Astronomy Without A Telescope – Black Holes: The Early Years

Article written: 19 Feb , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

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There’s a growing view that black holes in the early universe may have been the seeds around which most of today’s big galaxies (now with supermassive black holes within) first grew. And taking a step further back, it might also be the case that black holes were key to reionizing the early interstellar medium – which then influenced the large scale structure of today’s universe.

To recap those early years… First was the Big Bang – and for about three minutes everything was very compact and hence very hot – but after three minutes the first protons and electrons formed and for the next 17 minutes a proportion of those protons interacted to form helium nuclei – until at 20 minutes after the Big Bang, the expanding universe became too cool to maintain nucleosynthesis. From there, the protons and the helium nuclei and the electrons just bounced around for the next 380,000 years as a very hot plasma.

There were photons too, but there was little chance for these photons to do anything much except be formed and then immediately reabsorbed by an adjacent particle in that broiling hot plasma. But at 380,000 years, the expanding universe cooled enough for the protons and the helium nuclei to combine with electrons to form the first atoms – and suddenly the photons were left with empty space in which to shoot off as the first light rays – which today we can still detect as the cosmic microwave background.

What followed was the so-called dark ages until around half a billion years after the Big Bang, the first stars began to form. It’s likely that these stars were big, like really big, since the cool, stable hydrogen (and helium) atoms available readily aggregated and accreted. Some of these early stars may have been so big that they quickly blew themselves to pieces as pair-instability supernovae. Others were just very big and collapsed into black holes – many of them having too much self-gravity to permit a supernova explosion to blow any material out from the star.

And it’s about here that the reionization story starts. The cool, stable hydrogen atoms of the early interstellar medium didn’t stay cool and stable for very long. In a smaller universe full of densely-packed massive stars, these atoms were quickly reheated, causing their electrons to dissociate and their nuclei to become free ions again. This created a low density plasma – still very hot, but too diffuse to be opaque to light any more.

Well, really from ions to atoms to ions again - hence the term reionization. The only difference is that at half a billion years since the Big Bang, the reionized plasma of the interstellar medium was so diffuse that it remained - and still remains - transparent to radiation. Credit: New Scientist.

It’s likely that this reionization step then limited the size to which new stars could grow – as well as limiting opportunities for new galaxies to grow – since hot, excited ions are less likely to aggregate and accrete than cool, stable atoms. Reionization may have contributed to the current ‘clumpy’ distribution of matter – which is organized into generally large, discrete galaxies rather than an even spread of stars everywhere.

And it’s been suggested that early black holes – actually black holes in high mass X-ray binaries – may have made a significant contribution to the reionization of the early universe. Computer modelling suggests that the early universe, with a tendency towards very massive stars, would be much more likely to have black holes as stellar remnants, rather than neutron stars or white dwarfs. Also, those black holes would more often be in binaries than in isolation (since massive stars more often form multiple systems than do small stars).

So with a massive binary where one component is a black hole – the black hole will quickly begin to accumulate a large accretion disk composed of matter drawn from the other star. Then that accretion disk will begin to radiate high energy photons, particularly at X-ray energy levels.

While the number of ionizing photons emitted by an accreting black hole is probably similar to that of its bright, luminous progenitor star, it would be expected to emit a much higher proportion of high energy X-ray photons – with each of those photons potentially heating and ionizing multiple atoms in its path, while a luminous star’s photon’s might only reionize one or two atoms.

So there you go. Black holes… is there anything they can’t do?

Further reading: Mirabel et al Stellar black holes at the dawn of the universe.


63 Responses

  1. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    So, I keep forgetting; which era would the cosmic microwave background have as an imprint, the large scale structures of 1st neutralization or of 2nd (after reionization)?

    Wikipedia answers “both”:

    “The CMB photons scatter off free charges such as electrons that are not bound in atoms. In an ionized universe, such charged particles have been liberated from neutral atoms by ionizing (ultraviolet) radiation. Today these free charges are at sufficiently low density in most of the volume of the Universe that they do not measurably affect the CMB. However, if the IGM was ionized at very early times when the universe was still denser, then there are two main effects on the CMB:

    1. Small scale anisotropies are erased. (Just as when looking at an object through fog, details of the object appear fuzzy.)
    2. The physics of how photons scatter off from free electrons (Thomson scattering) induces polarization anisotropies on large angular scales. This broad angle polarization is correlated with the broad angle temperature perturbation.

    Both of these effects have been observed by the WMAP spacecraft, providing evidence that the universe was ionized at very early times, at a redshift more than 17.”

    In that context, maybe it would be a general interest to draw vectors from where different kinds of observations can be made in the EM spectra? CMB is but one aspect.

