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Space NASA Technology

Supermassive Black Hole Rocketing Out of Distant Galaxy At 5 Million MPH (blastr.com) 80

The Bad Astronomer writes: Astronomers have found a supermassive black hole barreling out of its home galaxy at 5 million miles per hour. The 3 billion solar mass behemoth formed from the merger of two slightly smaller black holes after two galaxies collided and themselves merged. The resulting blast of gravitational waves is thought to have been asymmetric, causing a rocket effect which launched the resulting black hole away. It's currently 40,000 light years from the galaxy's core. Source: ESA/Hubble
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Supermassive Black Hole Rocketing Out of Distant Galaxy At 5 Million MPH

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  • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Saturday March 25, 2017 @02:07AM (#54107271) Homepage

    Article found here: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/g... [nasa.gov]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 25, 2017 @02:27AM (#54107317)

    Every one of these sentences translates to "You have no idea what this means and neither do we, but we really, really need the clicks so we're going to hype this shit up like NASA just made first contact."

    "it’ll make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It’s chaos wielded on a mind-crushing scale."
    "Holy. WOW."
    "a distance vast enough to shrink even the mightiest galaxy to a smear of light."
    "But wait. Did I say “central”? Yeah, not so much. It appears to be significantly offset from the galaxy’s core, by about 40,000 light years. That’s a long haul."
    "the astronomers who investigated this object came up with a scenario that, frankly, gives me the willies."
    "That’s why I get the heebie-jeebies about stuff like this. Cripes!"
    "Imagine something that can toss around an object a billion times the mass of the Sun at speeds thousands of times faster than a rifle bullet!"
    "Why do I love science? That’s why."

    Meanwhile in real-scientist land [nasa.gov]...

    "When I first saw this, I thought we were seeing something very peculiar," said team leader Marco Chiaberge

  • currently? (Score:2, Informative)

    by nyet ( 19118 )

    currently 40,000 years ago.

    • by DamonHD ( 794830 ) <d@hd.org> on Saturday March 25, 2017 @03:02AM (#54107371) Homepage

      Relatively up-to-date when talking about /. news items. B^>

      Rgds

      Damon

    • Welll... with that much inertia nothing this side of the big crunch is gonna stop that black hole.

    • "Hubble images in visible and near-infrared light revealed a bright quasar named 3C 186 in a galaxy 8 billion light-years away." Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sci... [dailymail.co.uk] Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
    • Re:currently? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Saturday March 25, 2017 @12:01PM (#54108625)

      currently 40,000 years ago.

      Umm, no.

      First off, it's not in our galaxy, so the 40Kyears from galactic center is irrelevant to how far in the past the event was.

      Secondly, it's moving about 2200 km/s. So it has moved 40k ly from its original position at or near its galactic center over the last 5.4 megayears.

      Plus, of course, the time the light has taken to get here. No, I'm not going to read TFA to find out how far away it is to determine more precisely when it happened because...

      Ultimately, of course, relativity says that talking about when something happened in a galaxy far, far, away is completely meaningless anyways....

      • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
        Every astronomy article on slashdot is festooned with mongs who think they're the smartest kid in the class by pointing out that light travels at finite speed. They never tire of it.
  • OK, so 4 billion years before the earth existed, we're finally seeing what happened. But it's cool that we can see that far :)
    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      OK, so 4 billion years before the earth existed, we're finally seeing what happened. But it's cool that we can see that far :)

      "4 billion years before" doesn't make any sense for relativistic distances where we don't have a common clock that ticks for both places - that galaxy, and ours.

      In our frame of reference, it happens now. In their frame of reference, we have no idea, because we can't apply our time frame to theirs.

  • MPH, really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by JeffreyBPetersen ( 4390499 ) on Saturday March 25, 2017 @03:47AM (#54107453)
    Approximately 0.01c.
  • by Oligonicella ( 659917 ) on Saturday March 25, 2017 @05:55AM (#54107611)

    Excellent news. Now we can determine if the rotational issues with galaxies holds. All we have to do is observe this now coreless galaxy for the next 10 to 50 million years and see if it's rotation changes.

    • by zm ( 257549 )

      All we have to do is observe this now coreless galaxy for the next 10 to 50 million years and see if it's rotation changes.

      I'll bring popcorn.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      DM is touchy subject on here for some bizarre reason. Presumably it's something to do with 'liberals'.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buqtdpuZxvk

  • And the superstars sucked into the super massive

  • Getting interested in that space program yet? Eggs in one basket, indeed

    • Chances of solar system collision with a star or remains of one is essentially zero in the next 4 billion of years, even when Andromeda and the Milky Way pass through each other.

      As Douglas Adams said, "Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space."

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      This is a supermassive black hole. Even if we were competent (we're obviously not) there probably wouldn't be much we could do about this if it was headed to us. The scope of destruction would not be limited to this planet.
  • We've had enough of your shit, Brenda - now get out!

    Galaxy, probably.

  • by Eloking ( 877834 ) on Saturday March 25, 2017 @09:11AM (#54108037)

    Damn, that's some Alien finishing move sh*t right there!

    Make the death star look kinda cute.

  • One of the most amazing objects in the universe.

    I'm a little surprised though that galactic mass black holes can in-spiral at any reasonable rate. It seems like the initial pass must have been exceptionally close.

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