Ejected Black Holes Drag Clusters of Stars With Them

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The tight cluster of stars surrounding a supermassive black hole after it has been violently kicked out of a galaxy represents a new kind of astronomical object which may provide telltale clues to how the ejection event occurred. “Hypercompact stellar systems” result when a supermassive black hole is violently ejected from a galaxy, following a merger with another supermassive black hole. The evicted black hole rips stars from the galaxy as it is thrown out. The stars closest to the black hole move in tandem with the massive object and become a permanent record of the velocity at which the kick occurred.

“You can measure how big the kick was by measuring how fast the stars are moving around the black hole,” said David Merritt, professor of physics at the Rochester Institute of Technolyg. “Only stars orbiting faster than the kick velocity remain attached to the black hole after the kick. These stars carry with them a kind of fossil record of the kick, even after the black hole has slowed down. In principle, you can reconstruct the properties of the kick, which is nice because there would be no other way to do it.”

In a paper published in the July 10 issue of The Astrophysical Journal, Merritt and his colleagues discusses the theoretical properties of these objects and suggests that hundreds of these faint star clusters might be detected at optical wavelengths in our immediate cosmic environment. Some of these objects may already have been picked up in astronomical surveys. .

“Finding these objects would be like discovering DNA from a long-extinct species,” said team member Stefanie Komossa, from the Max-Planck-Institut for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany.

The astronomers say the best place to find hypercompact stellar systems is in cluster of galaxies like the nearby Coma and Virgo clusters. These dense regions of space contain thousands of galaxies that have been merging for a long time. Merging galaxies result in merging black holes, which is a prerequisite for the kicks.

“Even if the black hole gets kicked out of one galaxy, it’s still going to be gravitationally bound to the whole cluster of galaxies,” Merritt says. “The total gravity of all the galaxies is acting on that black hole. If it was ever produced, it’s still going to be there somewhere in that cluster.”

Merritt and his co-authors think that scientists may have already seen hypercompact stellar systems and not realized it. These objects would be easy to mistake for common star systems like globular clusters. The key signature making hypercompact stellar systems unique is a high internal velocity. This is detectable only by measuring the velocities of stars moving around the black hole, a difficult measurement that would require a long time exposure on a large telescope.

From time to time, a hypercompact stellar system will make its presence known in a much more dramatic way, when one of the stars is tidally disrupted by the supermassive black hole. In this case, gravity stretches the star and sucks it into the black hole. The star is torn apart, causing a beacon-like flare that signals a black hole. The possibility of detecting one of these “recoil flares” was first discussed in an August 2008 paper by co-authors Merritt and Komossa.

“The only contact of these floating black holes with the rest of the universe is through their armada of stars,” Merritt says, “with an occasional display of stellar fireworks to signal ‘here we are.’”

Source: Rochester Institute of Technology

135 Replies to “Ejected Black Holes Drag Clusters of Stars With Them”

  1. I suppose I am wondering about the source of the black hole collision. The collision of two black holes in a galaxy is not likely to result in ejection. The virial theorem does indicate the average kinetic energy of a particle in a system of interacting particles is 1/2 that of the potential energy of that particle. So the average total energy of each particle in the system is about

    E(tot)_age = GMm/2r

    Near the center of a galaxy there will likely be some large black holes. Yet the collisions would have to have a large enough total energy that is greater than GMm/r, M = total mass of galaxy and m = mass of coalesced black hole, for it to escape.

    It seems to me such ejections are likely to come from whole galaxy collisions. Two galaxies might collide with each other and the black hole in one of them continues on its original trajectory.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  2. The article I linked to above does indeed mention this possibility for the optical transient SCP 06F6. ‘The strong X-ray emission may suggest the star was ripped apart by a black hole rather than exploding on its own. But according to Boris Gansicke, the lead researcher of Warwick team, “The lack of any obvious host galaxy for SCP 06F6 would imply either a very low black hole mass (if black holes do exist at the centers of dwarf irregular galaxies) or that the black hole has somehow been ejected from its host galaxy. While neither is impossible, this does make the case for disruption by a black hole somewhat contrived.” ‘.

  3. Err… Nancy, there’s a typo in the second paragraph, third line: “Technolyg”; I think that should be Technology. 😉

  4. @ Lawrence B. Crowell: The article does mention “Merging galaxies result in merging black holes, which is a prerequisite for the kicks.” This seems like a reasonable proposition, as your posts clarify this line of reasoning. Perhaps a few of those young, blue compact clusters seen in mergers like Arp 220, NGC 4038-39 and NGC 1275 might be one of these “hypercompact stellar systems”.

  5. Hang on. I’m not getting this. How can a supermassive black hole be ejected after having been merged with another supermassive black hole?! They can’t merge and “de-merge”, can they?

    I’m referring to this:

    “Hypercompact stellar systems” result when a supermassive black hole is violently ejected from a galaxy, following a merger with another supermassive black hole.

    I’ll read the rest of the article assuming this was a typo and you meant to write “following a merger with another galaxy”…

  6. Thanks Ivan3Man for the link to the paper.

    First, this is not based on observation & measurement of any actual object, but rather is a pure theoretical construct.

    From the post: “Merritt and his colleagues discusses the theoretical properties of these objects and suggests that hundreds of these faint star clusters might be detected at optical wavelengths in our immediate cosmic environment. Some of these objects may already have been picked up in astronomical surveys.”

    But none has actually been observed & measured.

    Again, from the post: “‘Finding these objects would be like discovering DNA from a long-extinct species,’ said team member Stefanie Komossa, from the Max-Planck-Institut for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany.”

    Read the entire post carefully — nowhere do they actually point to an object, rather the post talks about where they might be found.

    Again, from the post: “The astronomers say the best place to find hypercompact stellar systems is in cluster of galaxies like the nearby Coma and Virgo clusters.”

    And: “Merritt and his co-authors think that scientists may have already seen hypercompact stellar systems and not realized it. These objects would be easy to mistake for common star systems like globular clusters.”

    But they don’t know…

    This is the worst kind of fanciful, a priori, type mathematical theorizing.

    The image at the head of the post is an artist’s conception.

    The paper that Ivan3Man linked gives the game away, as the abstract leads off:

    “Recent numerical relativity simulations have shown that the emission of gravitational waves during the merger of two supermassive black holes (SMBHs) delivers a kick to the final hole, with a magnitude as large as 4000kms-1.”

    “numerical relativity simulations”, simply means a series of abstract mathematical equations. And what is that based on?

    The idea that there are “gravitational waves”.

    But the problem is that “gravitational waves” have never been detected, even though multiple aparatus with increasing sensitivity have been deployed in an attempt to detect these elusive “waves”.

    Further, from the abstract: “We study the motion of SMBHs ejected from galaxy cores by such kicks and the effects on
    the stellar distribution using high-accuracy direct N-body simulations.”

    So, immediately in the abstract, an theoretical mathematical assumption gets reified, or in other words, turned into an accepted “fact” even though nothing of the kind has ever been observed & measured.

    See, quantification to have ANY meaning must be based on actual observations & measurements, not theoretical guessing games.

    “using high-accuracy direct N-body simulations.” This again is a reification process which attempts to set one theoretical assumptions on top of another theoretical assumptions based on never detected “gravitational waves”.

    The idea is to justify the following mathematical construct by reifying the previous construct and construct a whole series of ladders of theoretical constructs, which at the end can be claimed to be reality, when NOTHING has ever been observed to verify the idea.

    Rather, now that a theoretical construct has been created in the minds of the paper’s authors and anybody else willing to believe their “construct”, a search is then proposed (which needs funding and telescope time) to look for the mythical “ejected” black holes and “their dragged stars”.

    Of course, once the “search” is begun after acquiring funding and telescope time, there is tremendous observational bias to “find” what their construct says is “out there”.

    So, you can bet, before they are done “searching” they will have some candidates, but, of course, there will be little way to confirm of falsify, if what they “found” is really what they are looking for.

    It would be funny, if it wasn’t so pathetic.

    But this process is how “modern” astronomy is operates.

    I just got to shake my head…

  7. Ah, I see. Thanks IVAN.

    So the kick results in having a tiny micro-galaxy with a handful of stars (comparatively speaking) and a supermassive black hole at the center speeding away from a great big clump of stars, perhaps still irregularly shaped after the merger of the two original galaxies and without a supermassive black hole at its center (unless it had more than one originally)?

    It’s a thought, I guess. And good science, even if in the end proves to be false: it makes predictions that can be tested observationally, which is something people who know nothing of science will never understand.

    In fact, if I understood the implications correctly, if only one such object is found, they’d have pretty much proved beyond a doubt the existence of gravitational waves, even without detecting them directly. That would be a game-set-match situation.

  8. It’s always fascinating to think about how many stars or other objects may be wandering around in the yawning voids between galaxies. This provides yet another plausible mechanism for star systems to escape their host galaxy; you’d have to think that there would be plenty of this stuff out there. I guess we’ll just have to keep on building bigger telescopes to check it out.

    P.S. Jesus Anaconda – way to write a novel. Too bad nobody could be bothered to read it all.

  9. @Jorge: No black holes can’t bifurcate, at least classically. With quantum mechanics things get strange, but only really with particle or atom sized black holes. The reason is fairly simple. geodesics of light particles and massive particles can enter the horizon. The isometries of the spacetime permit that. However, the opposite is not possible. So if two black holes were to split there would be a branching to the two so in a spacetime diagram it looks like a branching tree. This would have an influence on the exterior world due to the reconfiguration of matter. This would imply that timelike and lightlike geodesics are being emitted from the horizon. That is not possible.

    @Jon Hanford: That is about what I suspected. In fact there probably are few actual black hole collisions. Two galaxies merge and their large black holes continue on their merry way, along with their closest stellar companions.

    I see that Anaconda is back with his usual defeatist message. No amount of nailing down a coffin will keep the undead buried.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  10. Anaconda:

    First, this is not based on observation & measurement of any actual object, but rather is a pure theoretical construct.
    […]
    But none has actually been observed & measured.

    Behold…
    Evidence for a Supermassive Black Hole in M87. (N.B. You’ll have to use the Firefox browser to access that; IE 7/8 is a bit testy with it for some reason.)

  11. @ Ivan3Man:

    I wasn’t sufficiently clear. I was skipping over the issue of the existence of “black holes” because…well…we’ve had that discussion/ debate many times already…what I was referring to as “none has actually been observed & measured” was the so-called “kick out” of the “black hole”.

    The link isn’t working.

  12. Anaconda:

    The link isn’t working.

    What Internet browser are you using?

    The link works fine with my Firefox 3.5 browser.

  13. Ah, thanks Anaconda. Now I have a chance to write what I wanted to write for quite some time:

    Your first statement in this thread says explicitly what you think about physics: It should describe what you see. In other words something is happening and physics should explain it.
    Yeah, but that is merely “natural philosophy”.
    This is one side of physics. But the other side (what you might call the “dark side” 😉 ) of physics is that it also wants to predict something (and yes, prediction is always some kind of a theoretical thing).
    Here is how physics work:
    A physicist sees something and is probably able to find an explanation. Well, that’s a good start. But then she/he thinks: “Well, is my explanation able to explain other things? What should happen when such and such assumptions are made?”
    So she/he is making a (theoretical) prediction what could happen under this and that circumstances. And then experiments/obervations are done to check if the predictions are right or wrong.

    Examples: Positrons (anti-matter at all), neutrinos, the CMB (yes, it was a prediction), etc etc….

    So physics would not be physics without theoretical works that are based on solid physics and some form of (meaningful) speculation.
    Sometimes the theoretical constructs actually match reality and sometimes they can be dumped down (that decision is done by experiments/observations).

    But physics without theoretical works wouldn’t be physics. As I said that would be a form of “natural philosophy” as the old greeks did.

  14. In reference to my July 15 posts about the possibility of Optical Transients being related to some of these Hypercompact Stellar Systems, I came across a recent 2009 paper (http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0903/0903.0218v1.pdf ) that mentions Optical Transients have been observed near or in M 81 (2), M 31, NGC 891 and the already mentioned M 85. Of course, being transient in nature, we have no object to analyze, though monitoring of the positions of these objects for a recurrence of an outburst may be worthwhile. While this is sheer speculation on my part, ultra-compact star clusters HAVE been observed in the local universe (including in the Virgo and Coma galaxy clusters) and much speculation on the formation, dynamics and composition of these clusters can be found in the literature. AFAIK, the few spectra obtained of these objects have shown no signatures of high internal velocities, but the sample size is small and, as noted in the article, these objects are difficult to study with current 8-11m telescopes.

  15. Unless we create the parameters of the universe by hypothesizing such things. If so then at one stage the Greek gods did live and the earth was flat.

    I for one miss Anacondas ‘in your face’ posts.
    This is encouragement to keep questioning the status quo. For everyone.

    There are far too many unknowns about the universe and the limits of our observation to draw definitive conclusions. Its great that brilliant minds turn their thoughts to these matters so we can all learn.

    But its also important that we don’t fall as ardent believers behind this new faith. Keep questioning.

    I still remember being taught Steady state Theory of an infinite universe in my youth. What we decide is what is fed to our kids. This is important.

    By justifying hypothesis on hypothesis as if it was fact are we propagating a culture that will care enough to question these theories. ??

    Hypothesis and theory should be labeled as such. Scientists live by their own rules, thats fine as they understand the variables of their own language. But at some stage these papers are summarized as gospel for the masses.

    I was an ardent believer of the Steady State theory as a youth. It shaped my understanding of the world I lived in. Sadly It turned out to be bunk by todays thinking. So should I believe what was taught to me as a youth as science fact or be a follower of consensus?

    Science is sold as being incontrovertible fact, in such studies as physics and cosmology, we should guard against summery definitions of (speculation) as fact.

    Damian K

  16. @damian: assume, for the moment, that humans have no chance of travelling beyond our solar system in the lifetime of anyone reading this today (15 July, 2009) – other than, perhaps, a probe or two somewhat beyond the heliosphere – how, then, do you consider astronomy should be done? And to the extent that you make a distinction, astrophysics? cosmology?

    If you’ve been reading my comments in response to what Anaconda has written, you’ll have learned that this is a question I am very interested in … so I look forward to hearing from you.

  17. Anaconda questions the status quo in the same way someone 200 years ago might question heliocentric solar system or Newtonian dynamics. There is noting wrong with raising questions but a continual drumfire of raising what amount to dumb questions is a problem. As a result Anaconda, and others of like mind, really don’t contribute much except scoffing.

    The topic at hand here is a matter of astrophysical phenomenology. It is a possible configuration of physical objects (black holes and stars) based on benchmarked theory and used to model a complex situation. What Anaconda appears to not realize is this is what many physcists do.

  18. This is the worst kind of fanciful, a priori, type mathematical theorizing.

    I think it’s fair to say that you have made your (strong) opinion known quite a number of times, Anaconda.

    And part of that opinion is that theoretical physicists should NOT be working on this kind of problem.

    Rather than be ‘the party of NO’, why not share your views of what you think theoretical physicists SHOULD be working on, and why?

    And beyond that there are a number of interesting questions concerning science policy and how it’s set.

    Private individuals, such as Paul Allen, can can use their wealth to fund any science project they choose, such as the Allen Telescope Array, or not; corporations (think of IBM’s Research Labs, for example) can do likewise (can you think of an example in astronomy, Anaconda?); as can foundations (such as the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which funded the SDSS).

    But governments spend taxpayers’ money, and are ultimately accountable to voters for that spending (in a democracy anyway), and there are many ways voters (and taxpayers) can influence science policy.

    In an ideal world, how do you think a government’s science policy should be set?

  19. @ DrFlimmer:

    DrFlimmer wrote: “Your [Anconda’s] first statement in this thread says explicitly what you think about physics: It should describe what you see. In other words something is happening and physics should explain it. Yeah, but that is merely “natural philosophy”.

    Yes, it is “natural philosophy”, I agree, but it is not merely “natural philosophy”, but also is the proper methodology of Science and part and parcel of the Scientific Method.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “This is one side of physics. But the other side of physics is that it also wants to predict something (and yes, prediction is always some kind of a theoretical thing).”