  2. So there you go. Black holes… is there anything they can’t do?

    You said it! I remember a time when black holes sucked. And that’s all they did. I don’t think much has changed…

    • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

      …and nor has the PC/EU nutters totally ridiculous rhetoric.

      The only suckers here are the ones that don’t know about your underhanded agendas or wrong fanciful notions. Give me these frozen stars any day!

      • Torbjorn Larsson OM says

        Yeah, what has changed is that they are radiant examples of gravity. Also, they tie entropy to gravity _and_ they explain large scale structuring. Not bad for what was once an annoying singularity in an effective theory!

        Now let study the change in PC/EU rhetoric about science and its advances: . Got that, it was fast!? Nope, no contact with science, and davesmith_au tested that splendidly as always.

        Thanks for the demo, and don’t forget to grab a black hole on you way out. Notice how they have no annoying hair, and trust me: these pets will grow on you.

      • Split_Infinity says

        You are an incredible loudmouth, have you not grown up yet and discovered that when you have to insult everyone you meet it only shows your own insecurity? If you are so confident then learn to talk with respect and dignity to all people here and the science will speak for itself.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Logic doesn’t work, ignoring them doesn’t work, sensible polite argument doesn’t work, explanations don’t work… What else is there left to do? Dignity disappeared almost a year and a half ago.
        Loudmouth I might be, but some one has to stand up to all this deliberate nonsense.

    • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

      For get the Top 30 dingbat ideas, let’s look at the core premise of its ridiculous notion of the Big Bang Theory. http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Cosmology.htm This silly article says straight of the bat. “The purpose of this Cosmology page is to explain how the Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) in infinite eternal space is consistent with current astronomical observations.”

      Eh? Not only is this absolutely wrong, is blatantly and deliberately deceitful. Astronomical observations confirm a likely start date to the universe because of the observed expansion! All this stupid article does is just deny that the universe is expanding by dumping the redshift and put something wacky untested and unobserved nonsense in it place.

      Unqualified jackasses writing about theories they simply don’t comprehend is no basis to dump whole swathes of cosmology supported and confirmed by theory and observation. I.e What about the Comic Background Radiation. This article stupidly rejects it only because; “…that there cannot have been a ‘Big Bang’ otherwise we would observe two sources of cosmic background radiation.” What an absolute crock!

      Frankly Deon, you’ve been deceived by filthy con artists.

      It ask “What is outside the expanding universe?” Simple. All this BS diatribe.

      • Torbjorn Larsson OM says

        I like the perverted use of conformation bias in such crackpot diatribes.

        “Of course science is out to explain my preconceived notions. But they do it poorly or not at all. Therefore it is _science_ that is wrong. Since science is wrong I must be right! Now, for a _real_ explanation from an obvious expert, take a pinch of slabbertibartfast and …”

        … um. yeah, right. If you say so, dude. [backs slowly away … still backing … backing … ]

      • Deon says

        Alan Guth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, creator of the currently accepted model of the Big Bang, said recently “he felt a little like Rip Van Winkle — picking up his head from a long sleep only to notice that the landscape of physics he thought he knew had suddenly, drastically, changed.”

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        It sure has changed, especially considering the improved observations of galaxies at higher redshifts, and things like dark matter and dark energy . However, Guth was neither saying it was wrong nor need to be supplanted with something else. What continues in most of the sciences is theory is refined and improved upon. It does not necessarily mean that of something changes in some scientific theory that you have to toss it all away and start again.
        Really. Misrepresenting the truth is just as bad as uttering falsehoods. Attacking science by a plethora of unqualified twits think their personal theory is akin to reality and might “change the world” is delusional at best, and an insult to people who do no better.
        Misquoting a cosmologist who has ben studying cosmology for decades against mere opinion from a misguided fool — I’d know who I would pick.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Deon
        This is just another crappy blog article. Worst, you make no comment except the weblink. Some advice, dear boy. Most of what is written here is irrelevant or mere unqualified speculation… In fact, when you read it, actually, no cosmologist actually says here “There was no Big Bang.” What they write is really little more than supposition and is quite unconvincing.
        Suggest you now try another kind of foolish avenue…
        (Also, what has this have to do with primordial black holes?)

      • Torbjorn Larsson OM says

        As I commented elsewhere on this blog, or on Guardian today (see relevant excerpt below), this comes down to how you define big bang in the standard big bang cosmology:

        “What came before the big bang “not known”.

        Depends on how you define big bang.

        – I prefer the one where standard cosmology now have inflation before, and big bang is simply the initial conditions for the rest of expansion or the expansion itself. (I refer to astrophysicist Ethan Siegler @ Starts With A Bang blog for the former.)

