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Star Falls Into Black Hole

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the fascinating-from-a-great-distance dept.

Space 169

thodelu writes with news that astronomers recently got a look at what they believe is a star falling into a black hole. Phil Plait explains: "As the star approached this bottomless pit, the side of the star facing the black hole was pulled far harder than the other side of the star, which may have been a million or more kilometers farther away from the black hole. This change in pull stretched the star — this stretching is called a 'tide,' and is essentially the same thing that causes tides on the Earth from the Moon’s gravity and when the star wandered too close to the black hole, the strength of that pull became irresistible, overcoming the star’s own internal gravity. In a flash, the star was torn apart, and octillions of tons of ionized gas burst outward! This material whipped around the black hole, forming a disk of plasma called an accretion disk. Magnetic fields, friction, and turbulence superheated the plasma, and also focused twin beams of matter and energy which blasted out from the poles of the disk, away from the black hole itself. The energy stored in these beams is incredible, crushing our imagination into dust: for a time, they shone with the light of a trillion Suns!"

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169 comments

Is there no escape? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763112)

Why is Slashdot covering Charlie Sheen now?

Re:Is there no escape? (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763144)

Dammification! You beat me by one minute. Now my Sheen joke will join the black hole of /. moderation

Re:Is there no escape? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763242)

Duh, winning. The tiger blood running through my veins allowed me to first post.

Re:Is there no escape? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763236)

Yeah, and quit ragging on Detroit. They've suffered enough already.

Star lost its sheen (-1, Redundant)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763116)

Enough about Charley Sheen already

I didn't come here (0)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763146)

To read more about Pia being dumped from American Idol

Quick! Let's hurry! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763156)

Unleash the kerosene powered tubes and *colonize* that sumbitch! Wrap a few trillion kilometers of copper wire around that thing and beam the power back to Earth, we need the energy!

Re:Quick! Let's hurry! (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763634)

Unleash the kerosene powered tubes and *colonize* that sumbitch! Wrap a few trillion kilometers of copper wire around that thing and beam the power back to Earth, we need the energy!

It was probably a publicity stunt for another civilisation's equivalent of Coca-Cola and involved the band Disaster Area.

Well that's rather poetic (0)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763158)

Fitting though, for the death of a star.

Get his man a turtleneck, joint, and a public television slot!

Re:Well that's rather poetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763320)

Like this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQNZ3CVGxvQ

Re:Well that's rather poetic (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763498)

Fitting though, for the death of a star.

Get his man a turtleneck, joint, and a public television slot!

It's all relative, man. The star doesn't die, it ceases to be its own entity and combines with the mass of the Black Hole.

billyuns and billyuns

Re:Well that's rather poetic (1)

Opyros (1153335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764464)

Well, one of the reviews of his latest book does say "Reading this book is like getting punched in the face by Carl Sagan." (quoted on the sidebar of TFA). You're not the first to compare Plait to Sagan.

How long does this process take? (3, Interesting)

nebaz (453974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763168)

I would be quite surprised if one was able to witness the entire event through a telescope from start to finish. I'm curious how long it takes a star to "fall into a black hole" from start to finish.

Re:How long does this process take? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763212)

Its all relative.

Re:How long does this process take? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763216)

As far as any of us are concerned, it'll take forever.

Re:How long does this process take? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763356)

Unless you're in the star itself, nope. For us, it takes 4 days. For the hapless star, it'll take forever.

Re:How long does this process take? (1)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763784)

Unless you're in the star itself, nope. For us, it takes 4 days. For the hapless star, it'll take forever.

I think you've got it backwards. The star experiencing time dialation will experience the entire for days in a blink of an eye. It will be fine and then be destroyed before it knows what happened. Meanwhile, to observers watching the object will see it's last image as it crosses the event horizon go to infinite red shift and just fade away rather than actually cross.

Re:How long does this process take? (1)

mhelander (1307061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764092)

I thought the faster you moved through space, the slower you moved through time (thus preserving your constant speed of light through 4-d space+time) ?

Re:How long does this process take? (3, Insightful)

barrtender (1930830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763262)

Unfortunately I think the only signs we got were x-rays, not anything visible.

As for the duration - there's a couple answers. From our perspective the best I can tell is 41 hours from the note on this picture [swift.ac.uk] saying it was a 41 hour exposure.