    Yes, but this is crucial, the pedictions need to be based on pre-existing observation & measurement of a particular physical object. The quantification of the physical object allows for predictions of how the physical object was constructed or how it works. And then you test the predictions against further observation & measurements of that physical object or other physical objects that are similar to the original physical object.

    And I see that basically, DrFlimmer, we agree on this point, but you fail to realize “modern” astronomy skipped the crucial step of “seeing” an original physical object to start the process.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “Here is how physics work:
    A physicist sees something and is probably able to find an explanation. Well, that’s a good start. But then she/he thinks: “Well, is my explanation able to explain other things? What should happen when such and such assumptions are made?”

    Here is the fatal flaw of “modern” astronomy:
    There never was a physical object that was observed or as DrFlimmer stated: “A physicist sees something…”

    Rather, because observation & measurement was so difficult in the early days of astronomy, a theoretical construct (“black holes”) was hypothesized a priori (before observation & measurement) and then with no basis in actually demonstrated physics, an assumption was made that these “black holes” likely exist and searches were conducted and while nothing has been confirmed as a “black hole”, ‘confirmational bias’ has led astronomers to conclude “black holes have been detected, when at best the evidence is ambiguous or non-existent.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “So she/he is making a (theoretical) prediction what could happen under this and that circumstances. And then experiments/obervations are done to check if the predictions are right or wrong.”

    Yes, but again, there was no original observation of an physical object to start the process.

    And by the time technology allowed for observing a physical object (originally Cygnus X-1 and the like, and now Active Galactic Nucleus), assumptions were so deeply entrenched in the astronomy community that scientifically unwarranted conclusions were made.

    And, thus, considering all possible alternative explanations was marginalized in favor of self-congratulatory conclusions that the a priori construct was right, when further observations & measurements do not confirm that the original a priori theoretical construct is valid.

    It is now, when observation & measurement is cascading to ever more fine detail, that an open inquiry needs to be made with no pre-ordained conclusions that short-circuit the scientific process of inquiry.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “So physics would not be physics without theoretical works that are based on solid physics and some form of (meaningful) speculation.”

    Hypothesis (“theoretical works”) is fine, but DrFlimmer, you do not recognize the fact that in astronomy, the required initial observation of a physical object was never conducted before the hypothesis was put forward, and then the hypothesis was deemed to be confirmed when little if any actual observational scientific evidence was in hand.

    This short-circuited process has led to “modern” astronomy putting all its eggs in the “black hole” basket, when in reality, at this stage (the technological ability to make detailed high quality observation & measurement) is just starting.

    Natural philosophy does not exclude hypothesis, quantification, prediction, and experiment and testing (further observation & measurement), rather it demands it.

    But it also requires an initial observation of a physical object and then open consideration of competing alternative explanations.

    This step was skipped over by “modern” astronomy in the rush to congratulate itself for making a successful a priori prediction.

    And now, “modern” astronomy has run too far out on a thin branch and is unwilling to allow for the possibility that it is on a “thin branch” or that there are competing alternative possibilities.

  20. Postscript to the response to DrFlimmer:

    DrFlimmer wrote: “…theoretical works that are based on solid physics…”

    I mostly skipped over this phrase, other than a cryptic, ” no basis in actually demonstrated physics”, because we’ve had that discussion/debate ad nauseum, needless to say the supposed physics underlying “black holes” has never been demonstrated in a laboratory, and dispite protests to the contrary, there is little to nothing to point to in the field (space) to suggest it is theoretically possible, let alone actually exists.

    And every other conjecture about the existence of “black holes” rests on this flimsy foundation including the paper that is covered in the instant post.

  21. “…how, then, do you consider astronomy should be done?”

    Now, Science has the technological capability to conduct detailed, high resolution observation & measurement, that should be the starting principle, even for astronomy.

    There is no need for a priori theoretical constructs — maybe in the beginning that was necessary, it certainly isn’t the case, now.

    “And part of that opinion is that theoretical physicists should NOT be working on this kind of problem.”

    No, that is not what I’ve been saying, here. Actually, what I’ve been saying is that there is alternative possibilities that need investigation because the “black hole” construct has been sold as if it was a settled issue when nothing could be further from the truth.

    “…why not share your views of what you think theoretical physicists SHOULD be working on, and why?”

    Physicists should be open to all the possibilities, rather than seemingly sneering (based on comments, here) at viable alternative possibilites. I’m confident once active consideration and investigation of alternative possibilites commences, the evidence will lead to better understandings.

    “In an ideal world, how do you think a government’s science policy should be set?”

    While government tax dollars are scarce, a broader net needs to be cast (somewhat contradictory, I know). Right now, a very narrow focus has developed, controlled by “modern” astronomy.

    Why doesn’t astronomy simpy employ a “bigger tent” or “cast a wider net”, and willingly consider other avenues of investigation. If Astronomy did so, I’d be happy to let the chips fall where they may, and retire my efforts.

    As to Crowell’s analogy of my view being akin to hold-outs for an Earth centric view of Cosmology, no, that is not the proper analogy.

    Actually, the analogy that fits “modern” astronomy is one where “modern” astronomy is aping the Ptolemaic view, which put over-reliance on mathematical constructs:

    “Four hundred years ago, a similar situation existed, at least in Catholic countries. Sixty year after the formulation of Copernican hypothesis, the Ptolemaic view of the solar system remained the dominant one among Continental astronomers. Galileo’s elegant comparison of the Copernican and Ptolemaic systems, his Dialog on Two World Systems, should have ended any scientific doubt as to the validity of the Copernican approach. Yet many additional decades would past before the Copernican system, already accepted at that time in England, would be accepted in the Catholic areas of Europe.

    There is no mystery as to why this was so in the sixteenth century. The Ptolemaic theory was a state-supported scientific theory. The Catholic Church’s advocacy of this theory would not have much mattered if the Catholic states had not given the Church the power to enforce, with state backing, its ideological edicts. Galileo, for his pro-Copernican writing, was subject to a civil penalty–house arrest– and famously forced to recant under threat of far worse penalties.” — Eric Lerner

    http://bigbangneverhappened.org/p27.htm

    As somebody has recently said: “We need to hit the restart button.”

    Now, more than ever.

  22. So, Anaconda, we see our differences.
    It is true that the hints for black holes are only of indirect nature. Probably in a few years we’ll be able to resolve the black hole in Sgr A*. Then we will know.

    Nonetheless. Black holes are a consequence of GR. And you can even argue with them in a classical Newtonian way: How small must an object be that its gravity is so strong that not even light escapes (from inside)? With a simple calculation with the law of conservation of enrgy one yields the same result as with the Schwarzschild solution of GR. This is an interesting fact.
    So what one can do (leaving aside the problem of a possible singularity, which in my opinion will not pop up in a theory of quantum gravity): Assume for a moment those objects could be real. What could happen?
    You build some models and then you can look into space and see if you find things that behave as your model.
    Of course, this would only be a very indirect proof of your model and other models and ideas can probably explain the same behaviour.
    On the other hand: We observe so many different things out there that can be explained with only one kind of object. This is indeed very easy and convenient.
    In most cases in physics Occam’s razor holds: The easier the explanation the more likely it is.
    And we made just one assumptions: The possibility of black holes.
    And we explain phenomena as different as Cygnus X-1 or AGN of all different kinds. This is convenient!

    So: There are many (indirect!) hints that those weird obejects could be real, at least the model explains many different things!

    Btw: There is a good reason why black holes are not produced in a lab: The physics of it are so extream that we cannot possibly achieve them. We cannot compress matter so strongly that it will become a black hole. And thank god that we cannot; otherwise this would be the best way to destroy the whole earth. That would be even more effective than nuking us!

    So since there are indirect hints that those beasts could be real, I think it is fine to make further predictions what could happen if……

    “Open to all possibilities…”

    Aside from sounding like “teaching the controversy” (sorry, I couldn’t resist writing that) you will wonder that physics is open! Astronomy has discussed those “other” models in recent times.
    E.g.: Arp’s idea of cosmic redshift has been discussed extensively in the 90’ies. It turned out to be a problem of bad statistics. The dataset was just too small in that times. So when more data came out it was shown that Arp was/is wrong. That’s the way it goes.

  23. Jesus H. Christ, Anaconda! We are fast approaching the 40th anniversary of the Apollo XI Moon landing, and the LRO is sending back pictures of the Apollo landing sites from the Moon, but you have nothing better to do than to rant and rave here against “modern” astronomy, “priori” mathematics, “The Big Bang”, and “black holes”.

    That must be a really big stick that you have up your ass… it is a stick, isn’t it?!

  24. BTW, Anaconda, the link above at “Evidence for a Supermassive Black Hole in M87” is now working — there was a server problem earlier.

  25. As for Eric Lerner’s “The Big Bang Never Happened”, he is like a feckless broad in the morning after a long night of drunken debauchery with several men, who goes into denial and convinces herself: “It never happened!”

    Anaconda is also in denial; I posted this link to Errors in the “The Big Bang Never Happened” for his benefit, on a another thread at Bad Astronomy, but it appears that he has completely forgotten it or, more likely, deliberately ignored it — just like a bloody obstinate creationist!

    🙄

  26. Let’s do a little calculation, shall we Anaconda?

    At a distance of r from the centre of mass of an object of mass M, the ‘escape velocity’ (it’s actually a speed) is SQRT(GM/r), where G is the gravitational constant.

    (I’m assuming Newtonian gravity, for simplicity; you can verify my formula, and also derive it from scratch, using nothing more than the Newtonian law of universal gravitation).

    We can ask “at what distance r is the escape velocity equal to c, the speed of light (for a given M)?” It’s a simple exercise in algebra to work that out (care to try, Anaconda?).

    Here are some distances I find, rounded to only one significant figure (please check my arithmetic):

    For the mass of the Sun (~2×10^30 kg; 1 sol): 3 km

    For 4 million sols: 10,000 km

    For 6 billion sols: 20 billion km, or ~100 au.

    Next, how much confidence can we have in estimates of the mass of the objects which are at the centres of galactic nuclei, such as SgrA* and in M87? Specifically, and being REASONABLE (I think that’s the word you used, right?), what range do the estimates encompass? Even more specifically, what are the reasonable ranges, around 4 million sols and 6 billion sols, for SgrA* and the M87 nucleus, respectively?

    Finally, to an order of magnitude only, how big are galactic nuclei (radius, or volume)?

    (I’m giving this to you as an exercise, so you can a) get used to the ‘back of the envelope’ approach, and b) convince yourself of the reasonableness of the answers).

    What we’re left with, Anaconda, is pretty strong observational evidence – as strong as any you’ll find in astronomy – that there is, in galactic nuclei, a very large amount of mass in a very small volume.

    You agreed, earlier, that gravitation ‘works’ in the universe, so an entirely reasonable question would be ‘what stops such huge masses in such tiny volumes from collapsing?’ Specifically, can plasmoids, with masses that big and in volumes that small, hold up against collapse?

  27. “At a distance of r from the centre of mass of an object of mass M, the ‘escape velocity’ (it’s actually a speed) is SQRT(GM/r), where G is the gravitational constant.”

    This is a Ptolomaic mathematical construct. We have no basis to suppose this calculation has any relation to a physical object.

    By the way, what distance is “r”?

    Science doesn’t know if there is a ‘escape velocity’. Science doesn’t even know whether there is a “gravitational constant”, as there are scientific indications the “gravitational constant varies, even here on Earth.

    “Even more specifically, what are the reasonable ranges, around 4 million sols and 6 billion sols, for SgrA* and the M87 nucleus, respectively?”

    If gravity was the only force that could act, and if “modern” astronomy didn’t rely on “dark matter” because with just a “black hole” it doesn’t work out.

    “What we’re left with, Anaconda, is pretty strong observational evidence – as strong as any you’ll find in astronomy – that there is, in galactic nuclei, a very large amount of mass in a very small volume.”

    No, not at all, because your proposition ASSUMES there is no other force at work in the galactic nuclei, so it proceeds on a basis that simply can’t be assumed.

    “You agreed, earlier, that gravitation ‘works’ in the universe, so an entirely reasonable question would be ‘what stops such huge masses in such tiny volumes from collapsing?'”

    “You agreed, earlier, that gravitation ‘works’ in the universe…”

    Yes, I did, but it does not logically follow from that acknowledgment that there is a huge mass in a tiny volume or that it even collapses.

    There we go again. Assuming there is huge mass in a tiny volume, based on what? That gravity is the only possibile force.

    See, that’s the problem — there is an ingrained failure to appreciate other Fundamental Forces, which causes a sequence of circular reasoning.

    But for the sake of argument, since electromagnetism is 39 orders of magnetude stronger than gravity, wouldn’t the electrostatic repulsion potentially present in every atom easily overcome any tendency for a gravitational collapse?

    Again, for the sake of arument, if a black hole is not in reality a singularity, what has stopped the gravitational collapse?

    This article says it better than I can:

    http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=7qqsr17q

    And remember, it’s the reasoning, logic, and marshalling of the evidence that is important, not the fact that one holds antipathy for the author.

  28. In an audience of theoretical physicists there was stunned silence—and not a single question.

    Yes, and I know why. So much BS in so few phrases would even keep me silent. An example:

    Infinitely dense point-mass singularities howsoever formed cannot be reconciled with Special Relativity, i.e. they violate Special Relativity, and therefore violate General Relativity.

    Why is it that the former is called “special” and the latter “general”? Of course, because the former is more important than the latter. O RLY? (irony intended!)

    No celestial body has ever been observed to undergo irresistible gravitational collapse. There is no laboratory evidence for irresistible gravitational collapse.

    Thank god that it has not been observed!

    But just a few notes on your own words Anconda:

    But for the sake of argument, since electromagnetism is 39 orders of magnetude stronger than gravity, wouldn’t the electrostatic repulsion potentially present in every atom easily overcome any tendency for a gravitational collapse?

    First of all: The electrostatic force is 35 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity IF you compare the forces between two protons.

    Since we observe in every lab that if you actually produce particles (in colliders, etc) their charges always equal out, it is reasonable to assume that the universe is composed of an exact equal amount of charges, so the overall charge of the universe is zero. I think you agree with me so far.
    A ball of gas or plasma will therefore content equal amounts of charges and the overall charge of a body is zero.
    Take a look at the sun. The sun’s mass is about 2*10^30 kg.
    Let’s take ONE proton out of the sun and place it somewhere in front of the sun (the distant doesn’t matter). The sun will therefore have charge of -1e, the proton has a charge of +1e, the mass of the sun is (still, the approximation is valid, I think 😉 ) 2*10^30kg and the mass of the proton is 6.67*10^-27 kg.
    Let’s compare the forces now:

    F_grav= G*m_sol*m_p /r^2
    F_estat = 1/(4*pi*epsilon_0) *e*e/r^2

    F_grav/F_estat = (4*pi*epsilon_0)*G*m_sol*m_p / e^2
    =3.8*10^21

    Shocking. Now the gravitational force is 21 orders of magnitude stronger than the electrostatic force. I assume the proton will be attracted (and not only due to the opposite charge of the sun).

    So, having a hugh mass will increase the strength of the gravitational force.

    Science doesn’t know if there is a ‘escape velocity’. Science doesn’t even know whether there is a “gravitational constant”, as there are scientific indications the “gravitational constant varies, even here on Earth.

    What? I think the escape velocity of the earth is about 11.7 km/s. Not everything that goes up is coming down again….

    This is a Ptolomaic mathematical construct. We have no basis to suppose this calculation has any relation to a physical object.

    By the way, what distance is “r”?

    That’s ridiculous. The escape velocity is well defined by the conservation of energy. “r” is btw the distance to the center of the object (e.g. the earth’s center or the center of the sun).
    If you want to say that “r” wasn’t defined that way in Schwarzschild’s original paper, then it doesn’t bother anyone. Because today the Schwarzschild solution is defined that way, if Schwarzschild really calculated it is not really important.

