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Possible Hole in Black Holes

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the through-the-looking-glass dept.

495

jd writes "Researchers have found what they believe may be a MECO (Magnetic, Eternally Collapsing Object) inside of a quasar. MECOs are rivals to black hole theory and involve plasmas that never reach the state of being a singularity. The most obvious differences between them are that MECOs have a magnetic field and do not have an event horizon. The problem lies in that the Universe cannot have both MECOs and black holes — it can only have one or the other. If this object truly is a MECO, then black holes do not exist. Anywhere. (Furthermore, this would require Professor Hawking to return a year's subscription to Private Eye and give Professor Thorne a year's subscription to Penthouse.) On the other hand, if this thing isn't a MECO, it's behaving very very oddly for a black hole."

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Errr (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797323)

*Too complicated to coment*

Re:Errr (5, Funny)

bhima (46039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797340)

like that's going to slow anyone down!

Re:Errr (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797395)

> Franz Kafka: The Nostradamus of the post 9/11 United States

Please try to avoid talking about Kafka and that worthless French fuckwit in the same breath. Did *any* of his predictions work out in the end?

Re:Errr (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797551)

Yes... the leaders of the free world have all turned into cockroaches.

You must be new here... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797449)

Come on! This is slashdot! No-one needs to actually know anything about a subject to comment on it - we don't even read the fucking articles!

Re:You must be new here... (-1, Redundant)

Wingit (98136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797466)

c'mon you coward (er anonymous coward) you make a point but do not back it up. Bring it!

I read at -1 so I don't even miss the little humor.

No disrespect intended at all.

Re:Errr (0)

Wingit (98136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797475)

There was a time where earth, air, fire and water were the elements, as we knew them. Perhaps they are now time, space, matter and energy. No wait, complicated too.

Re:Errr (1, Funny)

poolmeister (872753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797519)

God put them there to confuse man, like dinosaur bones. *ducks* :)

Re:Errr (2, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797584)

Carl Everett [go.com] ? Is that you? Wow, a major league baseball player posting on /. - now I've seen everything...

Why... (5, Insightful)

Pacifist Brawler (987348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797325)

Why can't the MECOs and the black holes just set aside their differences and peacefully coexist?

Seriously, if this thing really is an MECO then what are all of the things that we've thought were black holes?

Re:Why... (0, Offtopic)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797368)

Well, it's times like this, when I start thinking, like, "Who are we? WHERE are we?"
I mean, we don't know if all the universe has some bounds, some end. If it has, where does it end? What's behind it? Or if doesn't, how come that's possible?.. Etc, etc.

Re:Why... (3, Informative)

buswolley (591500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797448)

God.

Re:Why... (5, Informative)

NecroPuppy (222648) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797372)

Seriously, if this thing really is an MECO then what are all of the things that we've thought were black holes?

Probably MECOs.

Because it's 3 AM, and I don't have the energy to reproduce all the math, there's two main theories about super-massive objects (simplifying a lot).

One: Black holes. You've got an event horizon. Anything passes that point is gone forever. And they don't have magnetic fields. (remember, simplified massively)

Two: MECOs. No event horizon, instead the matter pulled in is spun for a while then ejected at near lightspeed. They do have magnetic fields.

Everything we know about black hole candidates falls into one of two sets of mutally exclusive equations (in large part to the magnetic field thing).

That this object appears to have a magnetic field supports one set of Einsteinian equations; the one that supports MECOs.

Re:Why... (5, Funny)

de Siem (840522) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797426)

One: Black holes. You've got an event horizon. Anything passes that point is gone forever. And they don't have magnetic fields. (remember, simplified massively) Two: MECOs. No event horizon, instead the matter pulled in is spun for a while then ejected at near lightspeed. They do have magnetic fields.

So if I understand correctly,

Black holes suck and swallow

Meco's suck, gargle and then spit it out

Dirty buggers the lot of them!

Re:Why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797457)

Crass.

Re:Why... (4, Funny)

aug24 (38229) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797496)

And given that the 'super massive black hole' at the centre of the galaxy is actually thought to be a multiple system, then this nes suggests that the entities at the centre of our galaxy do snowballs. Ewww.