From the sun's perspective it should take forever if I remember relativity right. Someone with more knowledge can correct me here, as I'm not positive and would like to know more.

Re:How long does this process take? (4, Informative)

barrtender (1930830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763302)

I wish I could edit my post. The follow up article has much more information.

There was some (not much though) light that could have been visible:

from our distance of nearly four billion light years, the flash of light was only bright enough to see with big telescopes.

As for the duration:

And this event is not over. As the material whirls around the black hole, turbulence and other forces inside the disk can cause the brightness to change. There have been several flares, and while it had been fading for a few days, suddenly on April 3rd the overall brightness increased by a factor of five!

Re:How long does this process take? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763524)

You also have your relativity backwards. Objects in gravity well have time pass faster, so this should have seemed like instantaneous to the star.

Re:How long does this process take? (1)

barrtender (1930830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763596)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_time_dilation [wikipedia.org]

Clocks which are far from massive bodies (or at higher gravitational potentials) run faster, and clocks close to massive bodies (or at lower gravitational potentials) run slower (slow is low).

I'm pretty sure I got that part right, at least.

Re:How long does this process take? (1)

barrtender (1930830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763676)

http://books.google.com/books?id=OUJWKdlFKeQC&pg=PA216&dq=%22gravitational+time+dilation+%22&lr=&as_brr=0&sig=ACfU3U0_wc8IuNJdGCLnsaO-SyqXYaRapw#v=onepage&q=%22gravitational%20time%20dilation%20%22&f=false [google.com]
pg 220

Nevermind. I'm wrong again. FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW it takes forever. From the falling star it'll happen quickly.

Jesus. I really wish I could edit now.

Re:How long does this process take? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763546)

Didn't you read the summary? It happened "in a flash"! No need to read the article for anything more detailed or scientific.

Black Hole (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763170)

That's racist!

Old news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763172)

It was light years away so it has already happened.

Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763174)

"The energy stored in these beams is incredible, crushing our imagination into dust: for a time, they shone with the light of a trillion Suns!"

So, we should put on sunglasses when looking at it?

Re:Protection (2)

vuke69 (450194) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763256)

Do not look into incredible beam shining with the light of a trillion suns with remaining eye.

crushing our imagination into dust (2)

Ezekiel68 (652736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763176)

Inexplicably, no witty comment comes to mind.

Re:crushing our imagination into dust (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763240)

Inexplicably, no witty comment comes to mind.

Apparently you had little imagination to begin with...

Re:crushing our imagination into dust (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763344)

Inexplicably, no witty comment comes to mind.

It's Friday; save your wit for Monday when everyone's reading.

Gravity... (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763188)

Is a distortion of both Time and Space.

While a star being stretched and pulled into a Black Hole, and perhaps giving out a death cry (rather poetically written as: "The energy stored in these beams is incredible, crushing our imagination into dust: for a time, they shone with the light of a trillion Suns!") is certainly fascinating stuff. It seems to me that within its own reality the Sun remains unstreched, unbent and happy as can be until it merges with that which is the black hole (which itself is converting matter to energy, emitted from its poles.)

Re:Gravity... (4, Informative)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763252)

No, the tidal effects exist for any observer.

Re:Gravity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35764300)

Moreover, stars hate it when you anthropomorphize them.

Re:Gravity... (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763494)

No, tidal forces literally do rip the star apart as it approaches the black hole. It would be torn to its constituent atoms long before it ever got near the event horizon.

Re:Gravity... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763770)

No, tidal forces literally do rip the star apart as it approaches the black hole. It would be torn to its constituent atoms long before it ever got near the event horizon.

Usually, and what I'm seeing described in the article, is that the gas from the star is pulled from it, which isn't too unusual where one large star with low density orbits a higher density star with greater mass. Energy emitted from the poles is only from the Black Hole itself, not the star being drawn in - likely the matter from the star will eventually contribute to that stream, though - as pole and disc are quite different locations.

Re:Gravity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763808)

This distortion of both space and time results in great forces applied to the material in the sun. The tidal force is a result of the vast differences in the forces applied to the material on one side of the star as compared to another side of the star. Whereas before the star was close to the black hole, the forces acting on the star's material is relatively more uniform. The results are definitely observable from within the star as well as elsewhere, assuming of course that one can exist there to make the observations. Obviously, we are observing this star and treating it as a whole, and that's where any description of a distortion would make any sense. If our observation is microscopic and is only applied to single atoms within the star, then yes, perhaps the reality of the atoms would remain unchanged, as you said, until it reaches the singularity.