  29. Nereid “At a distance of r from the centre of mass of an object of mass M, the ‘escape velocity’ (it’s actually a speed) is SQRT(GM/r), where G is the gravitational constant.”

    Anaconda rebuts:

    This is a Ptolomaic mathematical construct. We have no basis to suppose this calculation has any relation to a physical object.

    ————————-

    This is the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. It is then worth pointing out this weak gravity (Newtonian) result permits us to send spacecraft around the solar system.

    Anaconda simply does not know what he is talking about.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  30. I’m coming round to the idea that Anaconda is playing a double game; you know, while on the surface seeming to be a proponent of Electric Universe (etc) ideas, and calling for open-mindedness, the grotesque errors he makes (with apparent sincerity) end up discrediting those very ideas rather soundly! 🙂

    (not to mention not admitting just how extreme the howlers he makes are).

    Taking a closer look at just one part:

    But for the sake of argument, since electromagnetism is 39 orders of magnetude stronger than gravity, wouldn’t the electrostatic repulsion potentially present in every atom easily overcome any tendency for a gravitational collapse?

    Ah yes, but as I think I recall you pointing out, once or twice, the universe is 99.999% (+/- a few 9’s) plasma.

    And what happens, in a plasma, if there is a local imbalance of charges? Why the charges nearby move to neutralise that imbalance!

    “At a distance of r from the centre of mass of an object of mass M, the ‘escape velocity’ (it’s actually a speed) is SQRT(GM/r), where G is the gravitational constant.”

    This is a Ptolomaic mathematical construct. We have no basis to suppose this calculation has any relation to a physical object.

    Oh dear.

    You do realise, don’t you Anaconda, that there is a direct equivalent with your beloved “electromagnetism”?

    At a distance of r from the centre of charge of an object of charge Q, the ‘escape velocity’ of a test particle of charge -q (it’s actually a speed) is SQRT({a constant}Q/r), where {a constant} is the … well, as a keen student of electromagnetism, you can supply the missing word(s), can’t you Anaconda.

    And the Rutherford atom is the electromagnetic counterpart of the solar system, with electrons in orbit around a positive nucleus. Goodness, from atomic spectroscopy, and the electromagnetic version of the escape velocity equation, you can even work out what the ‘escape velocity’ is of an electron, from any particular atom!

  31. Methinks that Anaconda flunked mathematics in high-school, which is why he keeps referring to mathematics as a “priori” or “Ptolomaic” (sic) — the correct spelling is Ptolemaic, dude!

  32. Crowel criticizes my comments because Man landed on the moon (and other spacecraft go to various planetary bodies in the solar system.

    But that is mixing apples and oranges.

    Newton’s mathematical description of how gravity acts is good in normal terms in the solar system.

    But that says nothing about how gravity behaves in a so-called “black hole” as Crowell and Nereid have consistently admitted: Science doesn’t know much less understand the dynamics inside a “black hole”.

    You can’t have it both ways. One way when you want to argue in favor of the existence of “black holes” and another way when interlocutors challenge the mathematics supporting the point-mass singularities and the problems of the definition of same.

    The similarities of the Ptolomaic mathematical construct, which relied on mathematical formula to provide a supposed description of the planets and their orbits, and the current “big bang, black hole” pradigm is striking.

    Both used mathematical constructs to explain objects that Man had only a limited ability to observe & measure at the time the respective mathematical constructs were formulated.

    The Ptolomaic construct provided an unreal representation of celestial mechanics, which was shown to be obviously wrong once more detailed observations & measurements were made. But its practitioners were loath to give it up, to the point of goading the Catholic church to persecute anybody who disagreed.

    Today, “big bang, black hole” paradigm was also developed when the ability to make detailed observations & mesurements was severely limited. And, again, it is a “mathematical construct” system, and its practitioners are by a vast majority “pure mathematicians”.

    And, of course, the mathematician practitioners severely criticise anybody to challenges it.

    And similarly its ediface is crumbling in the face of more detailed and higher resolutions observations & measurements.

    Ivan3Man claims his link (yes, it now works, thank you) shows observations & measurements support the “black hole” mathematical construct. But that is not what I got out of it. Instead, the link simply assumed rotation meant there was a “black hole” and assumed a large gravitational body in a small space because it couldn’t envision anything else that could cause that result, but there is: Electromagnetism by way of a plasmoid.

    Regarding Arp: DrFlimmer you need to provide authority for your conclusionary statement. After all, already a couple of times, it’s apparent your professors gave you bad advice (no electricity in space and active galactic nucleus simply couldn’t be plasmoids). I suppect, ” It turned out to be a problem of bad statistics.”, is simply another throw away line from a professor(s) that know Arp wields a dagger at their conventional assumptions about quasars, redshift, and distance.

    DrFlimmer wrote:

    “Yes, and I know why. So much BS in so few phrases would even keep me silent. An example:

    Infinitely dense point-mass singularities howsoever formed cannot be reconciled with Special Relativity, i.e. they violate Special Relativity, and therefore violate General Relativity.

    Why is it that the former is called “special” and the latter “general”? Of course, because the former is more important than the latter. O RLY? (irony intended!)”

    If it was such easy “B.S.” to refute, why didn’t they do so? Easy to refute B.S. generally elicits an array of objections, but in that case: None.

    “Of course, because the former is more important than the latter.”

    I suspect both theorems are equally important to its subscribers, the point is that one can’t contradict the other — DrFlimmer seems to ignore that requirement.

    DrFlimmer presents Crother’s statement: “No celestial body has ever been observed to undergo irresistible gravitational collapse. There is no laboratory evidence for irresistible gravitational collapse.”

    And DrFlimmer responds: “Thank god that it has not been observed!”

    But DrFlimmer blithely ignores his own requirement of physics, “…A physicist sees something …”

    Drflimmer, you seem happy to contradict yourself if it’s required to support your FAITH in the existence of “black holes”.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “Since we observe in every lab that if you actually produce particles (in colliders, etc) their charges always equal out…”

    That’s irrelevant to the repulsive properites within the atom isn’t it?

    But there you go DrFlimmer trying to resurrect you no charge seperation in space argument in a different garmet.

    Quasi-neutrality and double layers explain why charged particles don’t simply cancel out.

    And if they did simply “cancel out” the universe wouldn’t be over 99% plasma (charge particles, free electrons and ions).

    Going back to a disproved argument is a sign that you are having cognitive dissonance.

    Drflimmer wrote: “F_grav= G*m_sol*m_p /r^2
    F_estat = 1/(4*pi*epsilon_0) *e*e/r^2

    F_grav/F_estat = (4*pi*epsilon_0)*G*m_sol*m_p / e^2
    =3.8*10^21

    Shocking. Now the gravitational force is 21 orders of magnitude stronger than the electrostatic force.”

    Classic mathematical legerdermain.

    DrFlimmer presents my [Anaconda’s] statement: “Science doesn’t know if there is a ‘escape velocity’. Science doesn’t even know whether there is a “gravitational constant”, as there are scientific indications the gravitational constant varies, even here on Earth.”

    And DrFlimmer responds: “What? I think the escape velocity of the earth is about 11.7 km/s. Not everything that goes up is coming down again….”

    Sorry, DrFlimmer, I’m not talking about an escape velocity of a body from the Earth or other planet s and such, what I was saying was that Science doesn’t know if there is an escape velocity for light because Science doesn’t know if an escape velocity is even a meaningful term for light or electromagnetic radiation. In other words, Science doesn’t know if gravity can over-power “light” and trap it.

    That’s what I was talking about.

    DrFlimmer wrote: “Because today the Schwarzschild solution is defined that way, if Schwarzschild really calculated it is not really important.”

    You mean it’s okay to bastardize Schwarzschild’s solution just so long as it justifies the existence of “black holes”?

    But then there isn’t any theoretical justification for “black holes” in the first place other than mathematical double-talk meant to give legitimacy to Man’s desire to imagine “balck holes”.

    DrFlimmer, you and the rest of the crew are living and imagining in a fantasy world.

  33. I’m curious to learn how this approach you describe works, using specific examples …

    DrFlimmer wrote: “This is one side of physics. But the other side of physics is that it also wants to predict something (and yes, prediction is always some kind of a theoretical thing).”

    Yes, but this is crucial, the pedictions need to be based on pre-existing observation & measurement of a particular physical object. The quantification of the physical object allows for predictions of how the physical object was constructed or how it works. And then you test the predictions against further observation & measurements of that physical object or other physical objects that are similar to the original physical object.

    (bold added)

    How about exoplanets, detected solely by radial velocity (Doppler)?

    Or the distribution of ionised oxygen in a nebula, based on the observed [OIII] 500.7 and 495.9 nm lines?

    Starspots?

    Most intriguing of all (considering the frequency with which you cite it) would be electric currents in space … what, in some detail, is the pre-existing observation & measurement of a particular physical object, in space?

  34. Jesus Murphy Christ you write long posts. The Newtonian term is really a pretty good approximation down to 100 or even 10 times the Schwarzschild radius. General relativistic corrections are comparatively small down to these radii. So the above statement works pretty well.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  35. This is an oft-used distinction, Anaconda, if not often expressed in the way you have done …

    “…how, then, do you consider astronomy should be done?”

    Now, Science has the technological capability to conduct detailed, high resolution observation & measurement, that should be the starting principle, even for astronomy.

    There is no need for a priori theoretical constructs — maybe in the beginning that was necessary, it certainly isn’t the case, now.

    (bold added)

    There is a rather large, if somewhat subtle, flaw in this approach … “observation & measurement”, in contemporary astronomy, is intricately associated with “a priori theoretical constructs”! 🙂

    In fact, every contemporary astronomical observation contains a very great deal of such constructs.

    How come?

    Whatever instrument you choose to use, in astronomy, has at its heart a detector (or detectors) which tell you that ‘so many photons of wavelength such-and-such came from this direction in the sky’ ONLY if you accept all the a priori theoretical constructs that went into the design, manufacture, installation, testing, calibration, etc, etc, etc of that instrument.

    Space-based instruments operating far from the visual waveband (say, the GeV gamma region) are particularly obvious examples.

    And even ‘so many photons’ is an ‘a priori theoretical construct’, as is ‘a flux of x Jy’ (Jansky is a unit of flux)!

  36. Thanks for your comments, Anaconda.

    Could you please indulge me a little, by explaining these views of yours in some more detail?

    Why doesn’t astronomy simpy employ a “bigger tent” or “cast a wider net”, and willingly consider other avenues of investigation. If Astronomy did so, I’d be happy to let the chips fall where they may, and retire my efforts.

    […]

    As somebody has recently said: “We need to hit the restart button.”

    Suppose there were a pot of money made available to “consider other avenues of investigation”.

    On what basis should any decisions to allocate that money be made?

    Could I, for example, say I have a wonderful alternative that has not been investigated, and could I please have €1 million?

  37. Anaconda:

    [Evidence for a Supermassive Black Hole in M87 article] assumed rotation meant there was a “black hole” and assumed a large gravitational body in a small space because it couldn’t envision anything else that could cause that result, but there is: Electromagnetism by way of a plasmoid.

    Dude, a plasmoid requires an energy supply — what is that source of energy and where is the evidence for it?

  38. Actually, well before Gell-Mann had even dreamed of quarks, “Science” had a pretty darn good idea of how protons behaved in the nuclei of atoms …

    But that says nothing about how gravity behaves in a so-called “black hole” as Crowell and Nereid have consistently admitted: Science doesn’t know much less understand the dynamics inside a “black hole”.

    You can’t have it both ways. One way when you want to argue in favor of the existence of “black holes” and another way when interlocutors challenge the mathematics supporting the point-mass singularities and the problems of the definition of same.

    In fact, following your logic Anaconda, because “Science” doesn’t know, or understand, what happens inside the electron (dynamics, mechanics, kinematics, lottery tickets, …), therefore plasma physics is impossible.

    You don’t mean this, do you Anaconda?

    Ivan3Man claims his link (yes, it now works, thank you) shows observations & measurements support the “black hole” mathematical construct. But that is not what I got out of it. Instead, the link simply assumed rotation meant there was a “black hole” and assumed a large gravitational body in a small space because it couldn’t envision anything else that could cause that result, but there is: Electromagnetism by way of a plasmoid.

    (bold added)

    OK, I’ll bite … show me, in a logically consistent way, that “a plasmoid” could account for all the relevant observations, *quantitatively*.

    And if you can’t do that yourself, please cite a paper which does.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Time for my attempt to bring you up to speed on astronomy, part 6 (7?) Anaconda, continuing with stars.

  39. Gee……

    And if they did simply “cancel out” the universe wouldn’t be over 99% plasma (charge particles, free electrons and ions).

    1) What is the meaning if charges “cancel out”?
    Take some amount of positive charge and the same amount of negative charge and put them close to each other (not on top!).
    If you are close by yourself you will actually “see” the electrostatic field between them. But as farther you step away the weaker the field becomes. And it drops really fast! Only a little away from the charges they will look like as “being” on top of each other and therefore canceling each other, although as we recommended they are not on top of each other physically.
    That is the reason why atoms are neutral! It just the same.
    So, still you can have a plasma (just produce(!!) enough heat) but from “far” away it will look like being neutral. You do not see the field. The amounts of charges just canceled each other, if you are “far” away. (whatever “far” means)

    Concerning SR and GR:

    I suspect both theorems are equally important to its subscribers, the point is that one can’t contradict the other — DrFlimmer seems to ignore that requirement.

    Well, I thought the names are clear. SR is named special because it is only valid with specific requirements (NO accelerations!). GR is the one that is “always” valid and does indeed have some effects that do look like to contardict SR. But the reason is that SR only works in a flat space-time (aka that there are no accelerations).

    DrFlimmer presents Crother’s statement: “No celestial body has ever been observed to undergo irresistible gravitational collapse. There is no laboratory evidence for irresistible gravitational collapse.”

    And DrFlimmer responds: “Thank god that it has not been observed!”

    But DrFlimmer blithely ignores his own requirement of physics, “…A physicist sees something …”

    Drflimmer, you seem happy to contradict yourself if it’s required to support your FAITH in the existence of “black holes”.

    You are again misquoting me. Since there have been so many observations and theoretical works the coexistence of experimental and theoretical physics is absolutly justified. That means that you can (today) make theoretical works based upon theories (in the physical sense!). GR is tested beyond any doubt in the “weak-field-limit” as the whole solar system. So it is reasonable to take the step further and to take a look at “what could happen if…” .
    I don’t think that this is contradicting my previous statement. Observation is not necessarily the first thing today as long as your work is based on solid physics (and GR is solid for a big regime!).

    About my little calculation:

    Classic mathematical legerdermain.

    Actually, Anaconda, this is the same calculation that brings you your 35 (or 39) orders of magnitude on atomic scales.
    Oh, what did I say? Ah, atomic scales! That’s important. The electrostatic force is only so much stronger than gravity as long you have only small amounts of mass involved, like in atoms. In an atom it is absolutly justified to neglect gravity. But not on scales of stars and planets. Definitly you need gravity and it becomes much stronger than the electrostatic force on those scales. (Gravity keeps us on the ground, not electrostatics. The earth is in good approximation a neutral body. Those few lightnings are probably a rounding error…)

    […] that Science doesn’t know if there is an escape velocity for light because Science doesn’t know if an escape velocity is even a meaningful term for light or electromagnetic radiation. In other words, Science doesn’t know if gravity can over-power “light” and trap it.

    Ever heard of the “Bremer Fallturm”? That’s a facility in Bremen, Germany. A tower that is about 100m high (IIRC). In it they tested gravitational redshift of light.

    zarm.uni-bremen.de/index.htm
    zarm.uni-bremen.de/2forschung/gravi/index.htm
    zarm.uni-bremen.de/2forschung/gravi/publications/index.htm

    A few other links that I found just by typing “experiment gravitational redshift” into google:

    springerlink.com/content/b77x082n7575j810/
    adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1991RScI…62..441I
    hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/relativ/gratim.html
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_redshift

  40. “How about exoplanets, detected solely by radial velocity (Doppler)?

