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10-10-2011, 11:57 AM
Astronomy Pics
A friend sent me this, I don't know what I'm looking at :confused: ( just a nice picture :) ) but good to share -

10-10-2011, 01:39 PM
I don't know what I'm looking at...

Artist rendition of a black hole?

10-10-2011, 01:52 PM
That is an artist's conception of what it might look like in the near vicinity of a super massive black hole, such as the one at the center of our galaxy. I'm sorry to say that the actual images aren't nearly as spectacular.

This is one of the images captured by the Wise telescope.


It's unfortunate that the image at the site you linked was not identified as a artist's conception. NASA always identifies such images as well as false colour images. The fault lies with the website, not with NASA.

See here for more info on the black hole observations.


and here:


10-10-2011, 02:30 PM
Thanks Evan, http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-greet024.gif (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php) that makes more sense, the artist must have a good imagination for that interpretation.

Reading the NASA write-up I found this gem-

"To see bright flaring activity from a black hole, you need to be looking at the right place at the right time," said Peter Eisenhardt, the project scientist for WISE at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Like after a curry :D :D

10-10-2011, 05:41 PM
I suspect that the artist's imagination fails miserably in depicting the real thing. It isn't something that will ever be seen by any living thing. The X-radiation flux in the general vicinity (100s of light years) is high enough to vaporize ceramics. I also suspect that there is nothing at all black about a black hole. It will surrounded by an inferno of disintegrated matter with the coolest part of the plasma radiating in blue-white at unimaginable intensity.

A black hole also presents an absolute paradox. At the event horizon the escape velocity is the speed of light, give or take a few neutrinos. For matter to be accelerated to the speed of light requires infinite energy. At the speed of light Lorenzt contraction will make the infalling matter infinitely thin (2 dimensional) and the time dilation at "c" is infinitely great meaning that time stops at the event horizon.

A legitimate question then becomes "Can anything actually ever fall into a black hole or does it become an infinitely thin layer plastered for eternity at the precise boundary of the gravitational event horizon with the Universe?"

Also, within a particle radius of the event horizon the gravitational gradient may be strong enough to dissociate atomic particles into quarks. What happens then is unknown and unguessable. What may exist inside of a black hole falls into the same category of question as what may have existed before the "Big Bang".

I believe it was Einstein that said "God created Hell for people who ask that question".