HURR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763200)

DERP DERP look at my WITTY and RELEVANT comment

Re:HURR (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763780)

DERP DERP look at my WITTY and RELEVANT comment

Can't work out whether this was meant as a criticism of the predictable repetitive attempts at being funny vs. actual insightful comments, or just another stupid pointless comment.

But at any rate I'll assume the former, and say that the responses to this story demonstrate again that *in general*, Slashdotters' expertise and ability to comment insightfully on science subjects drops way more sharply than you'd expect when the subject matter veers even slightly beyond the usual IT/gaming/electronic tech subject matter.

What's disappointing isn't so much the lack of people with knowledge about the field, because we can't all be experts. It's that people seem more content to make lame rehashes of the predictable "Hollywood" star confusion-type jokes instead of at least asking questions that demonstrate an interest in the subject (and provide a jumping off point for those who *do* know about this kind of thing to address those of us with less expertise, often answering questions we hadn't thought to ask ourselves, but want to hear the answers to).

I must admit though, to being surprised that, at the time of writing, there is only one smartass this time [slashdot.org] pointing out that this event actually happened years ago due to the distance light has to travel. It's not an astronomy thread without at least ten people showing how "clever" they are by pointing this out like we haven't heard it before and getting pedantic over the implications, like we haven't had *that* discussion before either....

Re:HURR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35764202)

You ain't got shit if you ain't got that wit

Both beams left the black hole? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763230)

> ...twin beams of matter and energy which blasted out from the poles of the disk...

Shouldn't you get one beam going straight into the black hole and one going straight out? A disc doesn't really have "poles", just an axis. The only way I can see the summary being literally true is if (somehow) a fair portion of the star ended up on the side of the black hole opposite the collision.

Re:Both beams left the black hole? (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763272)

The writer is probably thinking of the axial jets. Those are emitted from the hole itself, which is at the center of the disc, so it's technically true.

Our Leader Must Know This Now ... (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763234)

Why, if only a naked singularity could be tamed and harnessed to power a alcebere gravity distortion field space warp drive! Why, with technologies such as this we could invade any star system in the galaxy...

earth just shy of black hole no-fly status; cosmos (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763254)

the chosen ones holycost 'science' seems to react poorly with the universe, & creation. manufactured death is particularly, in spiritual & mathematical opposition to creation.

it's all mapped out for us in the genuine native american elders rising bird of prey leadership initiative (teepeeleaks etchings). real, unabridged history of us, & where we are/were scheduled to wind up here.

star gazing & hand waving is about to make a big comeback?

Re:earth just shy of black hole no-fly status; cos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763488)

am I missing a 'boeing, boeing, gone' at the end of this?

last report still plenty of jets, stuff to explode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763672)

then there's the unproven dead, still unproven. so that takes care of that. the fake weather? where are we boeing?

look it up in the genuine native american elders teepeeleaks etchings, in between murder, mayhem, hymen, & real sex religious 'training'/surgical alterations/extermination. lots to go through, but knowing the truth about our real history helps us decide which of the rulers' planes are 'better', or if we even need any? a continued accurate recorded history of us would be good?

spys like us?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDVt_hSo_EU&NR=1

I'm fallen... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763264)

And can't get up.

Sad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763284)

Hollywood will never be the same :(

why is is part of the bad astronomy blog? (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763292)

Has anybody figured out why this was a part of discover's bad astronomy blog?

Re:why is is part of the bad astronomy blog? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763418)

Wild stab in the dark here on that one, 'cause the guy who writes the blog is a professional gamma-ray astronomer, maybe?

The force of a trillion suns? (5, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763324)

That's OVER 9000 times the force of 1000 suns!

Re:The force of a trillion suns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763910)

WHAT 9,000?!! There's no way that can be right!!

Octillions? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763346)

Is this a rhetorical phrase like ginormous, or is this number actually defined somewhere?

Re:Octillions? (1)

tvsjr (242190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763368)

10^27. Is your Google broken?