    Or the distribution of ionised oxygen in a nebula, based on the observed [OIII] 500.7 and 495.9 nm lines?

    Starspots?”

    There are planets that we have observed & measured in this solar system, so planets have been “observed & measured”. The ways that science infers the presence of planets in orbit around other stars, is a measure of the likelyhood they exist, not whether they exist in the first place.

    Correct me if I’m wrong (I’m sure you would be happy to), but ionized oxygen give off spectral lines that have been confirmed in a laboratory setting. Other wise known as observation & measurement.

    “Starspots?”

    Sunspots have been observed & measured on our Star, Sol. So, one can propose that starspots exist on other stars.

    “Schwarzschild radius”?

    What acutal measurement is that?

    No, it’s a hypothetical mathematical construct.

    “There is a rather large, if somewhat subtle, flaw in this approach … “observation & measurement”, in contemporary astronomy, is intricately associated with “a priori theoretical constructs”! ”

    Yes, exactly and that’s why it’s on a sterile dead-end path to nowhere.

    No, there are observation & measurement that substantiates those detection instruments. It worked in a laboratory first, then it was trained on the sky or sent into space.

    “On what basis should any decisions to allocate that money be made?”

    On the basis of what is known already as a result of observation & measurement.

    Electromagnetic phenomenon has been observed & measured in the solar system. Plasmoids have been observed & measured in the laboratory and detected in near space around the Earth. Electric fields have been observed & measured in near space. The solar wind is a diffused radial electric current of charged particles with a magnetic field and is accelerated, electric fields accelerate charged particles. And magnetic fields are generated by electric currents.

    Gee, maybe astronomy should entertain the possibility that electric currents, plasmoids, electric fields exist beyond the solar system and support investigators who are looking into that possibility — you think?

    Ivan3Man, the evidence is the ubiquitous presence of magnetic fields in space at even extra-galactic scales.

    The source? I don’t know. Why is the Universe over 99% plasma? What is the source of the energy for the fantastical “big bang”?

    “In fact, following your logic Anaconda, because “Science” doesn’t know, or understand, what happens inside the electron (dynamics, mechanics, kinematics…”

    But by cross-checked laboratory observation & measurement science knows there is an electron, the same can’t be said for a “black holes”. After all, our civilization does run in large measure because of electrons, again, the same thing can’t be said for “black holes”.

    “OK, I’ll bite … show me, in a logically consistent way, that “a plasmoid” could account for all the relevant observations, *quantitatively*.”

    We’ve had that discussion/debate ad nauseum and I’ve offered peer-reviewed papers which you sneered at and dismissed.

    “What is the meaning if charges “cancel out”?”

    The electrons combine with the ions to have neutral atoms.

    It’s 39 orders of magnitude stronger to begin with than gravity and its attraction dissipates slower than gravity.

    “You are again misquoting me. Since there have been so many observations and theoretical works the coexistence of experimental and theoretical physics is absolutly justified.”

    Complete malarkey.

    NO “BLACK HOLE” HAS EVER BEEN OBSERVED OR MEASURED, NOR AN “EVENT HORIZON”.

    “GR is tested beyond any doubt in the “weak-field-limit” as the whole solar system.”

    Be careful before you parrot.

    “The electrostatic force is only so much stronger than gravity as long you have only small amounts of mass involved…”

    Your professors filled you with Kool-Aid twice before.

    I know DrFlimmer, you are in a tough spot: Openly deny the tenents of the “big bang, black hole” paradigm and you get denied admission to astronomy grad school.

    That alone should give you an indication how troubled astronomy is these days.

  41. On this point Anaconda, you are wrong … the 500.7 and 495.9 nm [OIII] lines have not been observed in any lab here on Earth.

    Indeed, an analysis of these lines in quasar spectra, by John Bahcall, significantly improved the values of relevant atomic parameters.

    Correct me if I’m wrong (I’m sure you would be happy to), but ionized oxygen give off spectral lines that have been confirmed in a laboratory setting. Other wise known as observation & measurement.

    Btw, the same is pretty much the case for many forbidden lines (regularly detected in nebulae).

    Moving on …

    “Starspots?”

    Sunspots have been observed & measured on our Star, Sol. So, one can propose that starspots exist on other stars.

    Indeed one can.

    And one can observe gravitational redshift in the lab, and propose that it can exist on other bodies.

    And just as our own Sun’s sunspots are rather modest, so we can propose that other stars may have sunspots much bigger … and similarly the gravitational redshift on other objects may be much larger than observed in the lab.

    In other words, by your own words, you are totally at ease with extrapolation beyond that which can be detected directly.

    “There is a rather large, if somewhat subtle, flaw in this approach … “observation & measurement”, in contemporary astronomy, is intricately associated with “a priori theoretical constructs”! ”

    Yes, exactly and that’s why it’s on a sterile dead-end path to nowhere.

    No, there are observation & measurement that substantiates those detection instruments. It worked in a laboratory first, then it was trained on the sky or sent into space.

    Not really …

    … you see, to take just one example, IACTs (Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescopes), such as H.E.S.S.

    These regularly report the ‘detection’ of TeV (and above) gamma rays from the sky. Yet no lab has ever produced such high energy gammas, and certainly no experiment to fire them into the atmosphere from space has ever been performed … so there are NO “observation[s] & measurement[s] that substantiates those detection instruments.” It did NOT work in a laboratory first.

    (to be continued)

  42. No, we have not had any such discussion, or debate, let alone one “ad nauseum”.

    Where we got up to was you finally spelled Bostick’s name right, and cited two papers by him.

    I checked them out, and found neither had anything to say about AGNs (or HH objects, or YSO jets, or …), not least because in 1958, when Bostick published those two papers, the term AGN had not been invented, and the only class of AGNs then known were Seyfert galaxies (and Bostick did not refer to them).

    This is one good aspect of the comment section of UT stories: everything you actually wrote, along with everything I wrote, is there for everyone to read (so we have an objectively verifiable dataset to use to judge the veracity of your statements in this regard).

    “OK, I’ll bite … show me, in a logically consistent way, that “a plasmoid” could account for all the relevant observations, *quantitatively*.”

    We’ve had that discussion/debate ad nauseum and I’ve offered peer-reviewed papers which you sneered at and dismissed.

    Now perhaps you forgot to cite a peer-reviewed paper which shows, *quantitatively*, that plasmoids can account for the relevant AGN observables; if so, please, do that citing now (inquiring minds want to know).

  43. Let’s see now … in this solar system, the planets “observed & measured” are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune (and Pluto too, if you are willing to countenance inconsistent definitions).

    “How about exoplanets, detected solely by radial velocity (Doppler)?

    […]

    There are planets that we have observed & measured in this solar system, so planets have been “observed & measured”. The ways that science infers the presence of planets in orbit around other stars, is a measure of the likelyhood they exist, not whether they exist in the first place.

    Each of these eight (nine) planets has distinctive characteristics, such as radius and mass, as have their orbits around the Sun.

    For the exoplanets detected solely by radial velocity, AFAIK, none have estimated masses that fall within the range of the solar system planets, and certainly none have estimated orbits within the range of those of the eight (nine) solar system planets.

    So classifying any of these inferred objects as ‘exoplanets’ requires a willingness to accept extrapolation beyond that which can be detected (and measured) directly.

    Yet, to take a page from your book, Anaconda, why don’t we consider alternatives? Perhaps these objects are not planets (as we know them), but Dyson spheres? or comets? or baby stars? or even plasmoids??

    (OK, maybe not Dyson spheres, which have not be “observed & measured”, but comets, stars, and plasmoids have been).

    Perhaps the radial velocity signal we see in these stars’ spectra is an electromagnetic after-effect of the variable currents through the giant flux tubes that connect the super-massive black hole (SgrA*) to these stars, to form the Milky Way’s homopolar inductor?

  44. Hmm … plasma scaling relationships beyond those tested in the lab … giant inter-galactic Birkeland currents … 100 km wide craters (on the Moon, Mercury, etc) created by EDM …

    “Schwarzschild radius”?

    What acutal measurement is that?

    No, it’s a hypothetical mathematical construct.

  45. Since Anaconda has serious umbrage against black holes, and the UT site has been pretty tied up with 40th anniversary observation of Apollo 11, his rants are being left to increasinly dated pages.

    Anaconda’s objections are similar to anti-astronomy polemics in the past. People argued that features Galileo saw were artifacts of his telescope, and later on people objected to the string of arguments used to support the Kepler-Newtonian model of the solar system. Nobody laid out meter sticks in some explicit way to measure these distances. Even George Bernard Shaw argued against solar system distances because nobody could ever walk those distances.

    People like this always seem to be with us.

  46. The basis on which to allocate money …

    Suppose there were a pot of money made available to “consider other avenues of investigation”.

    On what basis should any decisions to allocate that money be made?

    That’s my question to Anaconda.

    Here’s his kind response:

    “On what basis should any decisions to allocate that money be made?”

    On the basis of what is known already as a result of observation & measurement.

    Electromagnetic phenomenon has been observed & measured in the solar system. Plasmoids have been observed & measured in the laboratory and detected in near space around the Earth. Electric fields have been observed & measured in near space. The solar wind is a diffused radial electric current of charged particles with a magnetic field and is accelerated, electric fields accelerate charged particles. And magnetic fields are generated by electric currents.

    Gee, maybe astronomy should entertain the possibility that electric currents, plasmoids, electric fields exist beyond the solar system and support investigators who are looking into that possibility — you think?

    Thanks Anaconda.

    I want to make sure I understand this, so some follow-up questions, if you don’t mind.

    First, although you didn’t actually say so, I’m guessing you’d recommend allocating funds to “other avenues of investigation” only if someone asked for the funds, by writing up and submitting a proposal; is that correct? If not, then please say what you would recommend.

    Next, it seems that you’d suggest *any* proposal should be funded, provided it was an “other avenue[] of investigation” AND provided it was based on “what is known already as a result of observation & measurement”; is that correct? If not, then please say what you would recommend.

    Then there are the two paragraphs concerning “[e]lectromagnetic phenomenon”. I assume you meant these as merely examples, not that you’d recommend ‘other avenues of investigation’ funds be allocated *solely* to ‘electromagnetic phenomena’ proposals; is that correct? If not, then please say what you would recommend.

    Finally, let’s take a specific, concrete example: Arp.

    Let’s assume he, or a colleague, has submitted a proposal for such ‘other avenues of investigation’ funds, to study intrinsic redshifts in quasars.

    Now as ‘intrinsic redshifts’ fails the “what is known already as a result of observation & measurement” Anaconda criterion, I surmise that you’d recommend rejecting such a proposal; is that correct? If not, then please say why you would recommend accepting it.

  47. Please,

    “I checked them out, and found neither had anything to say about AGNs (or HH objects, or YSO jets, or …), not least because in 1958, when Bostick published those two papers, the term AGN had not been invented, and the only class of AGNs then known were Seyfert galaxies (and Bostick did not refer to them).”

    In addition I presented Peratt’s peer-reviewed papers and Bostick was directly making comparisons with galaxies which almost always have an active galactic nucleus at their center. You remember mathematical logic don’t you? AGN are a subset of the larger galaxy set.

    That kind of jabberwalk from you only serves my purposes in showing your unreasonableness.

    “Yet, to take a page from your book, Anaconda, why don’t we consider alternatives? ”

    You bet.

    “Anaconda’s objections are similar to anti-astronomy polemics in the past.”

    No, but your attacking alternative possibilites is like Ptolemaic astronomers attacking Galileo for stating the planets don’t travel in crystal spheres because we, Ptolemaic, stronomers have the math to prove the planets travel in the crystal spheres and the Earth is the center of all things.

    “…you’d recommend allocating funds to “other avenues of investigation” only if someone asked for the funds, by writing up and submitting a proposal; is that correct?”

    Yes.

    Regarding Arp: He still studies galaxies and what not over at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. And he has convincing scientific evidence published already that shows quasars connected by plasma bridges to galaxies where the quasar and galaxy have different redshifts.

    in other words, there is observation & measurement that supports the concept of ‘intrinsic redshift’.

    Likely, it is a measure of ‘youthfulness’.

    Interesting that you should bring that up on this post because it seems earily like “modern” astronomy is attempting to steal the concept of galaxies “kicking out” objects, quasars, but instead stating the ejected object is a “black hole” and not a quasar.

    But it’s an up hill climb because nobody has any observational evidence that “black holes” are “kicked out” of galaxies, while Arp has substantial scientific evidence that quasars are ejected from galaxies.

    Another example where “modern” astronomy was shown up, but then attempts to stick in their own unsupported hypothesis, as opposed to supporting the documented observations (that also happen to discredit a major dogma of “modern” astronomy).

    Such is the dogmatic approach of “modern” astronomy, that it supports fantastical mathematical constructs and rejects actual observations & measurements if those observations invalidate a dogmatic tenent of “modern” astronomy.

    It already has been observed & measured, but because his observations invalidated and falsified the “big bang” his telescope time was stripped, here, in the U.S. and his funding was cut and his papers were rejected for publication.

    It is one of the most shameful and disgraceful acts in the annals of “modern” astronomy.

    Arp has documented numerous quasars with physical plasma bridges to galaxies, not just one or two.

    DrFlimmer’s justification of “the statistics proved Arp wrong” is just a canard thrown out by his cowardly professors, but DrfFimmer has no choice, but to drink up the Kool-Aid if he wants to get into astronomy grad school.

    Let me ask you Nereid if it is an example of free academic inquiry for astronomy grad schools to reject anybody that questions, or outright rejects for that matter, the “big bang, black hole” paradigm?

    Or a more direct question: Do you approve of astronomy grad schools rejecting admission of applicants if they openly reject the “big bang, black hole” paradigm when being interviewed for admission by the admissions commitee?

  48. “These regularly report the ‘detection’ of TeV (and above) gamma rays from the sky. Yet no lab has ever produced such high energy gammas, and certainly no experiment to fire them into the atmosphere from space has ever been performed … so there are NO “observation[s] & measurement[s] that substantiates those detection instruments.”

    See, Gamma-Ray from discharge in Plasmas
    (published paper)

    http://cpl.iphy.ac.cn/qikan/manage/wenzhang/0140557.pdf

  49. Why is the Universe over 99% plasma? What is the source of the energy for the fantastical “big bang”?

    1) Because gravity compressed matter which then heated up. At some point the atoms were disintegrated because the photons became energetic enough to kick the electrons out of the atoms. Tadaa, there is the plasma.
    2) I could write a lengthy post about quantum effects. But since you would just reject it as nonsense I leave it. But there are experimental facts why we can be sure that we can say where that energy came from, or why we don’t need to say where it came from. This sounds crazy without the proper explanation, but why explain things that you would not even try to understand?

    The electrons combine with the ions to have neutral atoms.

    BUT: The electron and the ion are still separated physically! The electron does not sit on top of the ion. If you would go very close to the atom, so close that you could “see” the electron and the ion on their own, you would also feel a little electrostatic field. So, for having an object that seems to be neutral you only need to be farther away than the distance between the two charged objects. In plasma physics this is the Debye-length. If you are, say, three times the Debye-length away from your plasma than the electrostatic field at your point will be essentially zero. That is my point.

    It’s 39 orders of magnitude stronger to begin with than gravity and its attraction dissipates slower than gravity.

    The electrostatic force (which we are talking about) and the gravitational force are both dropping with the square of the distance. Of course this situation is only valid for “point-masses” and “point-charges” with no other masses or charges nearby. Indeed, if you have other masses or charges, the situation is different. The mass will ALWAYS add to the gravitational field. The electrostatic force will only become stronger if the other charge is of the same type as the primary one. In other words: The same amount of positive and negative charges will cancel the electrostatic field (again if you are farther away than the “typical” size of the system as explained above).

    “The electrostatic force is only so much stronger than gravity as long you have only small amounts of mass involved…”
    Your professors filled you with Kool-Aid twice before.