I think that's as far as we can take this. I hope so.

J.

Re:Why... (4, Informative)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797618)

Not snowballs, but meatballs (http://www.venganza.org/)

Re:Why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797762)

informative? really, mods? are you absolutely and really sure that was informative instead of funny?

Re:Why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797500)

I'd like to see a black hole orbiting a meco then

cumswap!

Dangerous (1)

Uukrul (835197) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797456)

instead the matter pulled in is spun for a while then ejected at near lightspeed
What may happen if a planet falls into MECO? There are who knows how many collapsed stars spinning chunks of matter at near lightspeed.
That's bad news for poor planet Earth, but good news for Armageddon [imdb.com] 's fans.

Re:Why... (3, Interesting)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797613)

Actually that's pretty compelling when coupled by a few other things;

Though I have only known about MECOs for a few minutes, there's some things about black holes that never made sense to me.

Why the near-light speed ejecta from a spherical event horizon object. Where does all that lateral energy come from? A super strong magnetic field makes more sense as a method for ejecting material than matter at oblique angles to the ecliptic accelerated so much it collides (and 99% of the energy evens out due to the circular input field and the last 1% spitting the stuff out) with classical physics.

Instead, you get a south pole, and a north pole, and anything with any charge on each of those ends screaming in one direction or other.

It seems to me though that plasma would give off tons of light, and there ARE some cases where a BH was "speculated" to be present where it's pretty clear there isn't a light producing object there.

Re:Why... (4, Funny)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797729)

MECOs. No event horizon, instead the matter pulled in is spun for a while then ejected at near lightspeed.
Weeeeeee, I'm next!

Re:Why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797415)

Why can't the MECOs and the black holes just set aside their differences and peacefully coexist?

Don't worry, I'm sure Jesse Jackson will broker a settlement between the two so we can focus on the real problem facing the universe... illegal dark energy immigration.

Question... (5, Interesting)

Balinares (316703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797427)

Okay... If this was detected in a quasar, and, as I understand it, quasars are insanely far away, with the implication that what we see of them happened insanely long ago... Is it possible that, as I think I once read here on Slashdot, some cosmological constants may really be variables that shift very slowly as the universe ages, and that MECOs were thus possible then, but no longer are?

Just askin', and my apologies if this is a stoopid question.

Re:Question... (3, Funny)

kjorn (687709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797465)

ARRRG!

The universe is so anoying, why won't it let us just go out an take a look?

Bloody speed of light crap.

monk.e.boy

Re:Question... (2, Interesting)

insanarchist (921436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797692)

I think I get what you're saying, but iirc we've "Seen" black holes at least as far away (or as long ago) as this MECO, so the theory that they could exist and now can't, while possibly valid by itself, doesn't stick as an explanation for black holes and MECO's seemingly "co-existing" in some impossible way.

P.S. Slashdot stories this complicated shouldn't be posted until later in the day, I need coffee!

Re:Question... (5, Informative)

agurkan (523320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797709)

Is it possible that, as I think I once read here on Slashdot, some cosmological constants may really be variables that shift very slowly as the universe ages, and that MECOs were thus possible then, but no longer are
I am an astrophysicist but not a general relativity (GR) or cosmology person; take the following with a grain of salt. As far as I understand all solutions of GR equations involving singularities require some assumptions, since they need to take quantum effects into account and we do not have a theory of quantum gravity. So, we should be living in a very interesting universe if a few parameters about quantum gravity had such values and changed in such a way that MECOs were possible in the past and black holes are possible now. It is certainly possible, but if this happened I would suspect that there is a deeper reason for this.

Re:Why... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797550)

Why can't the MECOs and the black holes just set aside their differences and peacefully coexist?
I'm in no way a physicist but by the looks of things something like this is happening.

When all the matter gets pulled together and it forms a MECO it gets ejected again at near the speed of light so there's no build up of matter beyond a certain point.

Because the matter doesn't build up there won't be enough matter for a black hole to form, so you can't have MECOs and Black holes together.

