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26 New Black Hole Candidates Found In Andromeda

timothy posted about a year ago | from the well-they're-newly-found dept.

Space 57

William Robinson writes "Astronomers have discovered 26 new likely black holes in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy — the largest haul of black hole candidates ever found in a galaxy apart from our own. The central region of the Andromeda galaxy is chock-full of black holes, according to extensive observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory." These 26 black hole candidates add to nine previously known for a grand total of 35.

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what happens (3, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | about a year ago | (#44000941)

to all the atoms and radiation that gets sucked into a blackhole? does it just disappear into nothingness?

Re:what happens (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#44000985)

research has shown that materials that go into black holes are converted to energy. This energy is re-radiated out from black holes, which is how we detect them. notice how the testing was done at an xray observatory. so yes, matter is destroyed but energy is created and all remains equal.

Re:what happens (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001039)

Hawking radiation [wikipedia.org]

Re:what happens (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001063)

Actually, matter that goes into black holes tend to go into an alternate universe, where there is what some might refer to as a "white hole", which is like an exit from the black hole.

In fact, some theorize that our universe was actually created by a "white hole", and all the matter in our universe came out of it.

Re:what happens (4, Insightful)

Relic of the Future (118669) | about a year ago | (#44001209)

Actually, this is the most ridiculous response I've ever seen that had the gall to start with "actually."

Actually, alternate universes and white holes are about as far from actually accepted theories as you can get, this side of string theory.

Actually, starting a response with "actually" makes anyone sound like a jerk.

Re:what happens (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001911)

Everyone knows that anything that enters a black hole goes back in time. It is known as the Old Spock/Young Spock Star Trek Effect.

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44002969)

You're all jerks, actually.

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44007189)

Actually, alternate universes and white holes are about as plausible as all of your "actually accepted theories," especially string theory.

Like religion, you sciency types only accept the theories put forth by your man-gods (Hawking, etc.). There is no proof for most of Hawking's theories and the logic is about as sound as the AC you responded to.

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44011915)

(Hawking, etc.)

If by "etc." you mean the rest of the scientific community (which can extend beyond just the professionals)... then yeah, although the "etc." far, far over shadows Hawking. If by "etc" you mean the popular, well known scientists, then no, you would be pretty wrong, especially considering quite a few other names are coming up just in the discussions here, and the material presented by writers like Hawking includes a lot of theories and work put forward by other scientists, not just themselves.

There is no proof for most of Hawking's theories and the logic is about as sound as the AC you responded to.

There is no proof, and it could be wrong for a variety of reasons. But it is based on heavily tested general relativity and other simple principles, and is quite simple to derive. Further work is related to quantum field theory, another heavily tested theory. If you had stopped at just the first half of the sentence, you would have been at best insightful or worst redundant. But the second half means you are either a troll or rather ignorant of the state of modern physics and the relative quality of logic behind different theories.

Re:what happens (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001313)

In fact, some theorize that our universe was actually created by a "white hole", and all the matter in our universe came out of it.

Anyone can theorize anything. Some theorize that cats secretly rule the world. I theorize you're an idiot.

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44012769)

Anyone can theorize anything. Some theorize that cats secretly rule the world. I theorize you're an idiot.

That's not really much of a theory - there's plenty of empirical evidence to suggest as much.

Re:what happens (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004607)

Actually, matter that goes into black holes tend to go into an alternate universe, where there is what some might refer to as a "white hole", which is like an exit from the black hole.

In fact, some theorize that our universe was actually created by a "white hole", and all the matter in our universe came out of it.

The big thing that differs physics from math is that in physics you need to know the history of the science, not just the formula.
The white hole concept (And the wormhole idea.) is what happened when they let a couple of mathematicians look at physics.

A very simple model (but incorrect) for black holes is as a gravitational singularity. It was speculated that if there exists positive infinities that consumes matter then there should be negative infinities that extracts matter too, a kind of antigravity-holes or white holes.
Now if those exists the matter has to come from somewhere. The suggestion was that it came from the black hole and that all black holes were wormholes.

So yes, some speculate about a lot of things but there are plenty of professors that have opinions about subjects that they aren't even on bachelors level in.

White holes came from a physicist... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006367)

The idea of a white hole was originally proposed by Igor Novikov, a Russian astrophysicist (with degrees in physics and astrophysics...). The idea is a valid solution to the Einstein field equations, and can be derived as a natural extension of the Schwarzschild metric. That is not to say they actually exist, only that they would not violate general relativity.