Re:Octillions? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763392)

It's powers of a million, so 1000000^8 or A thousand trillion trillion, a billion billion billion: 1 followed by 27 zeros, 10^27.

One octillion [wolframalpha.com] .

Re:Octillions? (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763434)

Is this a rhetorical phrase like ginormous, or is this number actually defined somewhere?

An Octillion is 1,000 Septillions.

A Septillion is 1,000 Augustillions.

An Augustillion is 1,000 Julytillions.

A Julytillion is 1,000 Junetillions.

A Junetillion is 1,000 Maytillions.

A Maytillion is 1,000 Apriltillions.

An Apriltillion is 1,000 Marchtillions.

And a Marchtillion is 1,074 Februarytillions (except every 4 years when it's exactly 1,000 Februarytillions.)

Next time look it up in Googol.

Re:Octillions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763758)

Next time look it up in Googol.

I see what you did there.

Re:Octillions? (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763522)

| Is this a rhetorical phrase like ginormous
Does a neologism shit in the woods?

Re:Octillions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35764340)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Octillion

Light of a trillion Suns! (3, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763348)

You lose, Sentry! Trillion suns beats a million!

Octillions? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763760)

How many brazillians is one octillion?

Silly question: (2)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763352)

As I was thinking about black holes the other day, a few questions came to mind. I'm no astrophysicist, so pardon if they're silly.

The setup: If you pass the event horizon, you're going in, obviously. While you won't take forever to hit the singularity once you're past the event horizon, it APPEARS as such.

1. If I took a cube 100 meters on a side, carved information on it that could be read from a distance, and slung it past the EH, how long would it remain visible? Forever? For the life of the singularity?

2. If for a long period of time, could this be used as a method of "permanent" information storage? I've read too much sci-fi, as I keep picturing an intergalactic bulletin board... just waiting to be read...

4. If the block DOES remain visible, and the singularity eventually has enough dropped blocks into it, would it render the black hole "visible"?

Re:Silly question: (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763464)

carved information on it that could be read from a distance, and slung it past the EH, how long would it remain visible?

It wouldn't be visible once it passed the event horizon. That's the defining characteristic of a black hole's event horizon: nothing escapes, including light.

Re:Silly question: (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763756)

Ah, but from an outsider's frame of reference, it would take the block forever to reach the event horizon. On the other hand, the light from the block would get redder and dimmer until it becomes effectively invisible. Remember, relativity means that time and space are relative, so you must always consider the observer's frame of reference.

Re:Silly question: (1)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763820)

It wouldn't be visible once it passed the event horizon. That's the defining characteristic of a black hole's event horizon: nothing escapes, including light.

True, but the view of it in it's last instants before it crosses the event horizon would take longer and longer to reach the observer and become increasingly red shifted. It will appear to get closer and closer to the event horizon but never reach it while it fades away as the number of photons reaching the observer are fewer and fewer and are increasing shifted in wave length. Eventually, the wavelength of the light coming from it will be so long that won't even be able to be seen as such.

Re:Silly question: (0)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764030)

It wouldn't be visible once it passed the event horizon. That's the defining characteristic of a black hole's event horizon: nothing escapes, including light.

Not to mention that even that fictional stuff they made the Ringworld out of would be ripped apart well before it reached the event horizon.

Re:Silly question: (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763466)

Remember, anything you "Read" is from reflected light. Ain't that a pretzel of the mind?

Re:Silly question: (1)

theqmann (716953) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763526)

So as soon as it enters the event horizon, poof? No more visible cube (as the reflected light rays are unable to escape)?

Re:Silly question: (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763702)

Correct.

Re:Silly question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35764044)

Not completely, when it "enters" there is still visible light on the outside of the event horizon slowly escaping.

Re:Silly question: (2)

mmell (832646) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763570)

There's an interesting theory which relates (tangentially) to your question. You see, from your perspective the cube would never quite reach the EH and would appear frozen in time. However, yon cube will sail uneventfully through the event horizon and in short order strike the singularity. This is a paradox, and we all know that any theory which results in a paradox is by definition false. Reducto ad absurdum is a recognized tool for disproving a hypothesis or theory. The Holographic Principal reconciles the paradox.