    No, that’s experimentally verified. Mass will always add. Gravity can only become stronger if there is more mass around. The electrostatic force doesn’t do it necessarily. It strongly depends on the amounts of charges of both types.
    I agree, if the sun were ONLY made of, say, protons than the electrostatic force would be stronger than gravity – but on the other hand the sun would rip itself apart due to the strong electrostatic field (due to the repulsion, gravity ONLY attracts). So we can conclude from the fact that the sun is still there that it is almost neutral charged – meaning that there is the same amount of positive and negative charges inside the sun (however they are distributed).

    So. A few words about Arp:

    in other words, there is observation & measurement that supports the concept of ‘intrinsic redshift’.
    Likely, it is a measure of ‘youthfulness’.

    Laboratory experiments do not support such a “youthfulness” theory. I have said something about it before and I present it here again:

    I can’t believe that I was right, not exactly, but close. The following is quoted directly from Arp’s page:

    Observed: The whole quasar or galaxy is intrinsically redshifted.

    Objects with the same path length to the observer have much different redshifts and all parts of the object are shifted closely the same amount. Tired light is ruled out and also gravitational redshifting.

    The fundamental assumption: Are particle masses constant?

    The photon emitted in an orbital transition of an electron in an atom can only be redshifted if its mass is initially small. As time goes on the electron communicates with more and more matter within a sphere whose limit is expanding at velocity c. If the masses of electrons increase, emitted photons change from an initially high redshift to a lower redshift with time (see Narlikar and Arp, 19936)

    Predicted consequences: Quasars are born with high redshift and evolve into galaxies of lower redshift.

    Near zero mass particles evolve from energy conditions in an active nucleus. (If particle masses have to be created sometime, it seems easier to grow things from a low mass state rather than producing them instantaneously in a finished state.)

    So. Electrons gain mass over time. But I would guess this process would not stop. So over time the electrons become heavier and heavier. Our experiments here on earth are extremely sensitive. I wonder if such an effect wouldn’t have been observed. And would be spoken out loud, because it is fundamentally important!

    On the other hand: All our accelerators are producing electrons all the time, NEW ones, popping out of the energy of the collisions. And what do you think? Those electrons have ALL, without any doubt, the same mass of about 9.1*10^-31 kg!

    Arp’s assumption has exactly zero experimental evidence. And since it is so important for his idea, I think it is quite right to say that it is, well, wrong.

    So, experiments do not support the “youthfulness” of quasars. And couldn’t it be possible that the quasars Arp linked to other galaxies were just a matter of perspective? We are observing everything in the sky against a sphere – we are lacking the third dimension (not to mention the fourth…). So such perspectives can be common. Or are the stars in all the field of views connected to other galaxies although they belong to our galaxy? Isn’t it the same thing?

    Interesting that you should bring that up on this post because it seems earily like “modern” astronomy is attempting to steal the concept of galaxies “kicking out” objects, quasars, but instead stating the ejected object is a “black hole” and not a quasar.

    Indeed, it was NOT stolen. Arp just says those quasars are “just” popping out of those galaxies (however that is done; there is no physical experiment that could verify such a behavior. Anaconda, you are referring to a theory that has exactly NO experimental evidence in the lab? How dare you?). The authors of the paper discussed in this thread are saying that those black holes could be ejected due to gravitational kicks (yes, that is not contradicting my previous statement that gravity always attracts!). So, unlike Arp, they propose a possible mechanism (much like how Bremsstrahlung is produced by electromagnetic interactions; but different 😉 ).

    while Arp has substantial scientific evidence that quasars are ejected from galaxies.

    LOOL! How are they ejected? What is the mechanism to eject them? Where is the experimental evidence that supports him?

    Arp has documented numerous quasars with physical plasma bridges to galaxies, not just one or two.

    As I said, couldn’t it be coincidence?

    DrFlimmer’s justification of “the statistics proved Arp wrong” is just a canard thrown out by his cowardly professors, but DrFlimmer has no choice, but to drink up the Kool-Aid if he wants to get into astronomy grad school.

    Well, at my university in Germany I just went in, said hello and there I was! There was no “income-test”-what-so-ever.

    hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2007/39/image/c/

    This picture is a quasar. It is likely inside its host-galaxy (as the press release indicates) but I don’t see the galaxy where it might have come from in the first place. The same is true for the following quasars:

    hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1996/35/image/a/

    They are all inside a host-galaxy, but there is no indication of a galaxy where there might have been shot out.
    I found this interesting paper from 2003:

    adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003AJ….125.1649F

    The paper is available for free and I urge you to take a look on page 5 of the pdf-file. There the new found quasars are indicated, and I see no galaxy nearby that could possibly have shot them out.
    Btw: The next link is a statement to Arp’s theory from other scientists from 1980 (!!):

    adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1980Ap%26SS..70..531W

    Here I present two other papers that I found interesting:

    adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2006AJ….132..117F
    adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2005MNRAS.362..505C

  50. See, Gamma-Ray from discharge in Plasmas
    (published paper)
    [URL omitted]

    As I see it the paper is about a theoretical work, that tries to find voltages of double layers that could explain the spectra of GRBs. I doesn’t seem to talk about a real experiment that really produced those gamma-rays.

  51. From the Li and Wu paper Anaconda cites …

    [Anaconda] “These regularly report the ‘detection’ of TeV (and above) gamma rays from the sky. Yet no lab has ever produced such high energy gammas, and certainly no experiment to fire them into the atmosphere from space has ever been performed … so there are NO “observation[s] & measurement[s] that substantiates those detection instruments.”

    See, Gamma-Ray from discharge in Plasmas
    (published paper)

    [URL omitted]

    {Li&Wu, extract] For thermal emissions of temperature T = 10^5 K and optical depth {tau_sub0} = 10 at h{nu} = 1 {k_subB}T, the mean photon energy ~18 eV, then the mean energy of a scattered photon from an electron with {eta} = 100 MeV can be calculated as ~900 keV. Thus, the large-voltage and high temperature discharge column is an effective radiator of hard x-rays and soft {gamma}rays.

    (bold added)

    So:

    1) the cited paper refers to soft gammas, ~<1 MeV (my comment was about H.E.S.S. and other IACTs detecting TeV gammas)

    2) even the soft gammas are calculated, not “observed & measured” in the laboratory first!

    Someone recently wrote this (bold added) “What acutal measurement is that? No, it’s a hypothetical mathematical construct.”

    I note, as an aside, that you seem to have an excellent track record of this sort of thing Anaconda, citing papers that do not support your claims at all (and sometimes, it seems, can be used as evidence against other claims you make). Could it be that your ignorance is showing?

    (BTW, for those who do not know, the “T” in “TeV” stands for tera – you may be familiar with it for hard disc space or storage, as in GB and TB – a TeV gamma is one with 10^12 eV of energy.)

  52. Nereid, there are a couple of corollary question that go with my last two questions:

    If a student at an accredited astronomy graduate school managed to get his or her doctorial thesis proposal approved (with appropriate professor advisor), which challenged the “big bang, black hole” paradigm, and after completing the doctorial thesis and submitting it to appropriate committee, and it approved the thesis by appropriate protocol, would you then vote to allow the student to graduate with a Ph. D. from the school?

    And if you were on the hiring commitee of an accredited graduate astronomy school, would you vote to hire a professor (who had, otherwise, appropriate academic credentials) that openly professed rejection of the “big bang, black hole” paradigm?

  53. I’ll have a look again, but AFAIK none of Peratt’s published papers – the ones you cited and the ones you haven’t – refer to AGNs, even indirectly (if you know of one (or more) which does, then please cite it).

    Please,
    “I checked them out, and found neither had anything to say about AGNs (or HH objects, or YSO jets, or …), not least because in 1958, when Bostick published those two papers, the term AGN had not been invented, and the only class of AGNs then known were Seyfert galaxies (and Bostick did not refer to them).”

    In addition I presented Peratt’s peer-reviewed papers and Bostick was directly making comparisons with galaxies which almost always have an active galactic nucleus at their center. You remember mathematical logic don’t you? AGN are a subset of the larger galaxy set.

    (bold added)

    But don’t you see Anaconda, what’s observed and measured is inconsistent with your summary!

    IIRC, Bostick’s paper were about galaxies, spiral galaxies … yet AGNs are found only in *some* spiral galaxies, and AGNs are also found in galaxies other than spirals.

    Peratt’s papers are about all galaxies, of every kind. Further, Peratt proposes that galaxies with double radio lobes (the nuclei of which are AGNs) are created by a quite specific mechanism, and that in the other classes (he presents results on spirals, irregulars, and ellipticals) those mechanisms have either ceased or are operating quite differently.

    So, by the simple “mathematical logic” you imply, neither Bostick’s nor Peratt’s papers could address AGNs (even if they did explicitly mention them, which they didn’t).

  54. It’s bad enough that you misunderstand physics and astronomy, Anaconda, but when you start revising history you really make yourself look like a fool.

    It already has been observed & measured, but because his [Arp’s] observations invalidated and falsified the “big bang” his telescope time was stripped, here, in the U.S. and his funding was cut and his papers were rejected for publication.

    Perhaps you’re going by memory alone, and not reading what even Arp himself had to say in his book?

    I suggest that you re-read the book … you’ll find your characterisation is inconsistent with what Arp himself writes.

    Further, may I enquire as to the research you undertook to ascertain the veracity of these alleged (historical) facts, independently?

    Specifically:

    a) which of his “observations invalidated and falsified the “big bang””?

    b) who cut his telescope time, and on what telescope(s)?

    c) if the facts do support this harsh interpretation, what reasons were given for the cuts?

    d) can those reasons be independently checked? if so, how?

    e) ditto, wrt his funding (in the US)

    f) which of “his papers were rejected for publication”?

    Now, for avoidance of doubt, astronomers routinely have their telescope time cut, fail in their attempts to get funding, and have their papers rejected for publication. That’s a normal part of the job (and if you think about it for a minute, you wouldn’t want it any other way, would you?).

  55. Is it just me or does anyone else here have the same problem, after reading Anaconda’s diatribe, of having to stop what they were doing because they have to see a man about a dog.

  56. Well, it looks like that paper went by the board, I’ll stand corrected.

    However, consider this:

    “High Intensity Gamma-Ray Source (HIGS)-The newest on-site facility used by TUNL researchers is the High-Intensity Gamma-ray Source (HIGS) at the Duke Free-Electron Laser Laboratory (DFELL). A storage-ring FEL is used to produce a high-intensity and monoenergetic gamma-ray beam in the energy range from 2 to 50 MeV by intracavity Compton backscattering. The Department of Energy (DOE) has recently approved an upgrade of the injection system which will make it possible to produce gamma rays of high average flux at energies up to 225 MeV. ”

    http://higs.tunl.duke.edu/

    The above seems to be a laboratory apparatus.

    Do you suppose that the U. S. Department of Energy at Los Alamos National Laboratory has laboratory apparatus capable of producing high energy gamma-rays?

    DrFlimmer, yes, there could be “coincidences” (of physical overlay due to limits of two dimensional imaging), but how many “coincidences” start looking like a pattern? And some do actually have visible “bridges” of plasma connecting them.

    Arp is a “steady state” Universe guy, therefore, he has to have some way to create matter (this leads to theoretical difficulties).

    Others have taken his theory and modified it that only the protons and neutrons are initially ejected out the spin axis from the plasmoid and the electrons follow. Certainly, I’ll agree it hasn’t been all nailed down yet, there are unanswered questions.

  57. “Why is it important though, to treat such features as long straight filaments rather than as spheres? Because the equations governing how the influence of the magnetic force drops off over distance may be different if you treat the structure as a sphere rather than as a filament.

    Consider that the influence of gravity drops off with the inverse square of the distance from an object with gravitating mass.

    Now, for a magnetic dipole (more-or-less a spherical magnetic field), the influence of the magnetic field drops off according to an inverse cube relationship. But what happens when we consider the magnetic field generated by a long, straight electric current? Does it follow the lead of the spherical configuration and adhere to an inverse cube relationship? No!

    In fact, in the long, straight current scenario, it drops off with the inverse of the distance (a first power relationship). That means its influence drops off more slowly than the influence of gravity and much more slowly than the influence of a magnetic dipole, making it the longest range force of the three.

    Is it possible that astrophysicists have underestimated the reach and role of magnetic fields in the cosmos due to a simple error of geometry? If so, this simple error may have monumental implications. ”

    http://www.thunderbolts.info/thunderblogs/mgmirkin.htm

  58. Apparently, Nereid you want to ignore the questions about academic freedom.

    Judging by your consistent tone, I can understand why.

  59. Nereid, it’s apparent you don’t want to get it:

    AGN’s are apart of galaxies.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

  60. I want to go over Arp and the ‘intrinsic redshift’ of quasars again. DrFlimmer has already pointed to the inconsistency in Anaconda’s comments, but it’s worth taking it step-by-step, in some detail.

    First, there’s no doubt that Arp’s ideas concerning the intrinsic redshift of quasars, per his published papers, are a “possible alternative explanation” (to quote Anaconda).

    Thus, per Anaconda’s own proposal, Arp’s ideas should be “willingly consider[ed]” (one, of several possible, “other avenues of investigation”).

    But Anaconda is on record with a firm, unambiguous, criterion wrt any such alternative explanations (at least as far as allocating money, or other resources, to their investigation):

    “On what basis should any decisions to allocate that money be made?”

    On the basis of what is known already as a result of observation & measurement.

    Now Arp’s ideas concerning the intrinsic redshift of quasars are quite unambiguous in that he claims the atoms (or ions) which emit the line radiation that is used to determine a quasar’s redshift have a different (smaller) mass than the same kinds of atoms in labs (there’s also stuff about how the mass changes as the atoms get ‘older’).

    Now no such variable atomic mass has ever been “observed & measured” in any lab, so just like black holes, this idea must be rejected, as merely “a hypothetical mathematical construct” (using Anaconda’s own logic).

    Of course the case against Arp’s ideas is much stronger than this; for example, cosmic rays can get from source to here in utterly trivial times (as measured in their own frames), so any ‘young’ or ‘light’ nuclei from a quasar (intrinsically redshifted, remember), in the form of a high energy cosmic ray, would have a mass much less than that of a comparable nucleus here on Earth (it would have had essentially no time to ‘age’). No such ‘small mass’ CR nuclei have ever been observed.

    Then we can create new atoms in our labs, not only from ‘old’ ones, but also from ‘pure energy’. According to Arp’s ideas, these should have very small masses (compared to ‘old’ atoms), masses which increase quite rapidly at first and then more slowly. No such behaviour has ever been observed, in any lab.

    One other thing Anaconda:

    Arp has documented numerous quasars with physical plasma bridges to galaxies, not just one or two.

    (bold added)

    I’m pretty sure you will retract that statement, upon further consideration.

    Why?

    Because if this is, in fact, what Arp has documented, then all lab work on plasmas is wrong; the whole of Alfvén’s collected works, both theory and observation, is wrong; ditto Peratt’s (and Bostick’s and …); indeed, ‘electromagnetism’ as you have so loudly presented it is wrong.

    In other words, you’d be accepting, as scientifically validated, ideas derived from highly questionable astronomical observations, ideas that are wildly inconsistent with hundreds of years of research in labs here on Earth.

    Is that what you are willing to step up to Anaconda?

  61. AGN’s are PARTS OF galaxies – my examples show it, and AFAIK almost every AGN has been linked to a host galaxy by now (but that statement can be taken with a little uncertainty).

    But to your post from 1:25pm:

    As you might have noticed:
    I was talking about electrostatic forces and not magnetic forces! That’s a hugh difference!
    A wire has a magnetic field that drops with the inverse of the distance, yes. But such a magnetic field should be distuingishable in the universe (although, as I have stated in previous discussions, measurements of magnetic fields are highly non-trivial in space).
    But what about the solar system? As far as I know there is no magnetic field measured that is in the form of the magnetic field of a wire. The big structures are dipole fields (of course, they do differ from that structure, but there is no indication of a “wire-field”).
    So, not only that you are not talking about what I talked about, but the problem is that there is lack of evidence in the solar system for such a field (and no, you are not talking about a Birkeland current, that is another magnetic field with other properties than the field from a wire!).