        – Or you want an initial singularity still, which inflation hides in the standard cosmology, so there is currently no evidence for it! Moreover, the natural “ground state” of inflation is lots of inflating volumes, not a singularity.”

        Even if there is no “big bang” as in a singularity, standard cosmology is still a big bang cosmology because it is a theory predicting the observed expansion.

        As an answer to “the perverted use of conformation bias” it, well, sucks, because it is just that yet again. And you wonder why we backs slowly away … still backing … backing …

        … oh wait! Before backing out entirely, I was going to point out that the ekpyrotic brane cosmology that had been perverted to argue against itself (because it is of course another big bang cosmology as they all must be) is rather rejected.

        First, I believe they are rather or fully inconsistent with WMAP et cetera observations.

        Second, I believe people have come up with physics theorems that make cycling universes unlikely or impossible.

        I can get references on the first if pressed, the later I dunno because it was a while ago and technical, no reason to bookmark at the time. Maybe UT readers may help.

        [backs slowly away … still backing … backing … [Will he make it this time? Exciting update at 11!]]

      • Deon says

        A bit touchy I see. Hon you need to relax. Not everybody, and actually a lot of people disagree with the big bang theory. There is a lot of unanswered facts that does not agree with the theory and left out purposely by people like you. Be careful to what you belief you might be proven wrong soon. I also belief everybody has the right to an opinion. I respect yours so please respect others. Theories change all the time. Not so long ago they changed explosion to expansion because opposite matter is to far from each other and does not agree with the theorie [ 13 bilion years old etc etc]. Its fine, change the theorie as we go because it seems to me nobody really knows and thats why we still call it a theorie. But by not listening to others opinions and being a bit “religious” in your views is not going to help . So please allow everybody to have a theorie, idees etc. If you don’t like it fine. But stop this tunneling view – .

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        … as usual you show you haven’t a clue what you are. If you are too lazy to understand why cosmology and astrophysics currently says, then why the hell should anyone else bother to care what you have to say?
        As for emotive words “respect” and “opinion”, this is not how science works. It is based on evidence and observation, and determining an underlying theory to explain the phenomena. Science also works via the scientific method, not some ad hoc summation by individual or collective opinion. If you disagree with the science, then you ought to have to back it up, otherwise you just look like a silly twit. Science is also not something based on American obsession of having “free speech”, it is based on actual evidence and observation; and not mere hearsay.
        Also by describing cosmology as some religion or some faith-based goofy idea, means you do not even understand the very basics of science.

        As for tell me to “relax”, only those out of their league will use this just to mean “switch your brain off” — just so they are listened too.

        As for the rest of the nonsense here, mostly, what you say is taken with a grain of salt. In plain everyday English, you haven’t a clue what you are talking about.

      • DrFlimmer says

        Sorry, dude, but your grasp of the way science works is, well, not very well founded.

        A scientific theory has nothing to do with the common term “theoretical”. A scientific theory is based upon observations and mathematics. It makes predictions how something else should look like under this and that circumstances and it states how one can observe such things. You can check it all the time with new observations (if they are available). A scientific theory is backed up by facts (and NOT opinions!!), which everyone is free to check for oneself by making new measurements and observations.
        It has nothing to do with believing. If you think, something is wrong (which is entirely possible!) you can check it, write a paper and show the whole world what you’ve found.

        The Big Bang Theory is VERY well tested. It makes a lot of predictions, which might be testable with the results of the Planck spacecraft which is currently observing the CMB at the highest resolution.
        There are some controversy in science about some DETAILS, but most of the theories are safe and sound.

        And another things: Physics is nothing you can imagine. Especially not if it comes to General Relativity or Quantum mechanics. No one can imagine their weired effects, but nonetheless they are real. And without them your whole life would be completely different, since there would be no GPS, and probably not such fancy computers.

      • Olaf says

        There is a lot of unanswered facts that does not agree with the theory and left out purposely by people like you.

        Name one such a fact that gets left out on purpose and also provide evidence that this fact indicates the big bang is wrong and you have a better alternative.

      • Torbjorn Larsson OM says

        a lot of people disagree with the big bang theory.

        1. Need data.

        2. Even then, not relevant for the area – what do scientists think?

        3. But even then, not relevant for the outcome – consensus doesn’t decide fact.

  3. damian says

    I seem to remember a comments blowout here on UT last year when someone suggested that early stars could have formed the (Singularities) that later led to galaxy formation. Then it somehow violated all that is holy in cosmology, however here we are today. The idea is somehow now getting traction? Its hard to keep up.

