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Space Supercomputing

Using Supercomputers To Predict Signs of Black Holes Swallowing Stars 31

Posted by samzenpus
from the hungry-hungry-black-holes dept.
aarondubrow (1866212) writes "A 'tidal disruption' occurs when a star orbits too close to a black hole and gets sucked in. The phenomenon is accompanied by a bright flare with a unique signature that changes over time. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are using Stampede and other NSF-supported supercomputers to simulate tidal disruptions in order to better understand the dynamics of the process. Doing so helps astronomers find many more possible candidates of tidal disruptions in sky surveys and will reveal details of how stars and black holes interact."
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Using Supercomputers To Predict Signs of Black Holes Swallowing Stars

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  • Wait until we can FTL to other star systems and check them out ourselves. The universe gets really weird when it looks completely different depending on where you're stopping for a burger today, and never looks like what the maps say. I mean seriously, people get in arguments with me and I point and go, "I'M LOOKING RIGHT AT IT, YOU MORON!" And this is a situation where what you're looking right at is wholly wrong.

  • How can a black hole swallow a star if the star's clock slows to a stop as it approaches the event horizon?
    • by Suki I (1546431)

      How can a black hole swallow a star if the star's clock slows to a stop as it approaches the event horizon?

      Just be thankful that this breakthrough is coming just in the nick of time dilation.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      How can a black hole swallow a star if the star's clock slows to a stop as it approaches the event horizon?

      It stops from the star's perspective, maybe. From the perspective of an outside observer: the star is absorbed into the blackhole and ceases to exist.

      but according to Hawking, there is no event horizon as previously believed; just an apparent horizon.

      • I think you might have that the wrong way around. From the star's perspective - if the black hole is big enough - nothing untoward occurs. It certainly won't see its own clock slowing down. From an outside perspective, objects approaching an event horizon undergo time dilation and fade from view, but are never seen to cross the horizon.

        • Correct me if I am wrong, but my limited knowledge of what happens tells me this:
          Probably, assuming the observer is infinitely strong and can survive the gravity shear and immense pressure of the black hole:
          From the observers POV the universe speeds up, until the surroundings (except for the black hole itself) become a bright light, because time dilation causes the cosmic background radiation to appear like visible light.
          Then the black hole evaporates due to Hawking radiation and the observer is free again.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mmell (832646)
      Somebody mod this guy up "Hilarious". I'm relatively sure that's what he was going for . . . and I have to admit to having to reread that (perfectly reasonable and appropriate) question twice before forcing my brain to parse it out correctly.

      "I'm not a fig plucker . . . "

    • Re:Impossible (Score:5, Informative)

      by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Monday April 14, 2014 @01:59PM (#46749417) Homepage

      How can a black hole swallow a star if the star's clock slows to a stop as it approaches the event horizon?

      Because it doesn't.

      The star's clock may slow to a stop relative to ours, sitting safely outside, but as far as the star is concerned, its clock continues to tick happily away. If the black hole is big enough, the star wouldn't be in the least perturbed by the experience.

  • The star system's population sending "Heelllppp!" is a good sign.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday April 14, 2014 @02:05PM (#46749463) Journal
    There was a electromagnetic simulation software called Ansoft-HFSS. Most structures it dealt with were IC chips, packages, PCBs and antennae. Most of these were drawn in microns, or mils (milli inches, don't ask), mm or at the most in meters. But the drop down box for unit selection went all the way to light years. I thought must be some inside joke, some user must have complained some unit was not available and the developer, in a fit of indignation, must have added every damned length units he/she could find. Now it makes sense. You can use that software to simulate black holes gobbling up stars.

Scientists will study your brain to learn more about your distant cousin, Man.

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