    Btw: you need really strong fields (and thus currents) to overcome the gravity of the earth. The fields in interplanetary space are not that strong!

  62. ah, sorry. I misunderstood your statement, Anaconda. Please drop and forget the first paragraph of my post above…. Please begin with:

    “But to your post from….”

  63. Anaconda, it’s apparent that you can’t understand what I have written, so I will try again.

    Nereid, it’s apparent you don’t want to get it:

    AGN’s are apart of galaxies.

    What part of that don’t you understand?

    First, Peratt did not propose “plasmoids” as an explanation for any aspect of galaxies (not their morphology, not their formation, not their evolution) … so his papers are not relevant to your claim.

    Second, Bostick proposed plasmoids as an explanation for the morphology of spiral galaxies.

    Now, let’s make sure we have your claim in front of us, shall we? The one concerning AGNs and plasmoids.

    Here it is (July 20th, 2009 at 12:18 pm):

    Ivan3Man claims his link (yes, it now works, thank you) shows observations & measurements support the “black hole” mathematical construct. But that is not what I got out of it. Instead, the link simply assumed rotation meant there was a “black hole” and assumed a large gravitational body in a small space because it couldn’t envision anything else that could cause that result, but there is: Electromagnetism by way of a plasmoid.

    (bold added)
    My response (July 20th, 2009 at 1:19 pm):

    OK, I’ll bite … show me, in a logically consistent way, that “a plasmoid” could account for all the relevant observations, *quantitatively*.

    And if you can’t do that yourself, please cite a paper which does.

    … and then you got into a hissy fit, but eventually admitted that the two Bostick papers, together with one or more of Peratt’s, did indeed show that plasmoids could account for all the observations and measurements referenced in the link Ivan3Man supplied.

    OK, so now you show us all, with numbers, *exactly* how these papers (the ones you cited) account for all the observations and measurements, *quantitatively*.

    (And if you can’t please say so).

  64. I have absolutely no intention of ignoring anything you write here Anaconda (do I make myself sufficiently clear?)

    Apparently, Nereid you want to ignore the questions about academic freedom.
    Judging by your consistent tone, I can understand why.

    I will comment on this, and the comments of yours to which it refers, at a later time.

  65. That’s still a) planned (no actual testing), b) far, far, far less energetic than TeV, and c) not directed into the atmosphere from space.

    Well, it looks like that paper went by the board, I’ll stand corrected.
    However, consider this:

    “High Intensity Gamma-Ray Source (HIGS)-The newest on-site facility used by TUNL researchers is the High-Intensity Gamma-ray Source (HIGS) at the Duke Free-Electron Laser Laboratory (DFELL). A storage-ring FEL is used to produce a high-intensity and monoenergetic gamma-ray beam in the energy range from 2 to 50 MeV by intracavity Compton backscattering. The Department of Energy (DOE) has recently approved an upgrade of the injection system which will make it possible to produce gamma rays of high average flux at energies up to 225 MeV. “

    Let’s remind ourselves of what your claim is, shall we?

    No, there are observation & measurement that substantiates those detection instruments. It worked in a laboratory first, then it was trained on the sky or sent into space.

    (bold added)

    So, the very real, very successful example of IACTs and TeV gammas proves you wrong.

    BTW, there are plenty of other examples I could discuss (if you, or any other reader, are interested).

  66. Others have taken his [Arp’s] theory and modified it that only the protons and neutrons are initially ejected out the spin axis from the plasmoid and the electrons follow.

    Reference(s) please!

    Certainly, I’ll agree it hasn’t been all nailed down yet, there are unanswered questions.

    As there are, perhaps, concerning General Relativity (GR) and black holes?

  67. “… and then you got into a hissy fit”

    So answering like this, “We’ve had that discussion/debate ad nauseum and I’ve offered peer-reviewed papers which you sneered at and dismissed,” constitutes a “hissy fit”.

    Oh, really?

    Yes, gamma -rays have been produced in the laboratory by electromagnetic processes.

    Nereid, do you know the distinction between a difference of degree versus a difference of kind?

    Apparently not, or at least you won’t admit to it.

    High energy gamma-rays are a difference of degree, that can inferred with a degree of confidence.

    Your comparison is not appropriate because Science knows of gamma-rays by way of laboratory work, and has for a long time, also nuclear weapons release gamma-rays upon detonation.

    And gamma-rays were detected coming from space. Was it some leap of faith (like the leap of faith to believe in “black holes”) to think there might be higher energy gamma-rays on the electromagnetic wave spectrum?

    I don’t think so.

    Anyway, getting back to the topic in this post: The authors come up with jabberwalk as a rational…a jabberwalk you believe in with your whole being, your whole soul, your whole consciousness…such that anybody who challenges your belief system (religous faith) is to be birddogged.

    Science has no knowledge of “black holes”, other than theoretical constructs.

    Face it, Nereid, you believe in a fantacy because you have FAITH it exists, not because of any experimental or observable scientific evidence.

    That’s why you bird dog me or anybody else for that matter, who challenges the FAITH.

    You have appointed yourself the GRAND INQUISITOR to persecute and hound anybody who disagrees with your religous faith in “big bang, black hole” dogma.

    You can delude yourself if you want, but I’ll follow the scientific evidence where it leads.

  68. A bunch of people go around spewing jabberwalk and Nereid wants to run around licking up the puddles, and then she turns around and growls at anybody who laughs at her ridiculous pose bending over the jabberwalk puddle… 🙂

  69. You tell me, Anaconda, you tell me …

    Nereid, do you know the distinction between a difference of degree versus a difference of kind?

    In the following, where does “a difference of degree” occur, “versus a difference of kind” (two significant figures only)*?

    0.50, 12, 270, 6,300, 150,000, 3.4 million, 78 million, 1.8 billion, 42 billion, 980 billion, 1.3 trillion, …

    * If there is no such transition, please say so.

  70. I don’t know which is worse: Anaconda’s bloody diatribe, or that goddamn Scientology advert (via IE8) at the top of this page! 🙄

  71. Anaconda:

    … the evidence is the ubiquitous presence of magnetic fields in space at even extra-galactic scales.

    How strong do you think that field is in comparison to that of the Earth’s magnetic field?

    The source? I don’t know. Why is the Universe over 99% plasma?

    What makes you think that the Universe is 99% plasma?

    What is the source of the energy for the fantastical “big bang”?

    Elucidate exactly what do you think the term “Big Bang” means?

  72. Why is it that at a specific point in the discussion Anaconda always hides behind “faith” and “kool-aid”?
    Since you do NOT know what is going on in a university and how science is done (not to mention that you have at least only a minimum grasp of science and math at all) how are you able to say that it is how you think it is?

    Concerning “faith”.
    Why do black holes have less evidence than Arp’s “youthfulness”? According to your own point of view both should be rejected, because both do not have any experimental support in the lab. Aren’t you contradicting yourself by rejecting black holes completly but not Arp’s “youthfulness”?
    And how does Arp proof that the “bridges” he sees are real physical connections from the galaxy to the quasar? He just says so, but he cannot proof it (especially not in the lab). Why do you say he is right and others are wrong?

    Btw: The difference between an MeV and TeV gamma ray is, indeed, significant. The lab-produces MeV gamma ray tells you that gamma rays can be produced in the lab. Good. But then you can go ahead and calculate how powerful a source must be to produce TeV gamma rays which are 6 orders of magnitude stronger.
    You need, indeed, highly relativistic electrons to make them (and with highly I really mean highly!!). How do those electrons become accelerated?
    Oh, how could I forget it, of course: the good old double layer… but how strong must it be? What a potential drop do you need? Can such a source “hide” in the small AGNs (your source can only be a few light-days across! And don’t ask for sources, we had this topic already and I think I explained quite well why we can say the sources are no bigger than that (it has to do with the speed of light…))?

  73. So, to Anaconda’s “academic freedom” questions …

    In chronological order

    Let me ask you Nereid if it is an example of free academic inquiry for astronomy grad schools to reject anybody that questions, or outright rejects for that matter, the “big bang, black hole” paradigm?

    AFAIK, astronomy “grad schools” do NOT reject anybody who questions, or outright rejects, the big bang, black hole paradigm (on the basis of their questioning or rejecting).

    Or a more direct question: Do you approve of astronomy grad schools rejecting admission of applicants if they openly reject the “big bang, black hole” paradigm when being interviewed for admission by the admissions commitee?

    No, I do not approve of astronomy grad schools rejecting admission of applicants if they openly reject the big bang, black hole paradigm when being interviewed for admission by admissions committees (on the basis of the applicants’ open rejections).

    Nereid, there are a couple of corollary question that go with my last two questions:

    If a student at an accredited astronomy graduate school managed to get his or her doctorial thesis proposal approved (with appropriate professor advisor), which challenged the “big bang, black hole” paradigm, and after completing the doctorial thesis and submitting it to appropriate committee, and it approved the thesis by appropriate protocol, would you then vote to allow the student to graduate with a Ph. D. from the school?

    Ceteris paribus, yes, I would vote to allow the student to graduate with a PhD from the school.

    And if you were on the hiring commitee of an accredited graduate astronomy school, would you vote to hire a professor (who had, otherwise, appropriate academic credentials) that openly professed rejection of the “big bang, black hole” paradigm?

    Ceteris paribus, yes, I would vote to hire such a professor.

    To expand a bit: generally speaking, the kinds of student or faculty an academic institution is constantly on the lookout for is one who

    * has clearly demonstrated understanding of, and competence in, the foundations of the field of study (that’s a ‘threshhold criterion’),

    * can demonstrate analytical ability, critical thinking, and clarity of expression (in writing, at a minimum)

    * seems to have unusual creativity or ability to think outside the box.

    In a nutshell, most academic institutions are on the lookout for potential Nobel Prize winners, and, in their dreams, the next Einstein.

    Going out on a limb a bit, the closest any contemporary physicist comes to being the next Einstein is Ed Witten.

    A final note: I know you are a big fan of the idea that a contemporary paradigm in astrophysics and cosmology is ‘big bang, black hole’. However, I think your characterisation is seriously flawed. You see, the thing these two have in common is GR, which is an extraordinarily successful theory in physics; clearly demonstrate a failure of GR (i.e. objective, independently verifiable intolerable inconsistency between theory and observation/experiment) and you’ve created a need to seriously re-evaluate the big bang and black holes.

    Every physicist is well aware of both the amazing success of GR and the implications of demonstrating a failure … and thousands of physicists (including astronomers and cosmologists) have been working very hard to do just this, for nearly a century now. Indeed, this is one reason why I asked you if you could show that ‘black hole’ solutions to the relevant GR equations are invalid, starting with the relevant paper by Einstein … if you could, you’d be flooded with offers of tenured university positions and, most likely, would get a free round trip to Stockholm as well.

  74. @DrFlimmer: Anaconda’s “kool-aid” and “faith” invocations seem to correlate with his inability to back up his claims and/or having intolerable inconsistencies in those claims being demonstrated.

    Why is it that at a specific point in the discussion Anaconda always hides behind “faith” and “kool-aid”?

    If you can stand to read the “electric universe theories here” thread in the JREF Forum ( which I discovered by googling the Tim Thompson quote Anaconda used), and if you have enough free time on your hands, you’ll see that Anaconda is not alone in this kind of behaviour …

  75. Yes, of course it is possible.

    However, it is also relatively easy to test …

    [Anaconda quoting mgmirkin] Is it possible that astrophysicists have underestimated the reach and role of magnetic fields in the cosmos due to a simple error of geometry

    As has been mentioned several times, one cannot directly observe and measure electric currents in space remotely (i.e. using astronomical techniques; as of today, that means beyond the solar system).

    However, one can infer the strength and orientation of integrated magnetic fields along any given line of sight (the inference requires full acceptance of a great many ‘hypothetical mathematical constructs’, where this phrase is defined per Anaconda). It is also possible to construct models (which are, by definition, ‘hypothetical mathematical constructs’) of magnetic fields in space (including the electric currents which give rise to them) which aim to account for the inferred integrated magnetic field strengths and directions, quantitatively.

    So it should be possible to create models, based on mgmirkin’s idea, and test them by trying to find solutions which are consistent with the relevant astronomical observations.

    Now we know Anaconda cannot do this (he lacks the appropriate command of the relevant math and physics), but why has mgmirkin not done so? After all, if he could do this, he’d likely have an open door to considerable fame and fortune …

  76. Here, again, we see the usual delusional scenario of Anaconda’s absolute desperation to be right regardless of the evidence or what anyone else says or thinks. He says he “wants to be treated as an equal”, but with these silly and wild comments he says in response to the story here just shows the huge gaps in his knowledge.

    We find the existence of black holes are totally abhorrent to Anaconda only because someone else says so – parrot fashion – without the
    He desperately wants modern astrophysics thrown in the bin and the hope that his clearly wrong electric universe, can supplant “standard theory”.

    In actuality if black holes were really a plasmoid (or some similar bizarre astrophysical EU phenomena), such an alternative explanation we should read about everywhere. Simply no such formal or peer-review papers has been produced stating black holes could comprise of plasmoid.
    So why is that? Simply, there happens to be no evidence to support such an idea. Hence, to suggest otherwise is plainly delusion person.

    Anaconda stupidly said;

    Science has no knowledge of “black holes”, other than theoretical constructs.

    This is absolutely wrong.

    Black holes, as white dwarfs and neutron stars (pulsars), are the direct consequences of stellar evolution (little of which Mark here understands at all) Overwhelming DIRECT evidence comes from close binary star systems (mostly as photometric or eclipsing binaries), whose orbital motions reveals the parameters of the system. I.e. Mass, physical dimensions, densities, etc. The principle example Cygnus X-1 / V1357 Cyg is one of these double stars, which comprises a B0Ib star orbiting an invisible component in a period of 5.6 days or so. From the orbital motion, the mass of the primary B0 star is 20 to 25 Solar Masses, while the mass of the companion in orbit is about 2.5 to 3.0 Solar Masses (gained by orbital parameters). This is also backed up by the radial velocity curves. An object kilometres across and weighing 2.5 to 3.0 solar masses is highly dense – meeting the gravitation experienced from an object known as a black hole (or frozen star.)
    So there us no need for some singularity veal behind the event horizon enters into the equation at all!
    If the object was actually plasmoid etc., then how do you explain how it can weigh 2.5 to 3.0 solar masses. A field simply could not support such masses for very long.
    Worst is that Anaconda (Mark) has no idea of the stellar evolution implications here. The production of white dwarfs, neutron stars are a consequence of the end of the lives of stars.

    Being;

    White dwarfs – the spent core of star I.e. Sirius and Sirius B,

    Neutron stars and black holes by the destruction of massive stars. The evidence is clear. I.e. Supernova in 1054AD is well documented, and so is the neutron star / pulsar in its heart.

    From the relationship between the progenitor and the ember remaining, whose masses and density are DIRECTLY determined by the observations of simple orbital motion, suggest that dense stars are the norm.

    Believing otherwise is plainly stupid!!

    So much for “other than theoretical constructs” by a complete jackass who knows no better and can support his radical aberrant views.

  77. The last sentence should read….

    So much for “other than theoretical constructs” by a complete jackass who knows no better and CANNOT support his radical aberrant views.

  78. Anaconda, in keeping with a comment I made, on another UT story (see below), would you please let me know if there are any alternative possibilities that you have proposed – either in this thread or elsewhere on this site – that I have not yet responded to (since I started writing here)?

    If so, which one(s)?

    If not, please say so.

    Anaconda, I have investigated every ‘alternative possibility’ that you have proposed, here in the UT story comments (since I started writing here).

  79. And from Universe Today’s own article, back in October 2003…

    Cassini Confirms General Relativity.

  80. Please, Nereid, you bird dog commenters that raise the issue of electric currents in space and attack their arguments as best you can at every level of possible argument and use every strategy and tactic available.