Re:Why... (1)

UpShot (972301) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797716)

>Seriously, if this thing really is an MECO then what are all of the things >that we've thought were black holes? I, for one,....ah, forget it.

I for one (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797765)

"Seriously, if this thing really is an MECO then what are all of the things that we've thought were black holes?"


They must be our new insect overlords!

Unless... (4, Insightful)

taff^2 (188189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797326)

...both MECOs and Black Holes can exist, and it transpires that we actually know a LOT less than we thought we did

Re:Unless... (2, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797355)

Probably not. From what I gathered, the two objects are both presumed, by different theories, to occur when matter is compressed past a certain point. Presumably, collapse of matter has to yield one result or the other, depending on what theory is correct. I don't see any way we could get both in the same universe.

And as these are both theoretical objects, there's no reason to assume they both exist.

Re:Unless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797421)

If you strike a match and then put it in water you get a very different result to if you put a match in water and then strike it.

Re:Unless... (2, Insightful)

cakefool (801210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797429)

you crash a car into a building, there is only one possible outcome right? - you plough through without taking damage.

alternatively, mayby there are different cars, and different buildings.

You can have multiple outcomes of such a large event, depending on different starting conditions (weight of car and building material for the above analogy)

As we don't have a grand unified theory yet, we'll keep adjusting our disparate theories as we see new things.

I love science me, except the bits that hurt...

Then they'd be METOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797612)

Because they're trying to be like black holes, but can't get it quite right...

:-)

Slashdot experts (4, Insightful)

mtenhagen (450608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797336)

From the article:
"But Chris Reynolds of the University of Maryland, in Baltimore, US, says the evidence for a MECO inside this quasar is not convincing."

Apparently the experts are not conviced about this "interesting" observation but at slashdot the expert will come to a final conclusion. How many slashdot posters actualy are qualified to talk about these subjects?

Re:Slashdot experts (1)

agent dero (680753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797381)

IANAQP (I am Not A Quantum Physicist) but that doesn't mean I'm not qualified to take up an opnion on why MECO's rule black holes drool!

Having a strong opinion on something doesn't mean I have to actually know anything about it ;)

Re:Slashdot experts (5, Funny)

linvir (970218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797398)

Having a strong opinion on something doesn't mean I have to actually know anything about it ;)
The universe isn't a big truck, it's a series of tubes!

Re:Slashdot experts (4, Funny)

mgblst (80109) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797504)

The universe isn't a big truck, it's a series of tubes!
 
Ah, another string theorist!

Re:Slashdot experts (1)

CannibalSmith (684531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797662)

How did this joke come into existence?

Re:Slashdot experts (4, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797408)

As Zen master Eihei Dôgen Daiôshô ( 1200 - 1253 AD ) already put it:

"Mere lack of doubt does not imply understanding"

( "Uji", paragraph #2, in: Shôbogenzô )

Re:Slashdot experts (1)

Asmodai (13932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797481)

And quite right Dogen-roshi was.

Take for example how strict some mathematicians reacted when some English person tried to solve Fermat's theorem. He was met with incredible scepsis bordering hostility and bullying. In the end he proved them all wrong.

So even the specialists are keen to make mistakes based on emotional foundations.

As one lamp serves to dispel a thousand years of darkness, so one flash of wisdom destroys ten thousand years of ignorance. -- Hui-Neng

Re:Slashdot experts (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797547)

So did he say anything about supermassive objects ? (just in case ?)

Re:Slashdot experts (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797410)

Yo -

This is MC Hawking. It is my expert opinion that this theory is total bunk. Indeed, I'm pretty sure all their evidence comes from misinterpreting flawed results from their telescope which, rather than showing an exotic object in space, was merely showing some spunk on the lens left after a late-night session with 'Penthouse' magazine.

Peace out,
MC Hawking, PhD.

Re: Slashdot experts (5, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797425)

> From the article: "But Chris Reynolds of the University of Maryland, in Baltimore, US, says the evidence for a MECO inside this quasar is not convincing."

> Apparently the experts are not conviced about this "interesting" observation but at slashdot the expert will come to a final conclusion. How many slashdot posters actualy are qualified to talk about these subjects?