Such work is a perfectly valid approach to physics. You take a a tested theory and see where the mathematics goes, to see if it predicts new things that could be observed. Ideally you find something that must exist because that provides a strong test of the theory, but sometimes you find it just says something could exist, which is much weaker, and still might not allow for a process for such a thing to come into existence even if it allows for the existence. But you keep an eye out, and a few times that has resulted in new discoveries, but must remember that is is still possible for the theory to be correct and such an object not to be findable anywhere.

The problem isn't mathematicians taking over physics, it is when blurring or forgetting the line between the idea of something must exist according to a theory and it being a possibility, with or without reason to think such a thing could have formed. More often than not, this is a vice of pop-sci, which is often quite interested in the more exotic topics that fall into the latter category, although physicists will make that mistake too.

The big thing that differs physics from math is that in physics you need to know the history of the science, not just the formula.

There is really only three reasons to know the history: for pedology as some of the older models are simpler and make good introductions, as a source of ideas that may inspire new ideas or help explain why new ideas don't work, or for curiosity. This is no different for math than physics. The big difference between math and physics is that the latter requires familiarity with both the math and observation..That doesn't forbid speculation, just means you need to keep things in perspective and know that something is speculation.

A very simple model (but incorrect) for black holes is as a gravitational singularity.

And now you seem to be getting into the territory of either not explaining yourself well, or suggesting that you may be one of the kinds of people you speak out against, having an opinion on something they are not familiar enough with.

(For the record, while I had degrees in both physics and math, I ended up becoming an experimentalist...)

Re:what happens (5, Informative)

antimatt (782015) | about a year ago | (#44001069)

It's far easier for astronomers to identify black holes by how nearby objects behave--especially by observing their orbits, and the gravitational lensing effects.

I suspect you're thinking about black hole evaporation [wikipedia.org] ? It's a real phenomenon, at least theoretically, but the energy radiated in this manner from a typically-sized black hole is way less than the background radiation of the universe, so the mass/energy of the singularity continues to grow.

Incidentally, the evaporation phenomenon is also why you don't have to worry about the LHC ever producing a black hole that destroys the earth--any black hole it could create would radiate to nothing almost instantly.

Re:what happens (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#44003083)

What prevents the black hole from sucking in additional matter from around it in order to stay alive? Its not like the black hole is in the middle of mostly empty space, its more or less 'inside' a planet full of matter to consume.

Re:what happens (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about a year ago | (#44003423)

A small black hole (Double?) the planck mass doesn't have any matter around it. It would be similar to calculating the gravitational influence you have on Jupiter's orbit if you flew to the other side of the earth. only less so.

Re:what happens (2)

Livius (318358) | about a year ago | (#44003617)

The black hole would be so small that inside a planet full of matter would, from its perspective, mean being in the middle of mostly empty space.

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004625)

What prevents the black hole from sucking in additional matter from around it in order to stay alive? Its not like the black hole is in the middle of mostly empty space, its more or less 'inside' a planet full of matter to consume.

Because even if we were able to take half of the matter of that planet and create a black hole of the black hole would be so small that it would take it several billion years to consume the other half. By then Earth will be well under the suns surface.

Actually... White Hole citation? Re:what happens (1)

Fubari (196373) | about a year ago | (#44007911)

Actually, in space nobody can hear the "woosh" (I know, Antimatt, I'm giving AC the (perhaps undeserved) benefit of the doubt).
Citation: White Hole (Red Dwarf) [wikipedia.org]
Excerpt:

As Kryten explains, a white hole is a very rare spacial phenomenon - for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and whereas black holes suck matter from the universe, white holes spew time back into it.

Re:what happens (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#44001079)

This energy radiation is only theoretical, and has not yet been observed. Not with any sort of certainty, at any rate.

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001309)

It shouldn't be surprising that it has never been seen from an astronomical source, since a solar mass sized black hole would be emitting a total of 10^-28 W omnidirectionally (0.0001 yoctowatts...). And the total power scales down with the square of the mass, so a one million solar mass black hole would be emitting a trillionth of that power.

Re:what happens (4, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44001471)

What? No... You're completely wrong. I don't even know where to start. Not even radiation can escape a blackhole. The radiation blackholes cause, is hawking radiation. Hawking radiation is rather simple, the theory is that the universe is a constant froth of matter/antimatter being created in pairs. Most of the time these pairs collide and destroy each other immediately. On the event horizon of a black hole however, it's possible for the pairs to be come into being with 1 of the particles inside the event horizon and the other outside. So one escapes while the other is trapped. Since the trapped particle is the opposite of the free particle, it's "As if" the black hole emitted radiation, because the particle trapped has the negative effect on the blackhole that the escaping particle has. But it was NOT emitted. After BILLIONS of years this effect can eventually cause the blackhole to, for lack of a better word, evaporate. But this is not because it's giving off any radiation. Blackholes can not, nor will they ever, give off any type of radiation or matter. And the effect of Hawking radiation is so slow that the singularities will be the last things that exist in this universe for a very, very, very long time after all of our stars have run out of fuel.