    I thought the Holy accepted and rubber stamped version of galaxy formation was due to Primordial Fluctuations in some kind of imagined dark matter clumps. ? i.e….

    “The most accepted theory of how these structures came to be is that all the structure we observe today was formed as a consequence of the growth of the primordial fluctuations, which are small changes in the density of the universe in a confined region. ”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy_formation_and_evolution

    Of course ‘primordial fluctuations’ theory is reliant on an inflationary model of cosmology, and that requires a big bang. I personally like this new growing consensus as it makes sense that the earliest and most energetic objects in the universe would be the seeds of galaxy formation. More power to the new regime. Big bang or not.

    • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

      …and still, all you can say is to attack a fairly evident theory and have nothing to replace it with. Let’s face it, the only thing that is getting traction is the number of weirdos with crazy notions, unsupported opinion, and frankly utterances of total crap. The only thing that make perfect sense here, is that you ain’t got any!

      (Careful with the galaxy formation stuff, ’cause I’ll very very happy to bury you in any deliberate deceptions!)

    • Torbjorn Larsson OM says

      Structure formation is an ongoing topic, it seems to this layman. That SMBHs, or their progenitor states, are responsible for mass clumping, seems like a dud. The reverse works, perhaps, and that galaxies then coevolves or evolves would be consistent.

      Another thing: Inflation does not need a big bang AFAIU, if you by big bang mean a singularity. But a big bang cosmology needs inflation to explain observations, see my comment above.

      [And it seems very hard for inflation and a big bang singularity to coexist, at least within a theory, if inflation both hides and by exponential divergence makes the process locally forget previous history. What evidence would you use to test for a singularity? It must be globally derived somehow like the predictions of multiverses. But what would it be if the singularity is, say, local, applicable for a volume around our observable universe but not for the whole universe?]

      • damian says

        Woha, hang on, I was merely trying to suggest that (some) things that were recently defined as crack pottery are now getting traction with real science. (in relation to the original article posted by Steve and the paper its based on)

        No offense Mr HSBC but you are out of line. Generally I enjoy reading your comments here. But your understanding and conjecture, is not sacrosanct. I was hoping for informed discourse rather then acrimony. I dont have any ‘deceptions’ for you and quite frankly your threatening tone loses you credibility. I’m not a scientist, but that does not mean I’m incapable of rational thought.. You diatribe that all in Cosmology is proven and tested is also tiring and erroneous.

        Radicalism it seems swings both ways.

        Mr Torbjorn, I refer to black holes as Gravitational Singularities. A black hole is the effect a singularity has on the space it inhabits. So in the context of my comment No, I was NOT referring to the Big Bang as a singularity. Subsequently I dont understand where you were heading with that. But I do agree with you that Big Bang cosmology needs inflation to work. Inflation fits Big Bang Cosmology, however remains highly speculative. Let me point out the imaginary particle “inflaton” as an example.

        I am interested however why you might not agree with the Paper above. ?
        How can the reverse work? SMBH at the centers of galaxies co-evolved based on what initial energy?

        While on the issue of Singularities and Black Holes.

        From Wikipedia:
        ” The appearance of singularities in general relativity is commonly perceived as signaling the breakdown of the theory. This breakdown, however, is expected; it occurs in a situation where quantum mechanical effects should describe these actions due to the extremely high density and therefore particle interactions. To date it has not been possible to combine quantum and gravitational effects into a single theory. It is generally expected that a theory of quantum gravity will feature black holes without singularities”

        So a theory of “Quantum Gravity” should explain it. However there is no concrete proof of the existence of a graviton, or gravitational waves as yet, and should one arise it will disprove the existence of singularities as principal drivers of Black holes. By definition Singularities are speculative theories, however they (in the context of black holes) are referred to as fact in popular culture. ?

        These theory’s are a work in progress, lets not equivocate about the surety of these conjectures. While there are plenty of (crackpot ideas) there are also Published papers by scientist’s that are starting to provide alternatives to the status quo. Rational discourse about them is needed rather then turf wars. I interpreted the paper presented in the article above as a Logical interpretation for the re-ionization as understood by current conventions. However it is a theory and thus subject to every scrutiny.

        Most pertinently the speculative nature of singularities at the heart of so called Black holes.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        “You diatribe that all in Cosmology is proven and tested is also tiring and erroneous.”
        Sorry, quite incorrect. I have not ever said that all Cosmology was completely proven and tested, nor have I implied that it was complete proven either.
        My attack has been on erroneous assertions given by those who have ignored the observational evidence and current accepted theory and just supplanted it with wrong or incorrect opinions, and deliberate falsehoods. I.e. EU/PC. The Big Bang Theory has great support mostly because it has evidence via observation that shows it is mostly correct. It is unlikely to change anytime soon.
        As for “I personally like…” is an opinion, and as others to have alluded too, science is not based on some opinion. Argue from the known not from what might be.
        In the end, what you fundamentally say in your original post is plainly wrong. (You said it, not me.) There is little support for such ideas. The field of influence of black holes is inconsequential to the very much larger size of the galaxy it occupied. Evolution of galaxies are likely not influence by these objects, as the gravitation form the gas collapse between the particles exceeds that of even the largest black hole.

