Unexpectedly Intriguing!
November 16, 2018

The universe is both stranger and more fascinating than all but a few can imagine. Bad Astronomy's Phil Plait just had that kind of realization after reviewing a paper with 59 co-authors, a group of astronomers and astrophysicists known as the GRAVITY team, who peered deep into the heart of the Milky Way galaxy to make an extraordinary discovery.

I read quite a few scientific journal papers every week, seeing which ones might make a good fit for the blog. They’re always interesting, and of course some have more ground-breaking results than others. But you can count on the fingers of one hand how many times one has made me exclaim out loud upon reading it.

I just read one where I exclaimed out loud.

In fact, I may have exclaimed an expletive out loud — “holy [synonym of feces]!” — when I read the abstract of this particular paper.

Why? Because in the paper, a team of astronomers show that they have observed a blob of dust sitting just outside the point of no return of a supermassive black hole, where the gravity is so intense that this material is moving at thirty percent the speed of light. And this wasn’t inferred, deduced, or shown indirectly. No: They measured this motion by literally seeing the blobs move in their observations.

Better still, there's video, assembled from actual images of the region they studied, as can be seen in the following presentation that zooms in on that region of space to reveal those images, then zooms in even closer via an animation of the orbiting gas for a really close-up view of what observations and astrophysics says is happening just outside of the edge of the black hole at the core of the Milky Way.

The hot "blob of dust" appears to be orbiting the black hole about once every 31 minutes. At 30% of light speed, that dust would be moving at more than 201 million miles per hour as it revolves around the black hole.

By comparison, the Sun, which is much farther away, is moving at speeds over 514,000 miles per hour (828,000 kilometers per hour) around the same black hole, where it will take about 230 million years to complete its orbit around the black hole at the focal point of the Milky Way galaxy.

Labels:

About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

Recent Posts

Stock Charts and News

Most Popular Posts
Quick Index

Site Data

This site is primarily powered by:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

CSS Validation

Valid CSS!

RSS Site Feed

AddThis Feed Button

JavaScript

The tools on this site are built using JavaScript. If you would like to learn more, one of the best free resources on the web is available at W3Schools.com.

Other Cool Resources

Blog Roll

Market Links

Useful Election Data
Charities We Support
Recommended Reading
Recently Shopped

Seeking Alpha Certified

Archives
Legal Disclaimer

Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.