Lastly, blackholes warp space and time. By the time matter passes the blackholes event horizon it's been torn to elementary particles by gravity. But even those elementary particles never reach the singularity. The warping of space-time is so great that time slows to nearly the point of stopping. They are in a perpetual free-fall towards the singularity but will never arrive. If you were falling backwards into a blackhole, and somehow had some magical device that allowed you to survive the decent, you would watch the end of time before your eyes. Granted it would be warped into a single point of light that would just snuff out, but you get the idea.

Re:what happens (1)

SuperGus (678577) | about a year ago | (#44001739)

"By the time matter passes the blackholes event horizon it's been torn to elementary particles by gravity." - I thought that for sufficiently large black holes, the tidal forces at the event horizon can be small enough that a human would not even notice passing the horizon? Maybe I am mis-remembering :-)

Re:what happens (4, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44001759)

little problem is that Hawking radiation is only theoretical, we don't know if it exists. also, your description of fate of infalling matter or view from that reference frame is not known for certain because black holes are where quantum mechanics meets general relativity meets whatever the mechanism of gravity (quantum?) is. we just don't know.

Re:what happens (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44002129)

By the time matter passes the blackholes event horizon it's been torn to elementary particles by gravity. But even those elementary particles never reach the singularity. The warping of space-time is so great that time slows to nearly the point of stopping. They are in a perpetual free-fall towards the singularity but will never arrive. If you were falling backwards into a blackhole, and somehow had some magical device that allowed you to survive the decent, you would watch the end of time before your eyes.

You got this all backwards unfortunately. First off, the event horizon is not really a special location to local observers. You could be torn up to pieces way before the event horizon for a small black hole, or way after it for a very large one. For a local person in free fall, nothing special would happen at the event horizon.

Second, the time slowing down and taking forever to fall in would be what a distant observer sees. For the observer in free fall, they would reach the singularity in a finite amount of time. And for even large black holes, that finite time is actually quite short, so you would not see the whole universe evolve in front of you, you would very quickly reach a point where the stresses exceed any imagined material strength.

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005965)

For a local person in free fall, nothing special would happen at the event horizon.

Not so fast !

The "no drama" vs "firewall" issue is unresolved, which is why it's handy to have a bunch of candidates for close observation.

The problem (Mathur, Giddings, Braunstein) is that only two of three of the following can be true:

i) no drama: a generic infalling observer notices nothing unusual

ii) Hawking radiation is in a pure state (QFT) and so information is carried away by it rather than lost

iii) Semiclassical gravitation is valid outside the horizon (EFT)

There are uglinesses from abandoning any of these, although in the worst case the "firewall" in abandoning (i) has an energy limit at the EFT cutoff scale, so you could run into a gas of planck energy particles. It's not at all clear if that's the generic case, though.

Abandoning (ii) is tantamount to abandoning AdS/CFT duality, which would be a theoretical disappointment to many people. It is also hard to preserve unitarity without (ii), especially if Hawking radiation actually exists. On the other hand the unitarity of AdS/CFT itself is not yet proven ...

Abandoning (iii) is hard to do without abandoning locality. Additionally, doing so may still lead to firewalls.

In other words, a black hole information paradox still exists, and the "no drama" condition is central to it. :-(

Re:what happens (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#44003125)

Spaghettification isn't exactly a concern on the scale of humans. Its a problem for solar systems, sure, but a person isn't large enough to have that large of a difference. Its not an issue on tiny black holes and only becomes less of a problem the larger you get.

Of course ... all the things you state as if they were facts are really relatively new theories about how the universe works, but that one in particular shows you've been reading too much sci-fi.

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44004343)

Spaghettification isn't exactly a concern on the scale of humans. Its a problem for solar systems, sure, but a person isn't large enough to have that large of a difference. Its not an issue on tiny black holes and only becomes less of a problem the larger you get.

No, you are seriously underestimating the stress from the gravitational forces around a compact object. If you work out the tensile force applied to a 50 kg human who is 1.5 m tall, at a distance of 1000 km from a 10 solar mass black hole, you get almost 25 kN. For a person on Earth, that would be like having your arms tied to a girder, and the weight of a car tied to your legs. And the radius of a 10 solar mass black hole is just under 30 km, so that 1000 km distance is a long ways away from the event horizon.