    That doesn’t count as investigation.

    It’s being a pseudo-sceptic, nothing more.

    And now you have been forced to retreat to the cosmlogical level because the issue is untenable within the solar system:

    Tim Thompson an astrophysicist recently retired from the JPL was challenged by an interlocutor: “…somehow you’ve managed to convince yourself that electricity does not play a vital role in events in space.”

    And Tim Thompson responded:

    “Wrong. I believe no such thing and neither does anyone else I know. Electric currents certainly do play a vital role in events in space, on every spatial scale from the smallest to the largest. They are incorporated into standard physical models of the solar system and cosmology. There are whole books and reams of papers on the topic. Electric currents do play a vital role in events in space without question…Sometimes plasma & electric currents dominate, sometimes not. Sometimes it’s not easy to tell which dominates.”

    Nereid, I’ve read your comments from years back on different comment threads and your approach is always the same:

    Denial.

    Attack…attack…attack…

    Attack the messenger…

    Attack the science…

    Attack the historical development…

    Attack electric currents in space at every level…but now the scientific evidence is starting to come in (particlularly from the solar system) and you simply can’t make the same arguments you have in the past because the observations & measurements clearly contradict your older comments.

    You are a sad creature, Nereid, or should I call you Medussa?

    You are a fanatic…that runs to any comment thread where the issue is at hand…like a moth to a flame.

    But now you have been booted out of the solar system and are forced to reside in the far reaches of the Universe.

    Nereid wrote: “Every physicist is well aware of both the amazing success of GR and the implications of demonstrating a failure …”

    Success,..in getting people to believe it…yes.

    Actual validity is another matter.

    Hilton Ratcliffe related this experience at a dinner as part of a science conference:

    “It dazzled me. Here were people discussing with great insight and authority the mathematical implications of the field equations in General Relativity. What’s more (to my great astonishment) it sounded distinctly like they were suggesting improvements to the Gospel! I could contain myself no longer. “Professor Yilmaz,” I said, glancing furtively around the room and then dropping my voice to a whisper, “does that mean Einstein was wrong?” All three gentlemen laughed spontaneously at my obvious discomfort, and Hal Puthoff put his hand good-naturedly on my shoulder. “Hilton,” he said, “you don’t have to hide under the table. It’s no longer controversial to say that Einstein made mistakes. Most physicists accept that quite openly now.” I had learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life. Let’s talk Relativity.”

    Fellow diners at the table:

    Professor Huseyin Yilmaz, formerly of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University

    Professor Carroll Alley, an experimental physicist from the University of Maryland.

    Professor Harold Puthoff, a director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin in Texas.

    http://hiltonratcliffe.com/blog/2009/02/14/you-can-choose-your-friends-but-not-your-relativity/

    So, no, not everybody bows and scrapes before General Relativity.

    Sorry, Crumbface, but there are no observations or measurements that validate the “black hole” construct. It is a mass group-think fantasy.

  81. To be a little more specific:

    What exactly were Hilton and the professors talking about? I don’t see where one can conclude that GR is completly nonsense from the link you gave. It could be the cosmological constant, it could be the static universe, it could be the EPR-paradoxon, it could be anything.

    Btw: In the solar system GR is tested and proven without a doubt. Otherwise your GPS gadget wouldn’t work and would leave you elsewhere but not where you want to.Mercury and starlight being bend by the sun are other examples where GR is working perfectly! (Btw: To calculate such things one uses the Schwarzschild-metric. You can also calculate “g” with it.)

  82. Anaconda:

    … there are no observations or measurements that validate the “black hole” construct.

    Here is the reason why Anaconda cannot see such observations: Click here.

  83. You missed one part of what I wrote, in your quote, a rather important part …

    Nereid wrote: “Every physicist is well aware of both the amazing success of GR and the implications of demonstrating a failure …”

    Success,..in getting people to believe it…yes.

    Actual validity is another matter.

    Here’s the part you missed: “and thousands of physicists (including astronomers and cosmologists) have been working very hard to do just this, for nearly a century now.”

    But you don’t have to take my word for it; Clifford Will has compiled a detailed summary: The Confrontation between General Relativity and Experiment
    (source: http://relativity.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrr-2006-3/).

    BTW, in your last comment you seem to have moved away from your own standard, “observed & measured”, and entered the realms of conspiracy theories.

    But perhaps not; do you have any experimental and/or observational results which are inconsistent with GR (other than, perhaps, the Pioneer anomaly)?

    Also, I really would like you to tell me (and other readers) how to distinguish “between a difference of degree versus a difference of kind”. If you don’t mind, please start with an example of an instrument, or detector, used in astronomy today, which fails to meet your standard “[T]here are observation & measurement that substantiates those detection instruments. It worked in a laboratory first, then it was trained on the sky or sent into space” (taken literally).

    Thank you in advance.

  84. From: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_of_general_relativity#Gravitational_lensing

    “Since the gravitation deflection perpendicular to the Earth-Sun direction is already 4.07 mas, corrections are needed for practically all stars.”

    Am I reading this right? The Hipparcos db of star positions were corrected for Sun’s gravitational lensing?

  85. @ND: yes, you are … the deflection of light due to the Sun’s mass (a.k.a. gravitational field) is accounted for in the HIPPARCOS data reduction pipelines (I can dig up the full details if you’d be interested).

    VLBI (very long baseline interferometry), in the radio or microwave part of the electromagnetic spectrum, can detect – and measure – this deflection across the whole sky.

    GAIA, the next generation of optical, space-based astrometry, will be able to detect, and measure, the gravitational deflection due to all the Sun’s planets (again, I can dig up the details if you’re interested)*.

    * caveats: it won’t for Mercury (too close to the Sun; GAIA will not be pointed closer than ~30 degrees (?)) nor, IIRC, Pluto (so I’m using the contemporary IAU definition of planet). I’d have to check to see if GAIA is expected to detect, and measure, the deflection due to the Galilean moons (I suspect not, too close to Jupiter), the Moon (I think so), and Titan (ditto).

  86. I was reading this article on Eddigton’s 1919 solar eclipse observation. Interesting read regarding the controversy on it.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=did-researchers-cook-data-from-first-general-relativity-test

    So essentially any controversy on the 1919 eclipse is a mute point given the subsequent observations you’ve outlined. I bring this up because I’ve seen the 1919 eclipse controversy (or lack there of) used against GR. Or attempted to use against it.

  87. @ Nereid:

    Your link above is not working correctly. You are reaching the site but probably not the specific article you intended to show…

  88. @ND: IIRC, there was a paper on the 1919 observations published recently, in which the authors measured the original plates which we still have (apparently some have been lost!) and processed the data using contemporary techniques (the consistency and rigour of statistical analyses, for example, are dramatically better today than they were 90 years’ ago).

    The conclusion?

    The 1919 plates on their own are good enough to rule out the Newtonian prediction (at the usual 3 sigma level, IIRC), and fully consistent with the GR one.

    It’s true that right through to the 1980s (and even later?) it was possible to argue that the 1919 plates *alone* were insufficient to rule out Newton, and I do not know which total solar eclipse after 1919 resulted in data sufficiently good to be recognised, at the time, as ruling out Newton. However, well before VLBI or HIPPARCOS there were deflection observations of sufficient precision (Figure 5 in section 3.4.1 of the Will document I cited shows eclipse observations from the 1920s to ~1950, with most being inconsistent with GR (and having very large error bars); the radio results from the late 1960s and early 1970s would seem to be first precision tests of GR’s light deflection predictions).

  89. Sometimes the solution is too easy 😉

    Btw: Thanks for the link. I could have needed it a few days ago, when I wrote my last lengthy post and where I gave a few links (sources, Anaconda, sources!).
    I doubt that Anaconda has took a look at them, especially the one with the picture of new found quasars was really interesting: Qausars without a galaxy nearby. As I see it, those few Quasars rule out Arp’s theory.

  90. Update (@ND): I was wrong about GAIA; from here (I had to edit the special characters): http://www.rssd.esa.int/SA/GAIA/docs/info_sheets/IN_light_bending.pdf

    Gaia’s astrometric measurements will be ‘affected’ to a significant extent ({delta} ~ 1-10 {microarcsecs}) by all bodies with radii larger than ~ 624 km. (For Jupiter and Saturn, the quadrupole contributions of their gravitational fields should also be taken into account.)

    Also, there’s a 45 degree ‘zone of avoidance’ centred on the Sun (not 30), so Mercury and the Moon can be ignored (GAIA will be in orbit around the L2 point).

  91. Nereid,

    I knew there had to be other eclipse observations. I’ve known about the Cassini experiment it’s excellent permission.

    It’s my understanding that Einstein corrected some mistakes he had made regarding the deflection before the 1919 observations. If an eclipse observation was made before his correction he might not be so famous.

    Anyway, the use of the 1919 “controversy” is a complete red herring. Thanks for the ammo Nereid.

  92. Nereid,

    Wow, measuring deflection from objects as small as 624 km. Would this be the most precise measurements of GR so far? If so, I wonder if GR could start diverging from observation? Would be exciting if it did. Otherwise all these reconfirmations are starting to get boring 😉

  93. @ ND

    I can be wrong, but AFAIU this, we do not “detect” the deflection of those objects, but we take them into account. So we say “we know them” and correct the data with them.
    GAIA will probably able to give us a good picture of how the Milky Way really looks like. So precision is needed.
    But after the correction is done the work is just starting. For the correct interpretation of the data you have to take into account so many things, like the peculiar motion of the sun wrt the local frame of rest, and other strange things 😉

  94. DrFlimmer ,

    Ah, so deflection is calculated for an observed star given the position of various solar system bodies and applied to the observed location of said star. Is this what you mean?

    If GAIA continuously observes the position of a star that say Jupiter passes very close to, we should see it’s position shift away from Jupiter and then come back to it’s non-deflected position (or at least approach it).

  95. Boy, putting General Relativity in the dock has really knocked over the apple cart, and you guys are selling apples.

    Magnetized plasma bends light much as water bends light, so when looking at light as it passes past the Sun, the bending of light doesn’t come from the curvature of space due to gravity, but from magnetized plasma bending the light.

    As for GPS, the time is measured using atomic clocks no spings and wheels, but it is known that magnetic fields and their supporting electric currents will effect the rate of atomic clocks.

    This GPS assertion is one of the biggest canard out there.

    Also, the difference is taken up with the fact that there is variance with GPS positioning. The accuracy is within 3 meters which is very good but cancels out supposed GR time variances.

    Gravitational waves, still looking for those which falsifies GR since it predicted their reality.

    Light bends, different electromagnetic environments effects radioactive decay, behavior, and vibration patterns.

    The small variances of light are far less likely to have to do with the alleged curvature of space due to gravity, but rather to material effects on light and other frequencies on the electromagnetic wave spectrum from physical influences from material substances.

    Nereid, you have it backwards…as usual…

    Scientists have been doing everything to CONFIRM General Relativity and have been conflicted with ‘confirmational bias’

    See, that’s the problem with Nereid, she constantly tells whoppers.

    Besides you might want to drop GR after this:

    Remember, Albert Einstein NEVER subscribed to “black holes” and maintained General Relativity did not support the concept of “black holes”.

    There was a reason for Einstein’s objections — or do you think Einstein was just picking his nose?

    General Relativity states that mass curves space creating gravity (how mass does this Einstein never explained).

    But what it does say is that gravity doesn’t act on light rather space is curved and light followed the curvature of space.

    Nowhere does Einstein ever suggest that the curvature of space caused by mass could over-power light.

    Mass doesn’t directly act on light, rather it supposedly acts on space to cause curvature and then the light follows the curvature of space.

    So even by its own terms, GR doesn’t directly effect light, but rather effects the curvature of space.

    No matter how “curved” space might become light would still “come out of the well”.

    You guys live in a fantasy world…

    Knock on my door when you want to start exploring the real world…

  96. I’ve got a PDF file and links to the Cassini General Relativity Experiment — if anyone is interested?

  97. Goddamn it! I’ve stepped into some EU/PC troll shite… now I’ll have to go and burn my shoes!

  98. I am interested, Ivan 😉

    @ ND: That is what I meant 😉 But your second statement is inetersting. I haven’t thought about that. It should be possible!

    @ Anaconda:

    IIRC we had such a discussion somewhere else already. Refraction depends normally on the wavelength. Is there any experiment done to see if the star-light-bending depends on the wavelength? In these days it should be quite easy.
    IIRC bending due to curvature of spacetime does not depend on the wavelength. So, such a relatively easy experiment would proof you right. Do it!

  99. DrFlimmer,

    A time-lapse movie showing the shifting of the star(s) near Jupiter as it passes by them would look awesome.

    GAIA will be taking into account deflection due to non plasma object of the solar system. I find that interesting. I dunno why tho 😉

    And also not only is deflection independent of wavelength but also the state of matter of the mass causing the deflection. And our most precise observations and experiments matches this expectation. Again I don’t know why I have the urge to mention this 😉

  100. Argh! comment awaiting moderation!

    Here it is, without the h t t p : / / w w w . prefixes on the links …
    – – – – – –
    ND: GAIA will work in much the same way HIPPARCOS did – it slowly scans the whole sky with two ‘boresights’ separated by a highly stable, fixed angle. The sky, through the boresights, is focussed onto a gigapixel CCD array, the outputs encoded and transmitted to Earth. The datastream is the input to a data reduction pipeline which basically ‘recovers’ the apparent position on the sky of each object detected, as a function of time (this is the astrometric part of the mission; there’s also a spectroscopic and photometric part). The mission plans to cover every point on the sky some 70 times in its lifetime.

    The following webpage has a set of (multi-MB!) PDFs that summarise the mission:

    rssd.esa.int/index.php?project=GAIA&page=Posters

    For more detail, this ‘information sheets’ webpage provides many hours of fascinating reading:

    rssd.esa.int/index.php?project=GAIA&page=Info_sheets_overview

    IIRC, GAIA’s precision and accuracy may be comparable to that of today’s VLBI observations, so for deflection by massive bodies in the solar system it will be pretty good. However, its value – in terms of testing GR – would be rather modest … because these are all only ‘weak field’ tests, and GR has passed much, much, much more stringent weak field tests (orbit of the Moon, other LLR, GPB, Cassini radio, …). While something completely unexpected would be very exciting, the frontiers of GR tests are things like gravitational wave detection, ~1 Schwartzchild radius resolution direct observations of SgrA* (and the M87 nucleus), and a whole passel of missions such as LISA, STEP, MICROSCOPE, … (OK, that shows an extreme pro-ESA bias!).

  101. Boy, putting General Relativity in the dock has really knocked over the apple cart, and you guys are selling apples.

    That’s one interpretation.

    Here’s another: GR is fascinating, and the ingenuity and creativity of the scientists who have devoted a considerable part of their profession careers to trying to ‘prove it wrong’ (or not) is breath-taking.

    Magnetized plasma bends light much as water bends light, so when looking at light as it passes past the Sun, the bending of light doesn’t come from the curvature of space due to gravity, but from magnetized plasma bending the light.

    As DrFlimmer has already noted, GR deflection is achromatic, in contrast to refraction … and VLBI observations of the change in apparent position of (some) quasars, near the Sun, in the radio part of the EM spectrum match those from HIPPARCOS, in the visual waveband. Good luck in your efforts to show that this consistency can be accounted for by magnetised plasmas (not to mention the ‘whole sky’ datasets).

    IIRC, one of the early Pioneer missions was intended to test GR by accurately measuring deflection, near the Sun. It failed to achieve its objective … because the frequency-dependent deflections by the Sun’s corona were too great (and too variable).

  102. Anaconda:

    Magnetized plasma bends light much as water bends light, so when looking at light as it passes past the Sun, the bending of light doesn’t come from the curvature of space due to gravity, but from magnetized plasma bending the light.

    ROFLMAO! 😆

    Anaconda, you must have been home-schooled!