(the following quoted from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] )

The holographic principle was inspired by black hole thermodynamics, which implies that the maximal entropy in any region scales with the radius squared, and not cubed as might be expected. In the case of a black hole, the insight was that the description of all the objects which have fallen into the hole, can be entirely contained in surface fluctuations of the event horizon. The holographic principle resolves the black hole information paradox within the framework of string theory.

So, to answer your first question - your cube full of information would remain visible and appear to be outside/on the surface of the event horizon forever.

Yes, you could use this as some form of optical storage - except that other objects will almost certainly be drawn in, obscuring your view of your stored information, and there's absolutely no way to clear your visual field.

To answer your fourth question (I'm going to skip the third, as you did) you'll have the opposite effect - you'll never render the singularity "visible". There is no such thing as a naked singularity. Current theory forbids it. Period. You can completely obscure the event horizon, but the net effect would be to render the singularity more obscured, not the opposite.

Clear as mud?

Re:Silly question: (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763648)

You see, from your perspective the cube would never quite reach the EH and would appear frozen in time. However, yon cube will sail uneventfully through the event horizon and in short order strike the singularity. This is a paradox, and we all know that any theory which results in a paradox is by definition false.

Wouldn't it only be a paradox if the cube physically existed in both places? Observation being relative due to dilation and all.

sail uneventfully through the event horizon

*rimshot*

Re:Silly question: (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764204)

Sorry, this doesn't make sense to me. The event horizon surrounds the singularity. It is defined as the distance where, once an object is less than that distance from the singularity, no information will ever breach the event horizon again. This applies even to photons; the reason a singularity is called a "black hole" is because once light crosses the event horizon it will never return, giving the effect or an object with absolutely no albedo.

In other words, once something passes the event horizon, you *cannot see it* because any light reflecting from it will also have passed the event horizon, and gravity will curve the light back toward the singluarity before the light can escape. The last glimpse you will have of the object is just before it crosses the event horizon. I'm not certain what will happen to light trying to travel directly away from the singularity from a point outside the event horizon - it might get distorted somehow, but I don't have the physics to be sure - but it would get back to you. Once it crosses the even horizon, though, it's gone forever even if it reflects off (or originates from) an object just inside the event horizon.

Meanwhile, there will be a period of time after crossing the event horizon but before the object is actually obliterated (although it will be "destroyed" in the classic sense by tidal forces much earlier, as this star was). As I understand it, an outside observer can (relatively) easily calculate the time it will take for the object to reach the singularity, assuming its the velocity crossing the event horizon and the mass of the singularity are known.Howeve,r for the object itself, time would subjectively be dialated to such an extent that the journey would seem, if not eternal, close to it (again, I suspect that I don't have the physics to answer this one correctly).

Re:Silly question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763712)

The way I see it (as an entirely uninformed person) is something like this:

To avoid the complication of reflected light, say the information on the cube is displayed by LEDs. An observer sitting on the cube can consider the light wave being emitted, and count the finite number of wave peaks up to the time the cube reaches the event horizon.

An observer sitting outside the black hole must see precisely the same number of peaks in the light wave - none emitted beyond the event horizon can ever be seen, and none can be created or destroyed - but the last will take almost forever to escape from near the event horizon to reach them. So the frequency of the observed light is falling from the original frequency of the LEDs when far outside the black hole, to about zero as the wave is stretched to eternity and as the distance between observed wave peaks approaches infinity.

So it's basically just redshifting, and it probably won't take long before that makes the light too low-frequency (hence low-energy) to distinguish from the background noise. You're likely better off leaving the cube in orbit around the black hole until someone comes and finds it.

Re:Silly question: (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764066)

That makes sense, but it isn't time and space being warped, it is just an optical illusion that makes it seem like time and space are being warped.

Re:Silly question: (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763734)

My woefully lacking formal education in this area might be showing as well, but let me try to answer:

1. My understanding is the event horizon is a mind boggling bad place to be near. Even if the spaghettification [wikipedia.org] of your cube didn't take place, light is falling into the black hole, so you'd not be able to read anything in it.

2. As best we can tell, only Hawking radiation [wikipedia.org] is capable of escaping a black hole. Any information would be lost due to entropy, you'd not be able to retrieve any specific information out of that radiation.

3. Why do you hate the #3?

4. Black holes do grow bigger as they continue to merge with the matter that is falling into them. There have been speculations in the past that they could be linked to a white hole [wikipedia.org] , but so far we have no direct evidence of them, just lots of beautiful math.