  4. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The presenter of the web page:

    http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Cosmology.htm

    is Milo Wolff. I ran into him at a conference back in the 1990s, where he talked on about the same thing he says on the little YouTube box on these pages. Everything involves a “wave going in, and a wave going out,” and somehow the whole of reality boils down to that.

    None of this has any bearing on the article here about black holes. Last year I encountered an article where the SZ effect was being used to identify matter clumps in the reionization period. These are the associated with PopIII stars that violently explode/implode to form early black holes.

    LC

  5. Catamarion says

    That image above is total non-sense. When will it dawn upon our scientists that “black holes” is where energy arrives to 3D? Those are energy portals where higher dimensional energy gets downstepped and enters 3D in the accretion disc only to be thrown out to form spiral arms.

    All the matter (except for captured one) in our galaxy came OUT of the “black hole” in its center.

    Those are energy givers, this is where matter is created. They are not suckers.

    Have a look at Centaurus A. What do you see? A spiral galaxy in the making. Its black hole is in the active phase spewing out matter by downstepping higher dimensional energy. Once done, that “black hole” will quiet down and enter a phase our “black hole” is presently in.

    Your understanding of “black holes” is totally opposite the truth!

    • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

      Sorry, this is quite wrong. If prodigious energy were coming out of such an object is would be the theoretical “white hole.”
      Also. What has “to 3D” or “enter 3D” got to do with this?

    • Torbjorn Larsson OM says

      Actually it seems mainstream understanding of black holes are consistent with general relativity and quantum physics both, which are heavily tested facts.

      And on their own BHs are rather well tested too. See the post above? Itr relates another prediction that may be tested soon. This is live science.

      OTOH, singularities as “white holes” died a few decades back, IIRC. Do try to keep up! 😀

    • Lawrence B. Crowell says

      This is so discouraging. It is discouraging to have a cavalcade of these responses from people who go off on tangents that are so utterly flawed. It is sad that some of these entries on cosmology or black holes are an open invitation for everyone with their personal theory to expound on why current physics, astrophysics or cosmology is wrong.

      Please, people who work on these matters are fairly smart and have done work which is consistent with what is known within experimental bounds. Unless you have done graduate/doctoral work in this area, read the professional literature, and even better published something it is not likely any great idea you might have is right. No matter how compelling some idea you might have cooking in your head might seem, chances are 99.99% that the idea is completely wrong. I just don’t know how else to put it, but it is unlikely that by reading a popularization on black holes or the universe, and comparing that to something you learned in Halliday & Reznick level physics learning 10-20 years ago, you are going to come up with something that trumps the top workers such as Ed Witten or Hawking or Hamed and so forth. It is not going to happen, and to think otherwise borders on delusional thinking.

      LC

      • DrFlimmer says

        […]and to think otherwise borders on delusional thinking.

        This doesn’t stop the guys, sadly. That’s just like that crazy former Head of the Board of Education of Texas (if that is correct the correct name…) who said: “One has to stand up to the experts!”

        There is still this thinking around that everyone could be a Galileo turning the world upside down.

        Yes, it is so sad!

      • Olaf says

        I think the time where one guy in a chair can dream up some spectacular undiscovered idea that changes the world is long gone. Back then in the 19xx science was not that advanced yet.
        What I see is that science fine-tunes itself and we are talking about ten digits behind the comma fine-tuning now.
        The way we use science in engineering will still come up with spectacular ideas.

      • Lawrence B. Crowell says

        It is interesting how these types of people with their cranky theories use epicycles to describe modern physics. We are long past the time when we would make that sort of mistake for long. These guys do think of themselves as latter day Galileos.

        Too much is made of so called scientific revolutions. Of course Einstein made a big coup, in particular with general relativity. Quantum mechanics involved inputs from a fair number of people. Relativity is something people should have caught back in the 1880s. Maxwell’s equations almost dump special relativity in your lap, but instead people were doing all this higgly-piggly nonsense with an ether space construction. People who work up models which have lots of degrees of freedom do something similar today, and so we have similar trends.

