Going To The Light At Death - The New Theories (The Heavy Stuff Book 3)

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  2. The (Still) Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe
  3. The (Still) Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe | History | Smithsonian

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One of these objects packs more than three times the mass of the sun into the diameter of a city. This leads to a crazy amount of gravitational force pulling on objects around the object. Stellar black holes then consume the dust and gas from their surrounding galaxies, which keeps them growing in size. Small black holes populate the universe, but their cousins, supermassive black holes, dominate. Scientists aren't certain how such large black holes spawn.

Once these giants have formed, they gather mass from the dust and gas around them, material that is plentiful in the center of galaxies, allowing them to grow to even more enormous sizes. Supermassive black holes may be the result of hundreds or thousands of tiny black holes that merge together.

What's The Brightest Thing In the Universe?

Large gas clouds could also be responsible, collapsing together and rapidly accreting mass. A third option is the collapse of a stellar cluster, a group of stars all falling together. Fourth, supermassive black holes could arise from large clusters of dark matter. This is a substance that we can observe through its gravitational effect on other objects; however, we don't know what dark matter is composed of because it does not emit light and cannot be directly observed.

Illustration of a young black hole, such as the two distant dust-free quasars spotted recently by the Spitzer Space Telescope.

The (Still) Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe

More photos of black holes of the universe. Such bodies could form when stars in a cluster collide in a chain reaction. Several of these IMBHs forming in the same region could then eventually fall together in the center of a galaxy and create a supermassive black hole. Newer research, from , suggested that these IMBHs may exist in the heart of dwarf galaxies or very small galaxies.

Observations of 10 such galaxies five of which were previously unknown to science before this latest survey revealed X-ray activity — common in black holes — suggesting the presence of black holes of from 36, to , solar masses. The information came from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey , which examines about 1 million galaxies and can detect the kind of light often observed coming from black holes that are picking up nearby debris. Black holes are strange regions where gravity is strong enough to bend light, warp space and distort time.

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The (Still) Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe | History | Smithsonian

Once a particle crosses the event horizon, it cannot leave. Gravity is constant across the event horizon. Scientists can't see black holes the way they can see stars and other objects in space. Instead, astronomers must rely on detecting the radiation black holes emit as dust and gas are drawn into the dense creatures. But supermassive black holes, lying in the center of a galaxy, may become shrouded by the thick dust and gas around them, which can block the telltale emissions.

Sometimes, as matter is drawn toward a black hole, it ricochets off the event horizon and is hurled outward, rather than being tugged into the maw. Bright jets of material traveling at near-relativistic speeds are created. The red box indicates the extent of Hubble's original data. Hubble's discovery of the expanding Universe turned it into a serious idea. Although many scientists considered that the spiral nebulae in the sky were distant galaxies all on their own even before Einstein, it was Edwin Hubble's work in the s that showed this was not only true, but that the more distant a galaxy was, the faster it was receding away from us.

This fact -- Hubble's Law, describing the expansion of the Universe -- led to a very straightforward interpretation consistent with the Big Bang idea: if the Universe is expanding today, then it was smaller and denser in the past! Public domain image. The idea had been around since , but was widely dismissed for decades. Soviet Physicist Alexandr Friedmann came up with the theory for it in , when it was criticized by Einstein.

The theory rose to true prominence in the s when it made a startling set of predictions. If it's cooling today, then it must have been hotter in the past. Extrapolating backwards, he recognized that there once was a time period where it was too hot for neutral atoms to form, and then a period before that where it was too hot for even atomic nuclei to forms. Therefore, as the Universe expanded and cooled, it must have formed the light elements and then neutral atoms for the first time, resulting in the existence of a "primeval fireball," or a cosmic background of cold radiation just a few degrees above absolute zero.

Fred Hoyle presenting a radio series, The Nature of the Universe, in Image credit: BBC.


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The name "Big Bang" came about from the theory's most fervent detractor, Fred Hoyle. A theory making a different set of predictions -- the Steady-State Theory of the Universe -- was actually the leading theory of the Universe in the s, s and into the s, as the claim that the vast majority of the atoms came from stars that died and not this early, hot dense state was borne out by nuclear physics. Hoyle, speaking to the BBC, coined the term in a radio interview, saying, " One [idea] was that the Universe started its life a finite time ago in a single huge explosion, and that the present expansion is a relic of the violence of this explosion.

This big bang idea seemed to me to be unsatisfactory even before detailed examination showed that it leads to serious difficulties. Penzias and Wilson at the 15 m Holmdel Horn Antenna. Image credit: NASA. The discovery of the leftover glow from the Big Bang was initially thought to be from bird poop. In , scientists Arno Penzias and Bob Wilson, working at the Holmdel Horn Antenna at Bell Labs, discovered a uniform radio signal coming from everywhere in the sky at once. When that didn't work, they went into the antenna and discovered nests of pigeons living in there!

They cleaned the nests and droppings of the pigeons out of there, and yet the signal remained. The realization that it was the discovery of Gamow's prediction vindicated the Big Bang model, entrenching it as the scientific origin of our Universe. It also makes Penzias and Wilson the only Nobel-winning scientists to clean up animal poop as part of their Nobel-worthy research.

The confirmation of the Big Bang gives us an explicit history for the formation of stars, galaxies, and rocky planets in the Universe. The first stars would take to million years to form; the first galaxies wouldn't form for million years; Milky Way-sized galaxies might take billions of years and the first rocky planets wouldn't form until multiple generations of stars lived, burned through their fuel, and died in catastrophic supernovae explosions. It may not be a coincidence that we're observing the Universe now, The fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background tell us how close-to-perfectly uniform the Universe was at the start of the Big Bang.

The cosmic microwave background is just 2.