Re:Silly question: (0)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763874)

3. Why do you hate the #3? ...because "eleventy-two" is a LOT more fun to say.

Re:Silly question: (1)

UtsuMaster (874626) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763762)

Actually, the moment it slung past the event horizon, any light originating from the object would also be trapped within. So, not visible at all.

Permanence would be lightspeed exactly at the horizon. Still no information getting out though. Very insidious backup system, as the hole slowly absorbs stuff, grows, and eats your data.

And for things farther away, its just an orbiting billboard, but there are a lot of safer things to orbit than a black hole :]

I'm not an astrophysicist either, but even if I were, I wouldn't think questions about something this unintuitive would be silly. Theories this crazy can only be interesting, right?

Re:Silly question: (1)

danhaas (891773) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764278)

You can "see" black holes by the bending light suffers when passing by. It's called gravitational lensing.

And I'm sorry to inform you, there are no permanent stuff in the universe. If you can observe it (interact with it), you can mess with it (increase its entropy).

How would this compare to a supernova? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763452)

Subject is self explanitory but woudn't this event be very comparable to a supernova or would it be more incredible because supernovas happen at the end of a star's lifecycle?

-AC

the ori are dialing a super gate (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763486)

the ori are dialing a super gate

old news (0)

netdigger (847764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763532)

The star is about 4 billion light years away. so this has already happened... a little under 4 billion years ago.

bah, old news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763602)

First there were dupe stories and now we get news from billions of years ago, what is /. coming to?

Dissapointed (0)

byronblue (855499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763616)

I read the headline and thought I was coming here to read about how Charlie Sheen got drunk off his ass and fell in a manhole or something.

Re:Dissapointed (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763704)

First comment about Charlie Sheen posted by AC @09:14PM (First Post!!!1)
Second comment about Charlie Sheen posted by Tablizer @09:15PM
Your Charlie Sheen comment posted @10:05PM

Ever think you're putting a little too much care and attention into your posts?

nom nom nom? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763664)

I just have one question for the black hole, what did it taste like? And is tabasco required or is it spicy enough on its own?

old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763668)

old news this happened 4 billion years ago!

How The Simpsons influences technology (4, Funny)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763800)

Any site that "embiggens" images when you click on them is OK with me.

Re:How The Simpsons influences technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35763944)

Any site that "embiggens" images when you click on them is OK with me.

Mod parent up! Perfectly cromulent post!

Repent! (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35763988)

See? The star didn't believe in his Noodly Holyness, so the Spaghetti Monster slurped it down with great vengeance and furious anger.

Repent, human heathens, before we are all turned into tomato sauce!

Exciting story!!!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35764014)

It was damp and chilly afternoon, so I decided to put on my sweatshirt! ... I pulled the lever on the machine, but the Clark bar didn't come out! ... Get rid of the exclamation points...

Am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35764098)

.. who is sick of these things

It Godwins Law for physics/cosmology:
The probability that one will bring up black holes in a discussion about physics approaches 1.

Wow (1)

Jbcarpen (883850) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764114)

I know Slashdot has a penchant for posting old stories, but a story that happened four Billion years ago? That's just ridiculous.

"Crushing Our Imagination Into Dust" (2)

guttentag (313541) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764164)

I was intrigued by the summary until I read this:

"The energy stored in these beams is incredible, crushing our imagination into dust..."

Black hole = awesome. Black hole swallowing a sun = probably beyond the scope of our comprehension, but not quite so amazing that it can turn an intangible thing like imagination into a tangible thing like dust. The author of the summary may have had his brain turned to dust, but to make a claim like this indicates that the imagination is functioning quite well. Perhaps too well.

How much of the star actually falls in? (1)

earls (1367951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764186)

A lot of the star in the disc, a lot of the star in the jets, precisely how much of the star actually falls into the black hole?

objoke (0)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764196)

In Soviet Russia, black hole falls into you!

Simple application of revolutionary relativistic dialectical physics, too advanced for capitalist bourgeoisie obsessed with reference frame status.

falling? (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 3 years ago | (#35764224)

Man that really sucks!!! Stars that fall down and can't get back up.

goatse strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35764228)

You can censor it but one day you'll all have to come face-to-face with the truth!

These comments sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35764244)

These comments sucks.

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