The named researchers aren't neutral observers in some grand BH vs. MECO debate; they're the proponents of the MECO idea. See for example the bibliography at the bottom of this article [godofcreation.com] . (And while you're at it, notice the author's persecution complex, his attempt to dismiss scientific dating methods at the very end, and, of course, the curious URL.)

Doens't mean they're wrong, but it's useful to keep in mind that they're partisans in a debate, offering an interpretation of some observations that they think supports their side of the debate. They haven't convinced Reynolds, and the persecution complex displayed in the linked article suggests that they haven't had much luck convincing other people about MECOs in the past.

Re: Slashdot experts (1)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797563)

So you are saying that the experts who do not find convincing evidence for these MECOs are actually thier PROPONENTS? Maybe I'm confused . .

Re:Slashdot experts (1)

oZZoZZ (627043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797433)

I'm a human and I live in a free country, (Canada). I'm qualified to talk about whatever the hell I want to.

Re:Slashdot experts (3, Insightful)

dhalgren (34798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797464)

No. You're welcome to talk about whatever you want to, not necessarily qualified to.

Unless, of course, what you talk about counts as hate speech. Then you may speak of it, but only if you accept that you could be prosecuted legally--you do not, in Canada, have the right to say whatever you want, whenever you want.

Speaking only about Canadian rights here, the rest of you understand. :)

Re:Slashdot experts (1)

oZZoZZ (627043) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797487)

hmm.. well, I'm going to say whatever I want, whenever I want and if I get arreseted, at least now I know I am breaking the law =)

dear forum (0, Offtopic)

marklar1 (670468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797339)

I never thought it would happen to me, a regular guy attending a small midwestern college...but the other night I was sitting at home playing UT and this MECO

Okay, dumb question then. (4, Interesting)

mcc (14761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797345)

I know that there are cases where black holes have been indirectly observed by their effects on neighboring objects and light. Could these same data that were used to indirectly observe the black hole be adequately explained by the presence of whatever this other hypothetical object is?

Re:Okay, dumb question then. (2, Informative)

Pacifist Brawler (987348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797361)

I think (if I remember this correctly, which I doubt) that the bending of light that we attribute to black holes could just be anything else of massive, well, mass in a rather small space. We know gravity warps light, and we see light being warped by something we can't see, that doesn't actually tell us the dimensions of it. I do know that all spherical masses (which would include most things in space) act as a point mass, so unless the light had to get really close it would be possible.

Re:Okay, dumb question then. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797371)

That's the whole point. Before this observation, we have gotten evidence which could point to either of the objects being present. Now we may have seen something which tells us which theory is correct. It's akin to not being able to distinguish a cat from a dog at a distance, only after you get closer you'll know which one it actually is.

Re:Okay, dumb question then. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797397)

That is a dumb question, showing a complete lack of understand of even basic physics. Try reading beyond the headline some day.

Penthouse (5, Informative)

gamer4Life (803857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797347)

I was reading it fine until I hit the word "Penthouse", then I forgot everything else and had to look it up:

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/1 4/2330221 [slashdot.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking#Losin g_an_old_bet [wikipedia.org]

Re:Penthouse (1)

NXprime (573188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797376)

Penthouse has been reinvented as the world's premier Men's lifestyle magazine featuring exclusive interviews, sports, cars, audio, video, men's fashions, politics and some of the best writing anywhere! Plus pictorials of the most beautiful women in the world.

I'm sure Thome's wife mind it much these days with so much crap in it. :)

Re:Penthouse (5, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797555)

I'm sorry but I checked your URLs and they are all wrong. Here is the correct one : http://www.penthouse.com/ [penthouse.com]

Ha! (4, Funny)

mac.convert (944588) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797357)

Finally! Now that movie Contact doesn't have any scientific merit! (Like it did before...)

Re:Ha! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797416)

Dear mac.convert

Contact was a book before it was a movie.

Regards,

A.C.