        There are still people who make big substantial leaps in physics. However, the days of Galileo and Newton are likely gone, where one guy in effect defines the entire paradigm of physics. After all, Galileo, Kepler and Newton did not just derive a new theory of physics, they defined physics itself.

        LC

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Please read the following comment on the “Cosmology Article”
        http://www.universetoday.com/83370/cosmology-101-the-beginning/

        The worrying thing is these nutters are trying to bring in their crazy things as being mainstream science, by making up stuff just to support their crazy notions. The serious danger is they are attempting to redefine physics by just by appealing to popular opinion.
        Scientists fudging data or observation means immediate consequence of ostracism and denouncement. These people have no such constraints; so they can undermine anything they want.

        I think that the “final solution” in making sure authors of articles like these at UT is to simply delete the pseudoscience at its source does nothing. It does stop these wrong ideas is that then they have no means of spreading their deliberate falsehoods and deceptions. However, by the recent attacking the reputable source, their aim is to make their scientific belief is actually mainstream and accept as ‘fact.’

        Several examples are around; like the plasma cosmology articles conveniently placed in a kid’s encyclopaedia, or strategically placing the word “plasma” here and there, and linking it to a bogus PC/EU site. Another example of this is Mr.Hologram’s ‘hypercluster”, where on the Yahoo! Answer Page http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100212111442AAlfOWV has a bogus question, then a fictional reply to imply the word is mainstream. Even the definitions of PC/EU are deliberately blurred to fool others. I.e. At plasmascience.net they even say; “The Plasma Universe and Plasma Cosmology have no ties to the anti-science blogsites of the holoscience ‘electric universe’.”

        Changes here are not “dream up some spectacular undiscovered idea that changes the world is long gone”, instead it is redefining the science. I.e. Following the basic idea; “Those that control the present, control past. Those who control the past, control the future.” What is happening is redefining the truth is being used to support the pseudoscience. Worst is that it is becoming a menace to those who do not know better, and these individuals are then used to perpetuate the same false concept or pseudoscience. (Yet bunnies like us end up having to always defend the science rather than explain it, while these nutters continue to dream up new ways to bamboozle and trick others.)

        Black holes existing is merely inconvenient here. The aim is only to create doubt, but subtly whisper that PC/EU is an alternative. The manifestation of the many unknowing doubters here are the consequence of the manipulation and imaginary flaws in even the most basics of science. Truth it seems is easily railroaded by introducing the murky waters of doubt.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Please read the following comment on the “Cosmology Article”
        http://www.universetoday.com/83370/cosmology-101-the-beginning/

        The worrying thing is these nutters are trying to bring in their crazy things as being mainstream science, by making up stuff just to support their crazy notions. The serious danger is they are attempting to redefine physics by just by appealing to popular opinion.
        Scientists fudging data or observation means immediate consequence of ostracism and denouncement. These people have no such constraints; so they can undermine anything they want.

        I think that the “final solution” in making sure authors of articles like these at UT is to simply delete the pseudoscience at its source does nothing. It does stop these wrong ideas is that then they have no means of spreading their deliberate falsehoods and deceptions. However, by the recent attacking the reputable source, their aim is to make their scientific belief is actually mainstream and accept as ‘fact.’

        Several examples are around; like the plasma cosmology articles conveniently placed in a kid’s encyclopaedia, or strategically placing the word “plasma” here and there, and linking it to a bogus PC/EU site. Another example of this is Mr.Hologram’s ‘hypercluster”, where on the Yahoo! Answer Page (see link below) has a bogus question, then a fictional reply to imply the word is mainstream. Even the definitions of PC/EU are deliberately blurred to fool others. I.e. At plasmascience.net they even say; “The Plasma Universe and Plasma Cosmology have no ties to the anti-science blogsites of the holoscience ‘electric universe’.”

        Changes here are not “dream up some spectacular undiscovered idea that changes the world is long gone”, instead it is redefining the science. I.e. Following the basic idea; “Those that control the present, control past. Those who control the past, control the future.” What is happening is redefining the truth is being used to support the pseudoscience. Worst is that it is becoming a menace to those who do not know better, and these individuals are then used to perpetuate the same false concept or pseudoscience. (Yet bunnies like us end up having to always defend the science rather than explain it, while these nutters continue to dream up new ways to bamboozle and trick others.)

        Black holes existing is merely inconvenient here. The aim is only to create doubt, but subtly whisper that PC/EU is an alternative. The manifestation of the many unknowing doubters here are the consequence of the manipulation and imaginary flaws in even the most basics of science. Truth it seems is easily railroaded by introducing the murky waters of doubt.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Note: Yahoo! Answer Page http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100212111442AAlfOWV

        (It seems placing two links enforces “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” So. I’ve posted this again., with the links separately)

      • Torbjorn Larsson OM says

        Lots of good points.

