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NASA Announces Discovery of 30-Year-Old Black Hole

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the give-or-take-50-million-years dept.

NASA 195

broknstrngz tips news of an announcement today from NASA about the discovery of a black hole in the M100 galaxy, roughly 50 million light-years from Earth. The discovery is notable because, if confirmed, it's now the youngest known black hole, born from the remains of a supernova we observed in 1979. Bad Astronomer Phil Plait explains why scientists think it collapsed to a black hole, rather than a neutron star: "The way a neutron star emits X-rays is different than that of a black hole. As a neutron star cools, the X-ray emission will fade. However, a black hole blasts out X-rays as material falls in; that stuff forms a flat disk, called an accretion disk, around the black hole. As this matter falls onto the newly created black hole, it gets heated to unimaginable temperatures — millions of degrees — and blasts out X-rays. In that case, the X-rays emitted would be steady over time. What astronomers have found is that the X-rays from SN1979c have been steady in brightness over observations from 1995 – 2007. This is very strong evidence that the star’s core did indeed collapse into a black hole." He also warns that we're not certain quite yet, and we'll have to keep our eye on it to make sure it's not a pulsar.

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Because everyone else will say it too... (1, Informative)

richdun (672214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237222)

It's not a 30 year old black hole unless it's merely 30 LY from us... and I'm pretty sure we'd have (not?) seen / felt it by now if that were the case.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237284)

The Earth is a black hole, you insensitive clod!

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237352)

Black hole? what about a white hole you racist GNAA honkey!

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237840)

When people say "Honkey," I don't think they realize that white people laugh our asses off when we hear it. It's kind of silly, and like the reverse of a racial slur, insofar as it just shows ignorance, and (in my observations at least) reinforces stereotypes.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (5, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237292)

It's not that hard to figure out. We're looking at what a 30-year old black hole looks like, regardless of how long it took that light to get here.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1, Redundant)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237394)

It's not that hard to figure out. We're looking at what a 30-year old black hole looks like, regardless of how long it took that light to get here.

Yeah, totally agree. Can even remove the actual age of the object by saying:
We are looking at the birth and first thirty years of data after the black hole formed.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237434)

It's not that hard to figure out. We're looking at what a 30-year old black hole looks like, regardless of how long it took that light to get here.

But since it's a black hole, that means the light is actually going the other way, from here to there.

And the most important thing to know in these situations: stop digging.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237790)

It's all relative anyway.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (2)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237302)

But a "50,000,030 year old black hole" doesn't have quite the same ring.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (5, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237320)

From our point in space, it is 30 years old.

But, more to the point, what we're observing now is a 30-year-old black hole. It's just that over where the black hole is, it's no longer 30 years old. That's not particularly relevant to us on Earth.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (-1, Troll)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237386)

No, it's 50,000,030 years old no matter where you are. The measurable effects only just hit Earth 30 years ago. But the fact that it's only now observable from this particular point in space now doesn't make it any less old. Nor does the fact it actually happened 50,000,030 years ago make the data any less valuable.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (0, Redundant)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237438)

It's 50,000,030 years old now, but what we're observing is a 30 year old black hole.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238484)

It's 50 million years old over in the point in space where it's located, but it's only 30 years old over in the point in space where we're located.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (2, Insightful)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237488)

It all depends on your frame of reference doesn't it, and in the absence of an absolute universal reference I shall accept earths as a reasonable and practical substitute. And seeing as from earth that black hole is 30 years old thats the age I'll accept, anything else is pointless pedantry.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (4, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237528)

"No, it's 50,000,030 years old no matter where you are."

Uhm. I'm moving at 0.8c. It looks very much like 25000015 years old to me.

Are you suggesting that there's a global frame of reference?

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1, Troll)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238018)

There's an obvious universal frame of reference: measure everything relative to the place where the big bang happened. Your choice of axes is somewhat arbitrary, though.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34238214)

Except that the Big Bang happened everywhere simultaneously. There is no "place" where it happened.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

xigxag (167441) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238262)

Maybe you were kidding but, "the place where the big bang happened" is located in the past, and everywhere on the expanding bubble of the spacetime manifold that is our observable universe is equidistant from it. So you can't point to the big bang -- any point could arbitrarily be the center of the universe.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34238330)

You're talking about selecting a center to the position coordinate system. You're right that the big bang was "everywhere" so it can't be used to designate an origin to space coordinates.

