We’ve received a birth announcement from 20 million light years away, in the form of our first ever glimpse of what seems to be the birth of a black hole.
When massive stars run out of fuel, they die in a huge explosion, shooting out high-speed jets of matter and radiation. What’s left behind collapses into a black hole, which is so dense and has such strong gravity that not even light can escape it.
Or so the theory goes, anyway. Now, a team led by Christopher Kochanek at Ohio State University in Columbus have glimpsed something very special in data from the Hubble Space Telescope, from when it was watching the red supergiant star N6946-BH1, which is about 20 million light years from Earth.
The observations mesh with what theory predicts should happen when a star that size crumples into a black hole, but more analysis of the data could lead to a refinement of the models we now have to describe such processes. (1)
Create a model.
Create a model again.
Observe again and again.
Create a model again and again.
Sounds dull and pointless right?
It’s called science.
Sit alone and imagine.
Sit alone and dream.
Sit quiet and just Be.
Accept the world instead of creating it.
Sounds great right?
It’s called religion.
The stars can fade away into nothingness. Or the stars could have never even existed because the world is already filled with light. You choose…