        The “epicycles” stuff disappeared when people learned about naturality (as in normed parameters close to 1 and/or parsimony), but creeps as you say in the back door when some systems aren’t close. The cosmological constant isn’t at the natural “vacuum value”, but admit a simple standard cosmology. However string theory re hidden dimensions.

        Ironically there is one science that still admits “epicycles” and that is biology. As evolution is contingent, phylogenies doesn’t always take the most parsimonious path. However, one can but notice that scientists starts out with parsimony when parsing the tree, and that the actual tree is always found close to it. So today “epicycle” models are severely constrained by natural parsimony.

        And we know this.

        [You know, I’m starting to think, just as the proper response to creationists waving their version of “2nd LOT” around is to ask what is the other LOTs, the proper response to crackpots waving their version of “epicycles” around is asking what they mean and how it relates to naturality.]

      • Torbjorn Larsson OM says

        @ HSBC (the reply tree bottomed out):

        Yes, it _is_ the methods of creationists, here we have seen doubt and quote-mining, because the purpose is the same: promoting crazy ideas as dogma.

        It is ironic when their conspirationist view of science (“locking galileans out”) is followed by individual but concerted effort to lock science out. With a little bit of paranoia it would look as a conspiracy…

      • Astrofiend says

        Well said LBC.

        Where the hell has this influx of pseudo-blah come from all of a sudden? It seems to have really ramped up in the past few weeks…. Must be one of the whackjob websites deciding to launch a web-attack campaign on UT or something.

      • Lawrence B. Crowell says

        There should be some sort of warning in elementary textbooks, popularizations and in lectures at the Freshman level to admonish people from getting these bat sh*t crazy ideas in their head. I get the sense that lots of people have wasted their lives on some such idea.

        LC

      • Olaf says

        Any topic that contains the word “Evolution”. Oops I meant “Big bang”, “Black Hole” and/or “Plasma” attracts the creationists, oops I mean the PC/UP crackpots.

        You should try it, create a web site with the words “Big Bang” and observe the flooding of PC/EU spam.

  6. Catamarion says

    OK, I am a crazy man. I can live with it… 🙂

    This is how galaxies are created. Think about them as “flowers”. Sunflowers, for instance.

    It starts with free, empty, dark space where a galaxy can be created. In it, a small bud appears, a gravity anomaly. For a while it sits there, doing nothing. Then, it wakes up. The bud opens up and starts to grow. The gravity anomaly becomes active. An accretion disc appears, matter is generated, dust and suns are formed and thrown away. The process continues for a while. Petals are forming in the form of spiral arms taking shape, more and more suns are created, all using matter generated by the gravity anomaly.

    Finally, a flower is formed, petals are in place and the gravity anomaly quites down.

    Centaurus A is where Milky Way once was. In a state of early development. Milky Way is still growing though. But there will come a day when our gravity anomaly will stop generating matter altogether. The central bar will cease to exist. Eventually, a kind of empty space between the central region and ever more gravitationally controlled spiral arms will emerge. Like in NGC 2841, which is a galaxy that has reached it size and therefore its gravity anomaly no longer generates matter.

    Who knows, maybe ring galaxies are the final product? Perhaps NGC 2841 will gradually turn into a Hoag’s object.

    Please understand, all of the aforementioned is perfectly controlled by cosmic laws. It is just that mankind has no knowledge about these laws. But they do exist.

  7. Split_Infinity says

    It seems odd, the early universe according to this was actually one big “star” that decompressed then formed smaller stars which seems like backwards physics, why did it not just collapse in on itself as a black hole since it was obviously more dense than anything in existence?

    • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

      Please read the text again. The early universe was not “one big “star””, it did not “decompress then form smaller stars.” The black hole did not happen due to the dramatic expansion — which exceed the grip of gravitation. Our Universe obviously did not collapse as a Black Hole because we are here currently talking about it!
      Why don’t you so some reading and thinking for yourself, as the answers are easily available only just a few keystrokes and a half-dozen keywords. So don’t listen to me, don’t listen to others, select legitimate sources, and all will be revealed. Don’t be the tide, be the cause of the tide!
      After all

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Correction “The black hole did happen due to the dramatic expansion — which exceed the grip of gravitation.”

        I’d kill for an editor!

      • Lawrence B. Crowell says

        Steve Nerlich indicates the formation of black holes by pair instability supernova. There are some indications of this. This scenario has PopIII stars producing a vast amount of energy. Then processes of the form p + p – -> p + p + e + e^+ begin to occur. This is pair production of particles. If the energy of the plasma is E = 3NkT/2, by the equipartition theorem, the production of particle pairs begins to increase the number of particles N. This means the temperature drops, which means the pressure drops. This process could “run away” where there is the production of muon pairs and higher mass particle pairs. PopIII stars were strange beasts and they may have imploded under their extreme energy production. This could be how a black hole was generated in their cores.