However, the cosmic microwave background has some reference frame in which it is motionless. There's nothing intrinsically special about this reference frame, since indeed everything is relative, but it's still a reasonable choice for "the reference frame of the big bang". If you wanted to pick just one reference frame as a standard, it would be a good one to use.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (4, Interesting)

bertok (226922) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238278)

There's an obvious universal frame of reference: measure everything relative to the place where the big bang happened. Your choice of axes is somewhat arbitrary, though.

This is a common misunderstanding of the big bang theory.

There is no center. It didn't start at a "location". The entire universe is evenly expanding, from everywhere.

They common analogy is to reduce the 3D space of the universe to a 2D example. Imagine two points on the 2D surface of a balloon. One point is you ("the observer"), the other point is something distant, like a star, that you are observing. Now inflate the balloon. The result is that the two points move apart, because space (the rubber of the balloon) is expanding. A line drawn between the two points would be longer and longer. Note that neither point is "special". Both points observe the same symmetric effect: the other point moving away.

The real universe is a lot like this, except instead of a 2D surface expanding, it's a 3D volume expanding. There's no "center", all of the points move away from each other. From the point of view of each observer, they are the center.

More accurately speaking, each observer is the center of their own private spherical "observable" universe expanding away from them. The center of the universe is your own head. 8)

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34238512)

Mod parent up. Now I know why I shouldn't run with scissors.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34238534)

so...they were right many hundreds of years ago when they thought the earth was the center of the universe...

i am being serious here.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238298)

There's an obvious universal frame of reference: measure everything relative to the place where the big bang happened.

The big bang happened right here, for any value of "here".

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

FrootLoops (1817694) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238328)

Try hanging a picture relative to such a frame of reference. You'd say "I measured it and the holes should be exactly 3 inches apart but they won't fit!" because of distance contraction. The grandparent just meant there's no preferred [wikipedia.org] inertial reference frame inasmuch as the speed of light is the same in all of them. They didn't mean there was no reasonable frame, such as (approximately) the one we're in right now.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (3, Interesting)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238486)

"Are you suggesting that there's a global frame of reference?"

No, but he could argue that there's in fact a *privileged* frame of reference with regards of age: the one centered on the object to be dated.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238604)

wouldn't the more important and more useful "privileged" frame of reference (to us) be the one that we are viewing it from?

all the data we are receiving from this object is showing us what how it appeared 30 years after birth. so for all our purposes it is 30 years old. we can't see how it looks at 50 million years of age unless we wait 50 million more years, or learn how to break the speed of light barrier.

another issue, from our perspective we know that it happened in 1979, so we know that from our perspective it happened exactly 31 years ago. however do we know for sure that it is exactly 50million light years away? or is it 49.431 light years away? or is it really 51.192 light years away? the measure of how far away it is, is only an estimate. but we know the exact date it happened in 1979.

so saying it is 31 years old and is approximately 50million light years away would be the most accurate method of measuring its age. any intelligent person would realize it really happened a rough estimate of 50million years ago but they know the light reached us exactly 31 years ago.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237566)

No, it's 50,000,030 years old no matter where you are

And this is where you failed modern physics.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (2, Insightful)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237594)

I thought the whole point of relativity was that it's not just observation that's limited by the finite and constant speed of light in a vacuum, it's that time itself is relative based on relative velocity and acceleration. E.g., we might well be seeing a 50,000,029 year old black hole, based on the way that time passes over there relative to us.

I also was under the impression that time slows down to a crawl within a black hole. (Some sci-fi I read once, aliens cooped themselves up in one to not have to deal with the rest of the universe.) So if you're going by how the black hole feels about time, depending on the coefficient there, we might be looking at a black hole that's only a couple of weeks old.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237600)

Any astrophysicists around?

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237886)

I'm not an astrophysicist but I can tell you that what you are thinking is correct:

  Special relativity showed that there is really no such thing as "simultaneity" and so you cannot claim this black hole was created simultaneously to some event on the Earth 50 million years ago. For all intents and purposes it really did happen 30 years ago.

In addition, someone traveling at .99c would say its only 7 million LY away and it collapsed 4 years ago instead of 30.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237996)

time slows down approaching the event horizon, where it stops completely (which is why it's called the "event" horizon). time has no meaning beyond the event horizon.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238026)

Indeed, the black hole is actually zero years old, not 30, and not 50M+30.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238514)

"I also was under the impression that time slows down to a crawl within a black hole."

It really doesn't matter since the energy we are seeing comes from the outside of the black hole, it's not emited by the black hole itself (it is black, after all). On the other hand, it perfectly can be the case that Relativity simply doesn't work for black holes (so Relativity, both special and general are wrong/incomplete theories).