Vague data + wild supposition = NEWS FLASH! (5, Insightful)

bloodredsun (826017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797369)

Cosmology isn't my field but the data here is incredibly vague. I'm not sure this deserves more than a raised eyebrow and an "Okay...now come up with something a little less tenuous". Interpretation of data is an art in itself and can be wildly skewed by the observer's own opinions - show mw that this hasn't happened here.

let's side with caution for now (4, Insightful)

N3wsByt3 (758224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797377)

Ok, when we have, like, numerous observations of black holes (which, granted, have only been 'seen' indirectly, but which follow the predictions quite good and at least in one instance, have observed it directly enough to rule out anything else then a black hole) and just one observation of a MECO - especially when scientist themselves say it's not totally convincing - then logic dictates that it's more likely the black-hole theory is correct.

Until further obervations is being done and it is being confirmed it's truelly a MECO (or other MECOs are observed), then we really can't get say anything beyond wild speculation (which is what slashdot is very good at ;-).

Most probably, it will turn out to be not a true MECO, but rather an odd variant of a black hole.

If it DOES turn out to be a MECO, then, as theory predicts, there can't be any black holes - so then all our past obsrvations must have been wrong or misinterpreted. And if it turns out we have MECO's AND blak holes...well, then something very, very, very wrong must be going on with our current understanding of the universe and all the theories thusfar.

Which, actually, would be a fantastic thing to science, contrary to what some might believe.

Re:let's side with caution for now (1)

silentsurfer (969556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797432)

No that's incorrect, we have witnessed gravtational lensing. Therefore any "invisible" object with an appropriate mass could cause this. Also I get the shits at the posters earlier on (not you) that say matter is gone forever in a blackhole lots of it is converted to energy, most of it being released in X-Ray transmisions (hypothetically).

P.S. I'm really drunk (it's 8:30pm on a friday here) CHEEERS.

Singularities (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797378)

So if these MECO are for real, then gravitational collapse canot result in a singularity, which is nice, right? Then how about the big bang? Does that need to have been a singularity, or can we continue with this programme of avoiding the nasty things?

Re:Singularities (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797412)

Technically, all the big bang requires is for all the matter and energy in the universe to have been compressed together at one point, and subsequently exploded outwards in all directions. The theory got started based on the observable expansion of the universe.

Who's to say that the point of focused matter and energy must be a singularity?

Re: Singularities (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797443)

> So if these MECO are for real, then gravitational collapse canot result in a singularity, which is nice, right? Then how about the big bang? Does that need to have been a singularity, or can we continue with this programme of avoiding the nasty things?

I don't think you'll have any luck finding a physicist who thinks sigularities actually exist in black holes or actually existed at the start of the big bang. In fact, AIUI, that's why bigbangologists don't try to extrapolate back beyond one planck time "after" the start of the universe. As for black holes, the consensus (AFAICT) is that when we get our theory that unifies general relativity and quantum mechanics, it will explain what "really" happens at the heart of a black hole (and it won't be a singularity, since QM won't allow it).

Once nice thing about MECOs is that they make the BH singularities go away without waiting for the GUT. But as I mentioned in another post, the authors seem to be having trouble convincing their colleagues.

Curiously, the Wikipedia article on MECOs didn't exist until yesterday [wikipedia.org] .

well i can tell (1)

observer7 (753034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797380)

they have never watched stargate sg1 and i dont know about this meco but i have dated a lot of black holes in my day .

The third option (5, Insightful)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797402)

Lets not forget that there is another alternative to one or the other theory being right, and that this alternative is far more likely, almost certain in fact.

The option is that neither of these theories are correct or rather neither is entirely correct. Both may still be partially true, and probably both are to a certain extent.

Newton was right on with his theories, yet they were proven to be incorrect, and they are still the first thing a physics student learns today. I find the idea of "if phenomina A exists then phenomina B, that we have also have some evidence for, cannot exist" because when you get right down to it we don't understand our universe we perceive it.

Re:The third option (0, Offtopic)

buswolley (591500) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797470)

Didn't we recently hear that Einstein is wrong...

4:00 AM and I will not look up the article.

Re:The third option (1)

demallien2 (991621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797581)

Yeah, last time I remember scientists insisting that the explanation of a certain phenomena had two conflicting explanations, and that only one could be right, they were debating about whether light was a wave or a particle. It took a few geniuses and two whole new branches of physics to work out that infact both answers were right but incomplete.