        LC

      • Member

        I said pair instability supernova exploded so violently they leave no remnant at all.

      • Lawrence B. Crowell says

        I read or misread the next sentence starting with, “Others were just very big and collapsed into black holes …” as referring to stars with pair instability.

        LC

  8. Pradipta says

    Nothing is real beyond 150 million kilometers. Milky ways, galaxies, supernovas, white dwarfs, nebulas, black holes, extra solar systems etc. are all antic views. To know the fact visit: http://www.spacemirrormystery.com

    • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

      Probably the most intelligent alternative theory to date. Makes more sense than some of the stuff already posted here.
      Careful though. There are about a dozen or so Ancient Greek philosophers who would line up accuse you of plagerism… Only one serious problem. Who is cleaning the mirror and stopping it from getting dirty?

      However, IMO, the ‘contribution’ of $101 might be just a bit rich for item 5 for us poor 1st World Westerners! ( http://www.spacemirrormystery.com/offer.html )

      Thanks for the giggle….

    • Torbjorn Larsson OM says

      Not too bad, nothing like EU nuttery. Immediately I see two obvious problems:

      – The theory doesn’t really predict anything. It accepts what is found, i.e. it is equivalent to a religion at best. I’m sorry, but there is no better way to phrase this as I see it.

      – It isn’t as parsimonious as standard cosmology. Another likeness with religion.

      To be a competitive theory a cosmology needs to predict as much as standard cosmology and be simpler, or predict something new. Here is an introduction in science method, that is a good place to start.

    • ND says

      Sometimes you look at a website, think to yourself “W … T … F …?!”, do a facepalm, close the browser and start over.

  9. rudeyd says

    This article is about Black Holes but since the BB comes up every time, ask yourself one question. What has nature always done and is perfect at?
    Recycling everything.
    In that context Neil Turok describes the cyclical Universe and it is the only theory to date to properly explain what created or caused the BB. Sooner or later, the singularity issue will be described as “The Event” and twenty years from now all other theories will be tabloid fodder – but they are entertaining to discuss at this point. Those who believe that you can get something (a Universe) from absolutely nothing are delusional at best.
    What exactly is absolute nothing anyway?

    • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

      Let’s see. Please tell us something about quantum mechanics and the quantum vacuum. Is this too, delusional?

    • Olaf says

      You probably did not get the memo. The universe is expanding at an accelerating speed. It is never going to collapse again.

      • Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

        Good one, Olaf! 🙂

        What is so extraordinary here is the desperation to cling to the antiquated number of differing scenarios already rejected from the observations. Although the fairly well established standard cosmological model has been around for decades, and getting stronger, it seems these pseudoscientists just don’t want the scientists and cosmologist to be right 𔃉 probably in fear of the wrath of God or their own opinions of the universe’s origin or creation to disappear down the proverbial sink hole. Just plain weird, I’d reckon…

  10. Paul Eaton-Jones says

    Ah, Space Mirrors. A great space rock/synth band.

  11. rudeyd says

    All I’m asking is a very simple question. There isn’t a need to dismiss the normal people that are extremely curious and want to know. If I could find a way to ask a question in a “yes or no” sort of way I would. Again question left unanswered – but doesn’t “nothing” also mean lack of any and all information?
    If info cannot ever be destroyed, then hows does something come from zero information? Some information had to be there to begin with. I have never heard any quantum theorist discuss information at the initial point of the BB or in black holes- only calling it a singularity – then explaining that only means we do not understand what the singularity is. So maybe one of you guys can call Krausse and the others and ask him what info is available at the ” S SPOT “. At least he might answer you….. All I’m asking is a very simple question.
    Think about it just for a minute….. What if – nature is recycling the Universe just like it does everything else.
    What if the Universe expanded until it was just so dilute and cold that – say in a trillion years, it bumped into another Universe in the same state and the collision that occurred created another BB?? We probably aren’t the “only” anything out there and humans won’t last long enough to fully figure out exactly what will happen anyway.
    Don’t dismiss the brane theory (or normal curiosity) so easily.
    … History has proven that when an obscure idea / theory is laughed at by all the extremely educated, that idea has a way of laughing back. Exosolar planets and black holes had a serious giggle factor not that long ago. Anyone remember a Cosmic Egg idea that even Einstein thought was stupid?
    What would we find if we had a much more effective CMB satellite?

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