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

hoshino (790390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237356)

It is 50 million and 30 years old. Problem solved. You can check my workings.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237376)

And I modded you informative so that nobody else has to make this stupid pedantic comment. It is implied that what we are observing is the light from a 30 year old object that traveled for 50 million years. Spelling out every trivial detail is annoying. I'm going to mod down everyone else that makes a post to the effect of "guh huh, well technically it's 50,000,030 years old" or something equally stupid.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237450)

And so you should, because they are wrong. We would have to be 50,000,030 years in the future to observe that black hole at the age of 50,000,030. Not only are they being pedantic, but they're also just plain wrong.

Re:Because everyone else will say it too... (1)

ksatyr (1118789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237474)

Err... Happy Birthday?

It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (-1, Redundant)

fbartho (840012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237228)

It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. I guess the claim re: young black hole is more due to the age apparent in the images we're capturing now, then the actual age of the black hole.

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (4, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237276)

We use the European version of "discover", it's new when it's new to us :)

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (5, Insightful)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237288)

Of course. Unless you have some magical way of getting those images to us or us to the black hole faster than the speed of light, for all intents and purposes it is 30 years old, as viewed from our frame of reference.

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (2, Insightful)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237316)

Of course. Unless you have some magical way of getting those images to us or us to the black hole faster than the speed of light, for all intents and purposes it is 30 years old, as viewed from our frame of reference.

What a typically anthropocentric way of looking at the universe.

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (2, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238140)

Not at all. It's relativity. No frame of reference is special, but it's easier to talk about things within our own frame of reference for practicality's sake. It's only anthropocentric in the sense that we can't observe things in a reference frame other than our own.

There are astrophysics professors who insist on the idea that if the light cone hasn't hit us yet, then it hasn't happened. No matter if you agree or not, it definitely makes sentence construction easier.

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237580)

There is no such thing as 'actual age' or 'actual time interval' It is all frame dependent. In our frame, the black hole has existed for thirty years.

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (2)

fbartho (840012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237680)

Why does *our frame* matter so? If we posit that it is in a galaxy 50 million light-years away, we can conceive of the frame of reference that contains both, no? We know it took 50 million + 30 years for the light beam and its information to reach us. To me that's a pretty definitive age. Should I not think of things that way?

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (3, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237758)

Why does *our frame* matter so?

Because it's the one we're observing it from. In a Relativistic universe, everything is relative to a frame of reference and you can't actually say anything about when things happen or their age outside of the context of a specific frame of reference.

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238042)

Why not prefer the frame of reference of the hole itself, where the age is zero?

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238090)

Why does *our frame*

Think of it like an old picture or video. Sure, the home video may be of you as a 2 year old, but the fact that you're significantly older now won't change the video.

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238474)

Why does *our frame* matter so?

It matters to us. In this case, we are interested in what happens to a black hole right after formation, so we're interested in black holes that are 30 years old in our frame of reference.

We know it took 50 million + 30 years for the light beam and its information to reach us.

That's still a statement relative to our frame.

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (1)

fbartho (840012) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238576)

That's still a statement relative to our frame.

That was how I visualized it. The age (relative to our frame) was not 30 years, the age was 30 years + our estimate as to the distance of the ex-star from us.

Re:It was 30 years old, 50 million years ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237792)

Thanks for clearing that up to us, completely stupid slashdotters, Einstein.

This sounds... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237240)

This sounds like the setup to an epic "Yo Mamma" joke. I almost don't want to read the article just because I know it won't be...

Re:This sounds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237558)

You mean like this?

"Yo Mammo is so black her asshole looks like a black hole" ;-)

Posting as anon for obv. reasons...

Old News (-1, Flamebait)

negatonium (1103503) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237262)

Not to be pedantic but if the star is 50 million light years away then the "new" black hole is really 50,000,030 years old. Not exactly "news".

Re:Old News (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237312)

No, it's 30 years old, it's just 30 years old to us. [wikipedia.org]

Remember what the Big E said about time being relative to the observer, y'know.

Re:Old News (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237570)

The news is that we are observing a 30 years old black hole. If you been all your life surrounded by old people, seeing for first a photo of someone of 30 years old could be news for you, even it was a very old photo.

Re:Old News (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238358)

You are not pendantic, no, you are just wrong. There is no such thing as simultaneity, and you can not make an absolute statement of the age of the black hole. It will be between 30 years and 100 million plus 30 years, depending on your reference frame. It is pointless to bicker about it.

