Astronomy Cast Ep. 213: Supermassive Black Holes

Article Updated: 19 Jan , 2016
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Supermassive Black Hole

It’s now believed that there’s a supermassive black hole lurking at the heart of every galaxy in the Universe. These monstrous black holes can contain hundreds of millions of times the mass of our own Sun, with event horizons better than the Solar System. They’re the source of the most energetic particles in the Universe, the brightest objects in the Universe, and the place where the laws of physics go to get mangled.

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Supermassive Black Holes shownotes and transcript.

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14 Responses

  1. davesmith_au says:

    … and the place where the laws of physics go to get mangled.

    It never ceases to amaze me how those who study astrophysics are so quick to accept that “the known laws of physics break down”. I’m yet to be convinced that a black hole is anything but a mathematical possibility, not in any way representative of reality.

    • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says:

      Truly, I’m not convinced that your views are any better than any astrophysicist.
      Frankly just because you are ignorant of the theory, doesn’t make the theory false or wrong. Continued ad ignorantiam is no excuse for another preposterous substitution with the absolute nonsense PC/EU.

      Il n’y a aucune limite à votre propre sottise.

    • Olaf says:

      Reality? You claim PC/EU to be reality?
      It fails the very basics!

      • TonyTrenton says:

        Chaos Theory shows that +-80% of reality is chaotic and only +-20% is order.
        Because our primitive human brains (+-80,000 years in evolutionary development) can only perceive order. We can only see 20% of reality.

      • Olaf says:

        First maths is not limited to the human brain.
        Physics based on maths and checked with reality exceeds the human capacity.

        And EU/PC theories fail even basic checks in reality.

  2. Abhishek says:

    yeah , these blackholes must be BIG. all stars are rotating around this super massive blackhole which is at our galaxy center. The question that raises in my mind is “what happens when a star goes near to that blackhole?” does its rotation or revolving speed is affected?

    • Dav_Daddy says:

      My understanding is that it would depend upon whether the star(s) are in a stable orbit around the bh.

      The same orbital mechanics equations as planets around stars only on a much, much more massive scale.

      • TonyTrenton says:

        The operative word in your comment is ‘scale’ Everything in our Universe is subject to scaling. From the infintely hot,dense & small to the infinitely large, rare & cold and everything in between, including turbulence.

        Is there a definition for turbulence?
        Please let me know.

    • Dav_Daddy says:

      My understanding is that it would depend upon whether the star(s) are in a stable orbit around the bh.

      The same orbital mechanics equations as for planets around stars only on a much, much more massive scale.

  3. DrFlimmer says:

    Glaciers melting in the dead of night
    and the superstars sucked into the supermassive

    (“Supermassive Black Hole”, Muse)

  4. TonyTrenton says:

    Entropy wins
    Consider that if our Universe was spawned from a previous Universe via a super massive Black Hole’s singularity emptying and expanding into an infinity I call tne Big Nothing.
    This idea removes the necessity for Dark Matter. Dark Energy is the overall EMF globule detected as the Comic Microwave Background Radiation.
    The accelerating expansion needs a constant force to pay for it. This could be the pressure differential between our EMF and the Big Nothing. We are being stretched from the outside by a force necessarily greater than our entire universal globule.
    In effect, the cycle is Black Hole to Back Hole add infinitum.

  5. TonyTrenton says:

    I would like to have some comments on the previous post.

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