some form of life doesn’t exist. The belief our world is only 6000 years old strikes me as pure lunacy; a sentient being did not create the world in less than a week. The 140 million mile wide black hole at the centre of the milky way galaxy is not the stairway to heaven. Cuttlefish can instantly change; not only the colour, but texture of their skin because evolution is a weird and wonderful thing. Not for one second do I think our historical timeline is accurate; history , civilization lost, whatever you want to call it, existed thousands of years before textbook history class. Governments keep us on a “need to know” basis, and money makes the world go round.

This makes me a conspiracy theorist; a person dismissed as “out there”, someone who dines on ancient aliens and buys into any hair brained argument that comes along. It isn’t about religion, science or politics; the tables have turned, I’ve been branded – open my mouth about Gobekli Tepe. Puma Punku, even solar flares and eyes start to roll. The other night I caught about 5 minutes of a TV show called Conspiracy Theory with Jessie Ventura; the subject was time travel. Jessie and his “team” were getting to the bottom of secret time travel conducted by the U.S. government, a whistle-blower claimed time travellers visited American presidents before they were elected, informing them of their destiny. I’m not able to say the how or why because something dawned on me while scrambling to change channels.

The conspiracy conspiracy seemed the only plausible explanation. Take ex pro wrestler, turned former Governor of Minnesota, Jessie Ventura; throw in Oliver Stone’s son as one of his “investigators”, turn them loose on scripted nonsense, pretty soon the mere mention of something unexplained smacks of crazy. Pure and evil genius.

How Could All Of You Be Right?


Recently I read a post on one of the blogs I follow. To make a long story short – the writers fundamentalist father- in- law declared there was no such thing as a “black hole” . FIL reasoned that God would not allow anything to be destroyed. It took a moment or two for the graveness of the situation to sink in. The writer, too dumbfounded to respond – walked away without uttering a word. Good for him. Any other response would have been futile.

This got me pondering. All of us know our world is divided by many religious views. Although I may not agree with them, I respect  individual beliefs or faith. The baffling thing is that they all think they’re right. Perhaps they should form a committee, a panel of religious leaders, coming together to make the world a better place. Rather than bicker about who had the “true God” they could redirect their efforts towards something that mattered.

What should a person of any faith care about who joins them at the pearly gates? Faith, spirituality, or the lack of either should be a choice not an obligation. If father- in- law believes a black hole is impossible who cares, at least he’s happy. The sooner we agree to disagree, the sooner we can move forward. You can’t all be right.

http://www.religionfacts.com/big_religion_chart.htm

world religions pie chart