Don't you mean this instead? (2, Informative)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237280)

He also warns that... we're not certain... quite yet, and... we'll have to keep... our eye on it to... make sure it's not a... pulsar.

Relativity of Simultaneity (5, Insightful)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237282)

To all the inevitable pedantic responses about it not "really" happening 30 years old, I'll be even more pedantic. :) Relativity of Simultaneity, look it up. It's absolutely meaningless to talk of the temporal ordering of space-like separated events. In some suitable reference frame, it "really" did happen 30 years ago.

Re:Relativity of Simultaneity (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237342)

Well, it would figure that most of the comments on Slashdot would be criticizing TFA and at the same time getting relativity wrong by reasoning as if there is some absolute clock.

Relate to this! (2, Informative)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237682)

I don't know much about the Universe, but I am certain about one thing: There isn't a person alive who understands it . The people who feel a sense of superiority by deluding themselves into think they do are among some of this Space-Time's most strikingly hilarious examples of irony.

Re:Relate to this! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237770)

I feel superior because I know enough about it to know I don't understand it. How's that work for your irony meter? :)

Re:Relate to this! (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238048)

"I feel superior because I know enough about it to know I don't understand it. How's that work for your irony meter? :)"

I don't find it ironic at all. Our knowledge is greater for that very reason. The fact that you equate greater knowledge with superiority as a human being might be ironic in most places, but it is to be expected on Slashdot. ;-)br%

Re:Relate to this! (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238476)

Nobody who really understands science thinks they understand the Universe, but they know that they understand it in a measurably better way than others.

Re:Relate to this! (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238520)

They don't know any such thing. Most likely, they understand and can communicate Maya [wikipedia.org] in a mutually delusional way (The distinction between consciousness and physical matter, between mind and body (refer bodymind), is the result of an unenlightened perspective.)

Re:Relativity of Simultaneity (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237406)

Since you're splitting hairs, I will as well. You're taking the Newtonian physics point of view. General relativity would dictate that, relative to our reference frame, the black hole is, in fact, 30 years old. If, for example, aliens were to build a wormhole at that star at the current time (from our point of view) 30 years after the black hole was created, and then traveled here carrying the other end of the wormhole at the speed of light, and it were possible for us to traverse this wormhole, we'd arrive at the star/black hole 30years after it was created. Of course, traversing a wormhole is impossible, but since we're splitting hairs...

Re:Relativity of Simultaneity (2, Funny)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237604)

Of course, traversing a wormhole is impossible, but since we're splitting hairs...

Citation please.

Re:Relativity of Simultaneity (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237736)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Holes_and_Time_Warps [wikipedia.org] Cited. The only theories that describe traversable wormholes must involve 'exotic' matter. AKA matter with impossible properties.

Re:Relativity of Simultaneity (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238066)

You forgot the air-quotes around 'impossible'.

Re:Relativity of Simultaneity (2, Funny)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237416)

Obviously it's not 30 years old if we observed its creation in 1979, that would make it 31.

Re:Relativity of Simultaneity (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237430)

Basically, we can only calculate based on our own local observations and infer "real time" in theory - at best. However, I'm perfectly fine with saying it happened 50 millions some odd years ago rather than the delay of an event propagating through space toward us as the frame of reference.

Re:Relativity of Simultaneity (2, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237486)

Why not sidestep all that and say that they discovered that they can currently see images of a 30-year-old black hole? Whether it's happening live or is a stream from millions of years ago is irrelevant for their study.

Re:Relativity of Simultaneity (1)

flowwolf (1824892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237760)

Society already is in the habit of calling delayed broadcasts live. Anything you see on tv that is called a Live Broadcast actually has quite a bit of latency involved in the signal. I would say in the norm of 3 seconds. Ever since the superbowl nipple shinanigans I believe they've increased this artificially for many big events.

Re:Relativity of Simultaneity (3, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237702)

To all the inevitable pedantic responses about it not "really" happening 30 years old, I'll be even more pedantic. :) Relativity of Simultaneity, look it up. It's absolutely meaningless to talk of the temporal ordering of space-like separated events. In some suitable reference frame, it "really" did happen 30 years ago.

You've got that somewhat garbled. The relevant events would be (A) a photon is emitted from the star, and (B) that photon arrives here on earth. The relationship between A and B is lightlike, not spacelike. Since they are lightlike relative to one another, they do have a well-defined temporal ordering; there is no frame of reference in which B preceded A, or in which A and B are simultaneous. Your final sentence, however, is correct.

