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Twisted Physics

Black Holes Gone Rogue

7 Jul 2009, 04:38 UTC
Black Holes Gone Rogue
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It's Black Hole week here at Twisted Physics, primarily because my fodder file is choked to the brim with various collected items related to these gravitational bad boys of physics. How bad are they? Michael Jackson "Beat It" bad. In fact, a couple of months ago, scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics warned of rogue black holes rum amok in the Milky Way, ready to gobble up any random bits of matter that stumble into their path, just like the army of zombies in "Thriller." Fortunately, our pretty blue planet doesn't hang out in those sorts of neighborhoods -- ours is more of a gated community type of planet, where the neighbors keep the lawns well-tended and everyone's kids attend private school. The closest rogue black hole should be several thousand light years away. And it's just a theoretical prediction right now. So these objects are mostly of interest to astrophysicists who like to walk on the wild side of their research now and then. Rogue black holes are remnants from the days when the early universe was just starting to form galaxies, like our Milky Way, so studying them could provide clues to the mechanisms underlying galaxy formation. ...

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