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26 New Black Hole Candidates Found In Andromeda 57

Posted by timothy
from the well-they're-newly-found dept.
William Robinson writes "Astronomers have discovered 26 new likely black holes in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy — the largest haul of black hole candidates ever found in a galaxy apart from our own. The central region of the Andromeda galaxy is chock-full of black holes, according to extensive observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory." These 26 black hole candidates add to nine previously known for a grand total of 35.
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26 New Black Hole Candidates Found In Andromeda

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  • what happens (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Adult film producer (866485) <van@i2pmail.org> on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:08PM (#44000941)
    to all the atoms and radiation that gets sucked into a blackhole? does it just disappear into nothingness?
    • by noh8rz10 (2716597)
      research has shown that materials that go into black holes are converted to energy. This energy is re-radiated out from black holes, which is how we detect them. notice how the testing was done at an xray observatory. so yes, matter is destroyed but energy is created and all remains equal.
      • Re:what happens (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:17PM (#44001039)

        Hawking radiation [wikipedia.org]

      • Re:what happens (Score:5, Informative)

        by antimatt (782015) <xdivide0.gmail@ORG.NET.EDU.com> on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:20PM (#44001069) Homepage
        It's far easier for astronomers to identify black holes by how nearby objects behave--especially by observing their orbits, and the gravitational lensing effects.

        I suspect you're thinking about black hole evaporation [wikipedia.org]? It's a real phenomenon, at least theoretically, but the energy radiated in this manner from a typically-sized black hole is way less than the background radiation of the universe, so the mass/energy of the singularity continues to grow.

        Incidentally, the evaporation phenomenon is also why you don't have to worry about the LHC ever producing a black hole that destroys the earth--any black hole it could create would radiate to nothing almost instantly.
        • by BitZtream (692029)

          What prevents the black hole from sucking in additional matter from around it in order to stay alive? Its not like the black hole is in the middle of mostly empty space, its more or less 'inside' a planet full of matter to consume.

          • A small black hole (Double?) the planck mass doesn't have any matter around it. It would be similar to calculating the gravitational influence you have on Jupiter's orbit if you flew to the other side of the earth. only less so.
          • by Livius (318358)

            The black hole would be so small that inside a planet full of matter would, from its perspective, mean being in the middle of mostly empty space.

        • Actually, in space nobody can hear the "woosh" (I know, Antimatt, I'm giving AC the (perhaps undeserved) benefit of the doubt).
          Citation: White Hole (Red Dwarf) [wikipedia.org]
          Excerpt:

          As Kryten explains, a white hole is a very rare spacial phenomenon - for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and whereas black holes suck matter from the universe, white holes spew time back into it.

      • by Baloroth (2370816)

        This energy radiation is only theoretical, and has not yet been observed. Not with any sort of certainty, at any rate.

      • Re:what happens (Score:5, Informative)

        by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:01PM (#44001471)

        What? No... You're completely wrong. I don't even know where to start. Not even radiation can escape a blackhole. The radiation blackholes cause, is hawking radiation. Hawking radiation is rather simple, the theory is that the universe is a constant froth of matter/antimatter being created in pairs. Most of the time these pairs collide and destroy each other immediately. On the event horizon of a black hole however, it's possible for the pairs to be come into being with 1 of the particles inside the event horizon and the other outside. So one escapes while the other is trapped. Since the trapped particle is the opposite of the free particle, it's "As if" the black hole emitted radiation, because the particle trapped has the negative effect on the blackhole that the escaping particle has. But it was NOT emitted. After BILLIONS of years this effect can eventually cause the blackhole to, for lack of a better word, evaporate. But this is not because it's giving off any radiation. Blackholes can not, nor will they ever, give off any type of radiation or matter. And the effect of Hawking radiation is so slow that the singularities will be the last things that exist in this universe for a very, very, very long time after all of our stars have run out of fuel.

        Lastly, blackholes warp space and time. By the time matter passes the blackholes event horizon it's been torn to elementary particles by gravity. But even those elementary particles never reach the singularity. The warping of space-time is so great that time slows to nearly the point of stopping. They are in a perpetual free-fall towards the singularity but will never arrive. If you were falling backwards into a blackhole, and somehow had some magical device that allowed you to survive the decent, you would watch the end of time before your eyes. Granted it would be warped into a single point of light that would just snuff out, but you get the idea.

        • by SuperGus (678577)
          "By the time matter passes the blackholes event horizon it's been torn to elementary particles by gravity." - I thought that for sufficiently large black holes, the tidal forces at the event horizon can be small enough that a human would not even notice passing the horizon? Maybe I am mis-remembering :-)
        • Re:what happens (Score:5, Informative)

          by rubycodez (864176) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @05:29PM (#44001759)

          little problem is that Hawking radiation is only theoretical, we don't know if it exists. also, your description of fate of infalling matter or view from that reference frame is not known for certain because black holes are where quantum mechanics meets general relativity meets whatever the mechanism of gravity (quantum?) is. we just don't know.