Accretion DIsks ? (2, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237348)

Neutron Stars can have accretion disks too. (LSI 31 303 is supposed to have one, for example.)

So I am not sure I see why that is determinative. Off to read the article.

"Keeping an eye on it" (1)

durkzilla (1089549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237350)

Ok, so what if it IS a pulsar? Don't leave me hanging like that, you know I'm too lazy to read the article.

Re:"Keeping an eye on it" (2, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237458)

If it's a pulsar, it's a neutron star; degenerate matter, but matter still, and not a black hole.

Re:"Keeping an eye on it" (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237784)

If it's a pulsar, it's a neutron star; degenerate matter,

Geeze. Judgmental anyone?

Re:"Keeping an eye on it" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34238432)

If it's a pulsar, it's a neutron star; degenerate matter, but matter still, and not a black hole.

How do you know a black hole isn't matter?

Slow news day? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237354)

That news is 50000030 years old

Here's the better news (0)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237446)

Being a black hole, this one is obviously a female at a still attractive age!

Re:Here's the better news (2, Funny)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237544)

Would that be a BHILF?

In Soviet Russia... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238168)

...BHLFY.

Obviously, (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237484)

It's 50000030 years old.

Bad Astronomy? (2, Insightful)

starless (60879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237496)

I'm not sure the Bad Astronomer understands this properly... an accretion disk could certainly form around a neutron star as well...

Re:Bad Astronomy? (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237820)

an accretion disk could certainly form around a neutron star as well...

I feel as if yo mamma jokes are imminent...

Re:Bad Astronomy? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238528)

...an accretion disk could certainly form around a neutron star as well...

Phil Plait didn't say it couldn't. Link [discovermagazine.com]

obligatory jokes (0, Flamebait)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237502)

1) I'm pretty sure The Black Hole came out in 1979, so this story is a year old. Way to go, Slashdot editors!

2) That's overstating things a bit about Duke Nuke 'Em Forever.

3) Another story about the Hurd?

Please, please, no applause; just throw money. I'll be here all week...

Re:obligatory jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34238312)

Actually, it was just one of the NASA scientists commenting he'd found a 30 year old black ho, but one thing led to another...

Naw.... (2, Funny)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237522)

I know of a younger one. It actually just happened. Sorry though, the light from the supernova won't be here for 50,000,000 years. Go ahead, prove me wrong! ;p

Re:Naw.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34237698)

I just traveled into the past 50,000,000 years to call you a liar!

Re:Naw.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34238428)

Nopethere was nothing happening.
I didn't feel any divergence of The Force.

Re:Naw.... (0, Troll)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238588)

"I know of a younger one. It actually just happened. Sorry though, the light from the supernova won't be here for 50,000,000 years. Go ahead, prove me wrong! ;p"

OK, ok, I'll do it. If only you first tell me how did you get to know about your new black hole so I can corroborate your findings. If not, I'll simply think you were lying.

(This exactly why those telling this black hole is in fact 50.000.030 year old are not even wrong but making an unsensical claim).

Fifty Million and Thirty years old (0, Flamebait)

johnrpenner (40054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237554)

if it is '50 million light-years from Earth' - then it must be something that happened at least fifty-million years ago - talk about old news - not even slashdot repeats news that's *that* old... ;-P

Stop with all the 50,000,030 stuff! (1)

glowworm (880177) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237864)

Let's just leave it as "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." and trust that what we can "see" now is how it looked when it was/is 30 years old.

Witnessing the birth of a blackhole (1)

fatp (1171151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34237974)

Does any observatory around the world keep the record (radiation of different frequencies..., etc) around that portion of the sky? If the signal was strong enough, we will be able to witness the birth of a blackhole!

black hole? neutron star? (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238062)

FTA:
"the press releases by NASA make it seem a lot more certain this is a black hole, but I think that’s premature; beware of news article making the same claim"

it seems to me though, that a pulsar would not be giving a continuous x-ray level, but, maybe, pulses?

still cool either way.

Re:black hole? neutron star? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238232)

You don't see any pulses from a pulsar unless you are in the plane of the beam.

The inevitable geek-off (1)

trippyd (307143) | more than 3 years ago | (#34238456)

You know why I love topics like this one? The inevitable Slash-Dot geek off. This is how I learn about a lot of subjects, like here, I don't know astronomy too well, but I know SD has the people with the skills. The trolls are just comic relief.

Younger than me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34238516)

Oh! God, an celestial body younger than me!!.

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