Can't be! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797424)

Remember, they had black holes in Star Trek, and as everyone knows it's gospel what they say and write there.

Re:Can't be! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797549)

Hell, Disney even made a movie called "The Black Hole" [imdb.com] . So it MUST exist.

Uhoh (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797576)

Disneyfication of anything is usually proof of its impossibility.

Schrödinger would've loved this problem.

Re:Can't be! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797559)

Where? There are suspiciously few references to black holes in Star Trek!

Quasars don't exist anymore (2, Interesting)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797442)

The youngest observed quasar are billions of years old, so why can't an universal constant have changed since the beginning of the universe up to the point it would have changed the quasars and MECOs into galaxies and black holes?

Re:Quasars don't exist anymore (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797463)

Nothing to stop you researching that theory and publishing a paper to the effect. Heck, you may even be right... sounds unlikely though.

Re:Quasars don't exist anymore (2, Interesting)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797561)

sounds unlikely though.

Does it? There is some debate going on about how constant the Constants of the Universe really were [space.com] in the past, so the GP might actually be on to something...

Re:Quasars don't exist anymore (2, Interesting)

bytesex (112972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797597)

But if the constants of the universe aren't constant in place or in time, then those quasars may not even be as far away or as old as we think them to be (the light may have sped up to ludicrous speed underway, you know) - and then maybe those crazy religious people are right after all; the universe is just a lightshow put up for our entertainment and the universe is only fourthousand years old or whatever age it's going to be next tuesday !

Re:Quasars don't exist anymore (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797712)

The thing is that I remember having read someplace that, from their apparent distance, the quasars seem to have disapear suddently, so maybe there were condition for them to exist before that date that disapeared (maybe not a constant, but at least something identical anywhere at a given time, such as background temperature or universe density). Anyway, I don't think I could realy help, IANAP, just a driver coder.

Re:Quasars don't exist anymore (1)

tancque (925227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797531)

You might even consider that those constants aren't constant at all, but different for different places in the universe. Hell, objects might even influence these "constants" like they influence gravity.

The truth is out there (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797484)

To solve this problem, we must look into the future. Put Hawkins on a dozen Star Trek tapes and see if he can get a hint of what's really going on.

Neo-con physics (5, Funny)

SomPost (873537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797494)

Maybe we should invade its surface, kill its plasma and convert it to black holeness.

Wilting, politically correct, lefty-libby physics (5, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797593)

Maybe we should invade its surface, kill its plasma and convert it to black holeness.

Maybe we should just ask it how it feels to think that it's a MECO, and no matter what it says, start up a government program designed to empower its sense of communinity with the black holes. Then, if Kofi Annan decides that the arrangement is suitably free of human suffering that no one in Europe will notice, we can assign a series of attractive Hollywood types to set the tone for more research by doing some short publicity pieces that will help all MECOs feel better about ejecting mass, even if it hurts other stellar objects (which isn't their fault, since the laws of physics are really just The Establishment and Hawking is just The Man, running Big Physics from his position of authority-backed, but morally weak institutional power).

Could someone with some knowledge explain... (2, Interesting)

Colonel Angus (752172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797501)

If a MECO spits everything that it sucks in back out again at light speed... then, wouldn't it do the same thing with light itself? Making them visible and directly observable rather than having to indirectly detect them through their interactions with objects around them?

MECO MECO (0, Offtopic)

Caspian (99221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797512)

Nurse [albinoblacksheep.com] ! o/~

Re:MECO MECO (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797546)

I fear checking out that link, at least until I get home.

But I always thought MECO was Main Engine Cut Off.

As for your .sig, what do conservatives conserve, there ain't no root derivation from 'conservation', either. IMHO, today's 'conservatives' are conserving their power and wealth, and thump the Bible so they can feel good while they're busy accumulating insane fortunes.

It's obvious.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797520)

It is no meco. They just saw a distant flux capacitor in action

Wrong thread? (2, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797548)

Eternally collapsing.... Never reaches the final state .... I think they are talking about Microsoft Vista. Please retag the thread as MS with that cool cyborg morph of BGates as the icon.