        • Re:what happens (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @06:17PM (#44002129)

          By the time matter passes the blackholes event horizon it's been torn to elementary particles by gravity. But even those elementary particles never reach the singularity. The warping of space-time is so great that time slows to nearly the point of stopping. They are in a perpetual free-fall towards the singularity but will never arrive. If you were falling backwards into a blackhole, and somehow had some magical device that allowed you to survive the decent, you would watch the end of time before your eyes.

          You got this all backwards unfortunately. First off, the event horizon is not really a special location to local observers. You could be torn up to pieces way before the event horizon for a small black hole, or way after it for a very large one. For a local person in free fall, nothing special would happen at the event horizon.

          Second, the time slowing down and taking forever to fall in would be what a distant observer sees. For the observer in free fall, they would reach the singularity in a finite amount of time. And for even large black holes, that finite time is actually quite short, so you would not see the whole universe evolve in front of you, you would very quickly reach a point where the stresses exceed any imagined material strength.

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          Spaghettification isn't exactly a concern on the scale of humans. Its a problem for solar systems, sure, but a person isn't large enough to have that large of a difference. Its not an issue on tiny black holes and only becomes less of a problem the larger you get.

          Of course ... all the things you state as if they were facts are really relatively new theories about how the universe works, but that one in particular shows you've been reading too much sci-fi.

      • by rubycodez (864176)

        no. that radiation by which we detect them is merely heated gases spiraling into the hole. hawking radiation is a theory, we do not detect that for it is emitted at a very very low rate for a large black hole. Hawking radiation has never been detected.

      • Except that black holes radiate energy at a temperature that seems to be inversely proportional to its mass. Even a simple stellar mass black hole emits so little radiation that is is for all intents and purposes, black. A black hole will not become visible until it nears the end of its life, when its contents are rapidly radiating away and the rate of energy release brings its temperature into a detectable range. Right now they emit virtually nothing, so we literally can not see them.

        We can, however
    • The atoms gets crushed under so much gravity that they break apart and turn into more basic materials which merges with the rest of the stuff in the black hole contributing even further to the mass. Likewise, the radiation (like light) get sucked in and joins the soup.

    • by tbid18 (2495686)

      Hawking showed that when you combine quantum field theory with black hole physics then they will produce what is now called Hawking radiation. The black hole will eventually evaporate away through this process. What finally happens is the subject of recent controversy. The physics is well beyond me, but the idea of it is that several current assumptions concerning physics lead to contradictions when considered in the context of black holes (in particular, entanglement leads to subtle problems), leading some

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      to all the atoms and radiation that gets sucked into a blackhole? does it just disappear into nothingness?

      I'm not sure anybody knows for certain ... a soup of muons and gluons and other things that happen when the laws of physics get stretched to the extreme. :-P

      It doesn't 'go' anywhere (probably), and I don't think I understand well enough to know if it's even still technically 'matter' ... it just becomes more mass and more gravity, or something like that.

      We'd need a TARDIS to be certain. ;-)

    • I will add to all other uninformed responses with mine:

      Aren't they endlessly into the singularity, but never actually reach it? I mean, they speed up almost to the speed of light (hence x-ray bursts), so time slows down for them more and more.

    • to all the atoms and radiation that gets sucked into a blackhole? does it just disappear into nothingness?

      It all adds to the mass, charge, and angular momentum of the black hole.

  • Interviewer: What would you say your biggest weakness is?

    Black Hole: Dumb fucking question! [spaghettifies interviewer]

    • by Greyfox (87712)
      Black Hole: Vote for me to be your black hole and I promise to suck! A lot!

      Interviewer: Pretty much like any other candidate I've interviewed!

      • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

        Black Hole: Vote for me to be your black hole and I promise to suck! A lot!

        Interviewer: Pretty much like any other candidate I've interviewed!

        Whoa ... hold your horses !!

        Those who want us to vote for them so they can stay in the White House *never* promise us that they sux

  • Cool! maybe we can finally measure the speed of dark!
  • First! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13, 2013 @04:12PM (#44000993)

    ...In my frame of reference, at least.

  • And it's RIGHT BEHIND YOU!
  • .. there's a reality show/politics joke in there, somewhere; I just know it...

  • The miky way, our galaxy, is scheduled to collide with the andromeda galaxy in 4 billion years. What if we hit a black hole? This universe is getting more and more dangerous all the time.

  • Talk about a wild midseason replacement!

    Each week, we eliminate some of them, until the live broadcast, at which point America texts in their votes, and they pick one to be black hole?

  • It's what can we do with them. We know they exist, how about scientists find some great functional use for Black Holes - that way, when we can eventually get near one, we can use them for something. Obviously theory is fine, but.. GET CRACKIN'! Great, there are a dozen more, who cares! Find something to do with them!
  • I thought this was a story on the 2016 presidential race.

  • ....there are quite a few "black hole" candidates in Washington.

    *badumtisss*

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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