    For your information, fixed magnetic fields have no effect on light propagating through a vacuum and (even for rather large field strengths) negligible effect on light propagating through most materials. Light is not composed of charged particles.

    The interesting cases where magnetic fields do affect light propagation are in materials exhibiting the Faraday effect.
    In these materials, a magnetic field can change the way the charged particles (mainly electrons) respond to the light electromagnetic field. As a result, the polarization of the light (the plane in which the electric field points) rotates as the light propagates through the material. The direction of rotation depends on which way the field points.

    So, strong magnetic fields rotates the polarization of light, but does not bend them.

    😎

  103. Nereid:

    Argh! comment awaiting moderation!

    On this website, if you submit a comment with more than one link, it goes straight into the “comment awaiting moderation” black hole, never to be seen again.

  104. @IVAN3MAN: yes, I know, and knew, but got a big carried away … (GAIA is a truly fascinating mission).

    @Anaconda:

    Scientists have been doing everything to CONFIRM General Relativity and have been conflicted with ‘confirmational bias’

    Have you heard of Pascual Jordan? or Robert H. Dicke? or Carl H. Brans?

    Have you heard of scalar-tensor theories?

    Did you know that Garth Barber, who invented an alternative cosmological theory (known as Self Creation Cosmology) compiled a list of some *dozen* different predictions re the GPB results, based on at least as many alternative theories of gravity (to GR)?

    May I enquire as to how you come up with such horrendously inaccurate statements as this (that I’m quoting)?

    There’s more.

    The whole point of a test of a theory is to *test* it. One spends considerable time and energy developing a hypothesis (or several), based as closely as possible on the core aspects of the theory. Threshhold criteria for these hypotheses include:

    * a clear, unambiguous, objective statement of the ‘null hypothesis’

    * a clear, unambiguous derivation of the expected result of the test, *assuming the theory is correct*

    * a detailed prescription – ahead of time – of what the observation/experiment will be, what data will be obtained, how it will be reduced, etc, etc, etc

    * good reasons to be confident that the expected effect is big enough to be clearly, unambiguously, and objectively detected and measured

    * strong reasons to be confident the experiment/observation will clearly, unambiguously, and objectively distinguish between the null hypothesis and the result expected from the theory.

    If your hypothesis has serious “confirmational bias” flaws, you are unlikely to get any paper based on it published, and if by some chance you do, you can expect it to be vigorously and robustly ripped to shreds.

    DrFlimmer, and others, has commented previously to the effect that you seem to live in a world utterly alien to that which scientists experience every second of their professional lives.

    @other readers: the Brans-Dicke theory is a scalar-tensor theory of gravity (based on ideas of Jordan); this class of theories is an alternative to GR. Brans and Dicke played a large role in the development of the framework for testing GR and for the large number of new, and more precise, tests of GR in the third quarter of the 20th century. In fact, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that Anaconda’s revisionist comment almost exactly reverses reality.

  105. Nereid,

    Thanks for the additional info on GAIA. Greater precision will always be appreciated in Astronomy 🙂

  106. Anaconda:

    As for GPS, the time is measured using atomic clocks no spings [sic] and wheels, but it is known that magnetic fields and their supporting electric currents will effect the rate of atomic clocks.

    This GPS assertion is one of the biggest canard out there.

    Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise…

    Wikipedia: ATOMIC CLOCK.

    IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics: “Optical frequency combs: from frequency metrology to optical phase control” —
    jilawww.colorado.edu/YeLabs/pubs/scienceArticles/2003/sArticle_2003_08_SchnatzHollberg.pdf

    NIST: “Quantum Logic Clock’ Rivals Mercury Ion as World’s Most Accurate Clock” —
    physorg.com/pdf124035207.pdf

    Physical Review Letters: “Single-atom optical clock with high accuracy” —
    boulder.nist.gov/timefreq/general/pdf/2096.pdf

    Also, Anaconda, GPS works bloody fine!

  107. The words ‘hypocritical’, ‘disingenuous’, ‘inconsistent’, and ‘hopelessly confused’ spring to mind wrt Anaconda’s comments.

    Consider (these are all Anaconda comments, unless otherwise noted):

    “There is a rather large, if somewhat subtle, flaw in this approach … “observation & measurement”, in contemporary astronomy, is intricately associated with “a priori theoretical constructs”! ”

    Yes, exactly and that’s why it’s on a sterile dead-end path to nowhere.

    No, there are observation & measurement that substantiates those detection instruments. It worked in a laboratory first, then it was trained on the sky or sent into space.

    “On what basis should any decisions to allocate that money be made?”

    On the basis of what is known already as a result of observation & measurement.

    (Nereid is being quoted)

    You can delude yourself if you want, but I’ll follow the scientific evidence where it leads.

    (bold added)

    Magnetized plasma bends light much as water bends light, so when looking at light as it passes past the Sun, the bending of light doesn’t come from the curvature of space due to gravity, but from magnetized plasma bending the light.

    As for GPS, the time is measured using atomic clocks no spings and wheels, but it is known that magnetic fields and their supporting electric currents will effect the rate of atomic clocks.

    This GPS assertion is one of the biggest canard out there.

    Also, the difference is taken up with the fact that there is variance with GPS positioning. The accuracy is within 3 meters which is very good but cancels out supposed GR time variances.

    […]

    Light bends, different electromagnetic environments effects radioactive decay, behavior, and vibration patterns.

    The small variances of light are far less likely to have to do with the alleged curvature of space due to gravity, but rather to material effects on light and other frequencies on the electromagnetic wave spectrum from physical influences from material substances.

    […]

    Scientists have been doing everything to CONFIRM General Relativity and have been conflicted with ‘confirmational bias’

    (All from this UT story thread, timestamps July 21st, 2009 at 3:30 pm, July 20th, 2009 at 4:23 pm, and July 22nd, 2009 at 2:04 pm, respectively).

    AFAIK, every single one of the weak field tests of GR, either in labs or within the solar system, meet every aspect of Anaconda’s “a result of observation & measurement” criterion.

    Further, and again AFAIK, not a single one of his ‘alternative possibilities’ (that I am quoting) has been shown to account for all the relevant observations and measurements, to within the stated uncertainties. Of course, as usual, I could be wrong, so if you can cite material which does show this please do so Anaconda (but please, no more obviously falsehoods such as ‘there are published papers which propose that plasmoids can account for all relevant observations of the M87 nucleus’).

    “I’ll follow the scientific evidence where it leads” rings rather hollow in light of this, doesn’t it?

    To complete Anaconda’s education, one of the elisions in the last quote is this: “Gravitational waves, still looking for those which falsifies GR since it predicted their reality.”. At the very short sentence level, no Anaconda, the non-detection of GWR to date does NOT falsify GR. However, a more detailed summary is certainly in order (*why* isn’t GR falsified by this non-detection?!?), which I will provide later (it’s yet another fascinating aspect of physics).

  108. I said that I wasn’t going to respond to Anaconda but I can’t help it. I have to say something.

    Anaconda has demonstrated that he has no interest in an honest discourse. He lectures about “observation & measurement” and how science is supposed to be done. Yet he has demonstrated dishonesty simply and most clearly with the following statement of his:

    “Magnetized plasma bends light much as water bends light, so when looking at light as it passes past the Sun, the bending of light doesn’t come from the curvature of space due to gravity, but from magnetized plasma bending the light.”

    He was presented with observational evidence to a prediction made by Einstein’s theories. Observations and measurements, to a very high degree, showed that the Sun’s gravity influences electromagnetic radiation. Not only observational evidence but a controlled experiment using the Cassini probe, to a very high degree leaving no doubt that one of the predictions of Relativity is proven to be true.

    And yet Anaconda rejects these observations & measurements because it does not fit his view of the universe (and accuse others of the very things he himself is guilty of).

    Who is he trying to fool?

  109. If sophism and sophistry were an Olympic sport, Anaconda would definitely be a gold medal contender!

  110. Thanks, Ivan. Interesting stuff!
    Also thanks for mentioning the Faraday effect. I was about to say that magnetic fields do not have an effect on light at all, which would’ve been wrong. Those little details that are easily forgotten…. 😉

    But btw: Refraction of light depends on the density of the material. The effect of refraction in the atmosphere is not that big (but significant for astronomical observations!). And the density of the atmosphere is about 10^23 particles per ccm.
    Now compare it to the density of the corona: It has a mass density of about 10^-16 g/ccm. A proton has a mass of about 10^-23 g. Assuming that the corona contains mainly protons it would have a particle density of 10^7 particles per ccm. I consider the effect or refraction being at a minimum. It should be almost undetctable.

    But still: Anaconda, you can do your experiment and show that GR is wrong as I described it above. As long as you haven’t done this (or someone else) we must consider your idea to be a “theoretical construct with no experimental confirmation”….

  111. Anaconda:

    Knock on my door when you want to start exploring the real world…

    *Knock Knock*
    Who’s there?
    G.R.
    G.R. who?
    Gee… are you still on the bloody toilet?!

  112. Gravitational wave radiation (GWR) is a firm prediction of GR.

    In 1993, Hulse and Taylor got a free return trip to Stockholm, for their observations and analyses of a pulsar (PSR 1913+16 if you really want to know). The pulsar is in a binary system, and the system is decaying (the distance between the two objects is decreasing, the orbital period decreasing), and the rate of decay matches that expected from a loss, to the system, of energy, due to GWR … exactly as predicted by GR (to within the observational uncertainties).

    AFAIK, the only binary systems which have been observed to be decaying in this way are those in which at least one component is a neutron star (NS), so the only indirect observations of GWR involve ~stellar mass objects in binary systems.

    The final stage of decay of such a system should produce a highly distinctive GWR signal, an ‘inspiral’.

    As the sensitivity of GWR detectors such as LIGO and VIRGO has improved, the volume of space within which such an inspiral event should be detectable has increased (it goes up as the cube of sensitivity – why?).

    So null GWR detection results to date imply that

    a) no NS-NS or NS-BH or BH-BH binaries have coalesced within the search volume while the GWR detectors have been ‘live’; or

    b) such events have happened within the ‘up time’ and detectable volume, but as GR is ‘wrong’ in some sense there have been no detections; or

    c) GWR detection calibrations/data pipelines/etc/etc/etc contain errors; or

    d) {insert your own alternative here}.

    Now the decay of an NS-NS binary (or NS-BH or BH-BH, ~stellar mass BH in each case) should produce some real electromagnetic fireworks – at least one intense burst of gammas+x-rays, for example. During the time the GWR detectors have been ‘up’, no such fireworks were observed within the detection volume (AFAIK), so the non-detection of an inspiral event is not surprising.

    Further, estimates of the rate of inspiral events, from the known space density of NS-NS (etc) systems, indicate that the GWR searches to date would have been pretty lucky to catch one.

    So, at this level, for these types of events, there is no conflict between (GWR) theory and observation (pace Anaconda).

    (to be continued)

  113. Nereid,

    The indirect evidence of GW through the HT pulsar has been pointed out to Anaconda numerous times and he has ignored it and remained silent. He has also, always, ignored the sensitivity issue regarding the GW experiments and always tried to twist the current lack of positive results to mean no GW. Yet he continues on to lecture about how science is done.

    Dishonesty.

  114. @ND: to your knowledge, has Anaconda ever acknowledged this dishonesty?

    On several occasions Anaconda has acknowledged that the material he has cited does not support the claim he made earlier; that’s good. However, AFAIK he has never been able to cite material in support of his original claims (there are some examples of him changing the claims – without actually saying so – and presenting material to support the modified claim); that is bad (do you know of any counter-examples?).

  115. Gravitational wave radiation (GWR) – continued

    While it is relatively straight-forward to think of how GWR could be generated, other than in an inspiral, AFAIK no such possible source is both a) well-constrained, and b) estimated to be detectable with current GWR detectors (LIGO, VIRGO, etc).

    Perhaps an analogy might help.

    With our eyes we can detect light, and on dark, moonless nights, with well-adapted vision, most of us can see magnitude 5.5 to 6 stars.

    However, our eyes cannot detect x-rays or radio (except when such radiation is so intense as to cause serious cell damage).

    Like electromagnetic radiation, GWR is expected to have frequencies that range over dozens of decades; like our eyes, current GWR detectors have a very limited frequency response.

    So there may very well be intense sources of GWR of frequencies way outside the GWR equivalent of the visual … but no current detector could ever detect them.

    Similarly, there may be millions of sources of GWR with frequencies LIGO is sensitive to … but they may be the equivalent of magnitude 10 or 15 stars (i.e. too faint to detect).

    One more: transients.

    Novae and supernovae were observed well before the invention of the telescope, but GRBs and flare stars were not (AFAIK). Yet in both cases there certainly have been events which would have been visible, to the unaided eye, even if only for a few seconds to minutes (even today these are rarely detected in real time, in the visual waveband first).

    Contemporary GWR detectors are far better than historical eyes in this respect: good records of all data from the instruments is kept, so transients can be discovered through off-line, painstaking analysis. However, this doesn’t help if our GWR eyes were not looking at the sky when a transient occurred.

    To sum up: the ‘GWR night sky’ is expected to be totally dark to the eyes we have today, except for ~seconds-long transients which should reach peak brightness of somewhere between 5th and 8th magnitude, and happen about once a year to once a decade.

  116. Nereid,

    I don’t remember him acknowledge it. I’m not even sure he realizes his behavior. One may be deliberately dishonest (like a con-man, as a means to an end), or one may be shifty and react and act hypocritically when they are met with strong challenges and even hard evidence against a strongly held belief. I think Anaconda is more the latter. I’m torn between just ignoring him and correcting the incorrect “facts” he pushes around the net.

  117. The conclusion on the livingreview site that Nereid provided outlining the experimental and observational evidence supporting GR, i think, is very well written and summarizes the spirit of scientific investigation:

    “We find that general relativity has held up under extensive experimental scrutiny. The question then arises, why bother to continue to test it? One reason is that gravity is a fundamental interaction of nature, and as such requires the most solid empirical underpinning we can provide. Another is that all attempts to quantize gravity and to unify it with the other forces suggest that the standard general relativity of Einstein is not likely to be the last word. Furthermore, the predictions of general relativity are fixed; the theory contains no adjustable constants so nothing can be changed. Thus every test of the theory is either a potentially deadly test or a possible probe for new physics. Although it is remarkable that this theory, born 90 years ago out of almost pure thought, has managed to survive every test, the possibility of finding a discrepancy will continue to drive experiments for years to come. ”

    I hope Anaconda and others understand that this is how their interlocuters feel. This is the attitude we take.

    “the possibility of finding a discrepancy will continue to drive experiments for years to come. ”

    The discovery that a theory with strong evidence behind it, a theory that fits much of what we see in nature, actually diverges from that reality, is exciting. And scientists look for this.

  118. Nereid, and ND,

    This extract from an article on “The Psychology of Crankery” summarizes Anaconda’s mentality to a tee:

    A suspicious person is a person who has something on his mind. He looks at the world with fixed and preoccupying expectation, and he searches repetitively, and only, for confirmation of it. He will not be persuaded to abandon his suspicion of some plan of action based on it. On the contrary, he will pay no attention to rational arguments except to find in them some aspect or feature that actually confirms his original view. Anyone who tries to influence or persuade a suspicious person will not only fail, but also, unless he is sensible enough to abandon his efforts early will, himself, become an object of the original suspicious idea.

    😀

  119. I know DrFlimmer enjoys the exchanges but it may be time to just ignore Anaconda.

    Nereid, nice post on the reality of GW detection today. Unfortunately Anaconda will ignore it because he needs to discredit GR in order to undermine BHs. He will instead keep saying “millions spent, still no detection”.

  120. Well, ND, you’re maybe not that wrong at all 😉 . I think I will decide from time to time. Enjoyment, well, not in the usual sense, but still…. 😉

    I wonder right now, if he will show up in this thread again in a few days and will happily scream about “cats and mice” as he has done several times before.

    As I see Anaconda, he just want to oppose. Being against the mainstream. This is an advantage since you don’t need to feel responsible for anything.
    I think this matches with Ivan’s description.

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