No, no, no ! (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797734)

Eternally collapsing.... Never reaches the final state .... I think they are talking about Microsoft Vista.



No, no, no, they must be talking about SCO, since nothing Microsoft made ever collapsed, but instead expanded and got bloated to infinity.

the bet (2, Informative)

Seto89 (986727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797553)

Accorfing to Stephen Hawking's Universe series Hawking was the one who bet that Black Holes don't exist (as some kind of insurance, so if they don't exist and all his work is useless, then he at least would get a subscription to a nice magazine) and he then gave the other guy (forgot his name) 1 year subscription to Penthouse, so if this is true and black holes don't exist, he would get the Penthouses back + a 4 year subscription to Private Eye. Why can't they co-exist though? Can't there be a reasionable scientific explanation that would allow both of these to live???

Occam's Razor (5, Informative)

astrogirl2900 (944414) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797556)

Preface: I have a Ph.D. in Astrophysics and my ressearch has to do with computer models of black holes.

This is yet another one of these things where an observational astronomer who just doesn't like black holes comes up with some incredibly complex theory to explain their oberservations so they don't need a black hole to explain them. There is an incredible resistance towards black holes in some parts of the astronomical community. Saying that "A black hole can't do this" when our models of accretion discs arount black holes are still at the state they are in i.e. fixed background metric, many models are only HD not MHD (no magnetic fields in the disc) is just not backed up by the facts.

This reminds me of the whole "we don't need black holes to explain jets" discussion a couple of years back.

Besides I do not se how the existence of Mecos would prevent the existence of black holes in general. We are still using the same Einstein Equations, right?

I think the operand word in the article is "controversial". Occam's Razor is a good rule of thumb.

Re:Occam's Razor (1)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797602)

What do black holes and jets have to do with each other?

Re:Occam's Razor (5, Informative)

astrogirl2900 (944414) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797616)

Jets from AGN (Active Galactic Nuclei) are thought to be generated by a rotating black hole winding the magnetic field from the accretion disc up in a tight beam. The beam contains accelerating particles at incredibly high speeds.

Re:Occam's Razor (1)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797706)

Ahh, so "jet" as in a jet of fluid, as opposed to "jet" as in Im leaving on a jet plane . ..

thank :)

Re:Occam's Razor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797738)

While I do not have the education you do (I am in materials science, so I am not devoid of physics education), it seems to me that the theory on MECO's is simpler than wrapping one's head around a singularity (I always found those a little suspect). It also seems to me that current observations could support either theory, though I agree that this new evidence is somewhat weak.

While you are right to suggest that one should not create a theory because he simply does not like black holes, you must consider the fact that keeping an open mind is important even if you have invested much of your career in black holes. In general, I believe having more theories is better for science. If you believe yours is best, keep trying to prove it.

Vote for Meco (3, Funny)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797607)

MECOs are rivals to black hole theory and involve plasmas that never reach the state of being a singularity.

No singularity, but Meco did come out with that that singularly awesome Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk [wikipedia.org] album back in '77. Take that, black holes!

Re:Vote for Meco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797648)

Black Hole sun carry on... Nuff said

The bet is the other way around (2, Insightful)

morie (227571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797649)

Hawkins conceded the bet that black holes did NOT exist and gave the Penthouse subscription, so this could force him to reclaim that and claim his prize.

Hawkins called the bet an insurance policy so he would not be empty handed if black holes did not exist after all...

I was talking about this the other day (1)

rtyall (960518) | more than 8 years ago | (#15797658)

A friend and I were arguing about this, I was stating that despite all the evidence to the contrary, it was still possible that black holes don't exist and that you can't trust everything that scientists say is true. *Cough* Ozone hole *Cough*

Paper explaining MECO's (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15797705)

Here is a direct link to a (free) pdf paper describing the idea of a MECO in all the gory details:
http://www.citebase.org/fulltext?format=applicatio n%2Fpdf&identifier=oai%3AarXiv.org%3Aastro-ph%2F06 02453 [citebase.org]

As a physicist (though not a cosmologist) it looks not at all convincing.
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