Yes, it gets less of an issue for larger black holes, and there are supermassive black holes where a human should be able to survive (the stress forces at least) the crossing of the event horizon. But even large solar mass sized black holes are way too small to survive getting close to. Even a neutron star would tear a person apart before they could reach the surface, and, if likewise ignoring heat and other threats, on the surface of a white dwarf you would easily feel the difference in force between your head and feet.

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44005747)

What? No... You're completely wrong. I don't even know where to start. Not even radiation can escape a blackhole. The radiation blackholes cause, is hawking radiation.

Actually, it is a bit early to be completely sure about how black holes work. According to the Schwarzchild metric [wikipedia.org] applicable to nonrotaing uncharged black holes there are actually two singularities, one at the event horizon and one in the middle. The the consensus seems to be that a free falling observer will not notice passing the event horizon, but there is some uncertainty about what a but a far observer will observe. One hypothesis is that she will simply see things disappearing across the event horizon.

Another hypothesis is that objects falling against the horizon will never actually reach it. This latter hypothesis is highly nonintuitive but it is a direct consequence of the Schwarzschild metric and can be interpreted as spacetime being extremely, perhaps infinitely "stretched" close to the event horizon. From this point of view, the physics involving Hawking radiation happens close to but never really on the "other" side of the horizon.

This perspective on the anatomy of black holes is called "black hole duality" [science20.com] or "black hole complementarity" [wikipedia.org] . It is conjecture, but it is consistent with mainstream physics and advocated by some highly compentent physicists including Stanford professor Leonard Susskind [wikipedia.org] and Nobel laureate Gerard t'Hooft [wikipedia.org] .

http://www.science20.com/alpha_meme/black_hole_duality_general_relativity_without_singularities

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006137)

The article on duality seems to be misconstruing or misrepresenting what duality means and is either wrong, or not conveying the point well. Although I can pinpoint the issue at the moment enough to elaborate on that. I don't think I've ever bumped into a physicist that thought coordinate singularities were physical though. There may be experiments to coincidentally tell if you are at such a location because coordinate singularities sometimes occur at an interesting place, or at least at a place where some observable reaches a convenient geometric value (e.g. you can tell if you are at the north pole or not). But that isn't because it is a singularity so much.

in other words, the important part of the complementarity is what happens to the information, not the difference between internal and external observers, as the latter was pretty well accepted for some time.

Re:what happens (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#44001715)

no. that radiation by which we detect them is merely heated gases spiraling into the hole. hawking radiation is a theory, we do not detect that for it is emitted at a very very low rate for a large black hole. Hawking radiation has never been detected.

Re:what happens (1)

AvderTheTerrible (1960234) | about a year ago | (#44003989)

Except that black holes radiate energy at a temperature that seems to be inversely proportional to its mass. Even a simple stellar mass black hole emits so little radiation that is is for all intents and purposes, black. A black hole will not become visible until it nears the end of its life, when its contents are rapidly radiating away and the rate of energy release brings its temperature into a detectable range. Right now they emit virtually nothing, so we literally can not see them.

We can, however, infer their existence through the effects of gravity on other nearby stars. We can also use this effect to infer their mass, which is exactly how we have figured out that at the very center of our own galaxy there is a black hole with 4.1-4.5 million times the mass of our Sun.

Re:what happens (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year ago | (#44001303)

The atoms gets crushed under so much gravity that they break apart and turn into more basic materials which merges with the rest of the stuff in the black hole contributing even further to the mass. Likewise, the radiation (like light) get sucked in and joins the soup.

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001441)

That is it - if you do believe in blackholes at all. Heretic as it seens, some people disagree blackholes even exist: http://www.holoscience.com/wp/black-holes-tear-logic-apart/ [holoscience.com]

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44006023)

That is it - if you do believe in blackholes at all. Heretic as it seens, some people disagree blackholes even exist: http://www.holoscience.com/wp/black-holes-tear-logic-apart/ [holoscience.com]

Crank site. The author is a Velikovsky fan. [holoscience.com]

Re:what happens (1)

tbid18 (2495686) | about a year ago | (#44001455)

Hawking showed that when you combine quantum field theory with black hole physics then they will produce what is now called Hawking radiation. The black hole will eventually evaporate away through this process. What finally happens is the subject of recent controversy. The physics is well beyond me, but the idea of it is that several current assumptions concerning physics lead to contradictions when considered in the context of black holes (in particular, entanglement leads to subtle problems), leading some to posit the existence of firewalls [wikipedia.org] .

