≡ Menu

Podcast: Supermassive Black Holes

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.

Click here to download the episode.

Or subscribe to: astronomycast.com/podcast.xml with your podcatching software.

Supermassive Black Holes shownotes and transcript.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • davesmith_au February 11, 2011, 12:35 AM

    … 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 February 11, 2011, 12:57 AM

      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.

      • SteveZodiac February 11, 2011, 8:33 AM

        Good question. Perhaps there is something like an Eddington limit. ;)

    • Olaf February 11, 2011, 3:39 PM

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

      • TonyTrenton February 12, 2011, 4:40 AM

        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 February 12, 2011, 5:15 AM

          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.

  • Abhishek February 11, 2011, 4:16 AM

    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 February 12, 2011, 1:24 AM

      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 February 12, 2011, 4:53 AM

        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 February 12, 2011, 1:24 AM

      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.

  • DrFlimmer February 11, 2011, 11:10 AM

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

    (“Supermassive Black Hole”, Muse)

  • TonyTrenton February 12, 2011, 5:47 AM

    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.

    • Olaf February 12, 2011, 11:28 AM

      TonyTrenton I doubt that you have a clue what dark matter and dark energy is.

  • TonyTrenton February 12, 2011, 6:23 AM

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

hide