More info can be found here [preposterousuniverse.com] .

Re:what happens (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44003915)

to all the atoms and radiation that gets sucked into a blackhole? does it just disappear into nothingness?

I'm not sure anybody knows for certain ... a soup of muons and gluons and other things that happen when the laws of physics get stretched to the extreme. :-P

It doesn't 'go' anywhere (probably), and I don't think I understand well enough to know if it's even still technically 'matter' ... it just becomes more mass and more gravity, or something like that.

We'd need a TARDIS to be certain. ;-)

Re:what happens (1)

Skinny Rav (181822) | about a year ago | (#44004739)

I will add to all other uninformed responses with mine:

Aren't they endlessly into the singularity, but never actually reach it? I mean, they speed up almost to the speed of light (hence x-ray bursts), so time slows down for them more and more.

Re:what happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44009395)

The time of outside events appears to slow down as you approach the speed of light relative to your surroundings. But time still advances the same for you locally, and you can still get from point A to point B, as seen from your frame. In fact, it actually makes it seem go faster, as the distance you measured between A and B before you speed up will now be much shorter in the moving frame due to length contraction. So for you it goes by pretty quick. For an outside observer on the other hand, they would see things you do slow down, but will still see you covering a lot of distance in cases relative to special relativity. Although for general relativity cases, it can go the other way, where the expectation is it would take infinitely long to see someone fall into a black hole from an outside observer.

Re:what happens (1)

painandgreed (692585) | about a year ago | (#44009411)

to all the atoms and radiation that gets sucked into a blackhole? does it just disappear into nothingness?

It all adds to the mass, charge, and angular momentum of the black hole.

Candidate Number Seven (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#44000951)

Interviewer: What would you say your biggest weakness is?

Black Hole: Dumb fucking question! [spaghettifies interviewer]

Re:Candidate Number Seven (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#44002015)

Black Hole: Vote for me to be your black hole and I promise to suck! A lot!

Interviewer: Pretty much like any other candidate I've interviewed!

Re:Candidate Number Seven (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#44003217)

Black Hole: Vote for me to be your black hole and I promise to suck! A lot!

Interviewer: Pretty much like any other candidate I've interviewed!

Whoa ... hold your horses !!

Those who want us to vote for them so they can stay in the White House *never* promise us that they sux

Re:Candidate Number Seven (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#44003769)

In fact one never even inhaled.

Re:Candidate Number Seven (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#44005805)

They never promise that, but they all do.

Two protons walk into a black hole (1)

PoliTech (998983) | about a year ago | (#44000975)

Cool! maybe we can finally measure the speed of dark!

One has already been found... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000979)

it's in the Oval Office. Ha Ha Ha!!

First! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44000993)

...In my frame of reference, at least.

Just found another black hole (1)

johnny5555 (2843249) | about a year ago | (#44001023)

And it's RIGHT BEHIND YOU!

26 New Black Hole Candidates (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44001121)

.. there's a reality show/politics joke in there, somewhere; I just know it...

Wait, we've heard about this before! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44001265)

So you're saying that in a few hundred thousand years, radiation levels in the Andromeda galaxy will have risen too high for it to continue supporting life? That means those aliens who took over the Enterprise and tried to leave our galaxy with it will be here soon! Panic! Run!

Holy shit! We're doomed. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a year ago | (#44001757)

The miky way, our galaxy, is scheduled to collide with the andromeda galaxy in 4 billion years. What if we hit a black hole? This universe is getting more and more dangerous all the time.

Talk about a wild midseason replacement! (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44002249)

Talk about a wild midseason replacement!

Each week, we eliminate some of them, until the live broadcast, at which point America texts in their votes, and they pick one to be black hole?

The real question isn't how many... (1)

Rick in China (2934527) | about a year ago | (#44003113)

It's what can we do with them. We know they exist, how about scientists find some great functional use for Black Holes - that way, when we can eventually get near one, we can use them for something. Obviously theory is fine, but.. GET CRACKIN'! Great, there are a dozen more, who cares! Find something to do with them!

Miscategorized (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#44004213)

I thought this was a story on the 2016 presidential race.

Re:Miscategorized (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44043615)

I thought this was a story on the 2016 presidential race.

is calling it a race politically correct, in the context of black holes?

As I understand it... (1)

DrStoooopid (1116519) | about a year ago | (#44006227)

....there are quite a few "black hole" candidates in Washington.

*badumtisss*
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