Added 2/25/04

Satellites See Black Hole Tearing Apart Star

R. Rydin comments in italics

Feb 19, 2004. The Max Planck Laboratory in Munich reports, " What could turn a star into something resembling a strand of spaghetti? Two orbiting telescopes have seen a giant black hole ripping apart and absorbing a small part of a star. NASA 's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray Observatory observed the event, long been predicted by theory, but never confirmed. Astronomers believe the star veered too close to the black hole after another star pushed it out of its usual path. The black hole, which has a massive gravitational pull, then began stretching the star to the breaking point with tidal forces similar to the Moon's effect on Earth's oceans. Stars can survive being stretched a small amount, as they are in binary star systems, but this star was stretched beyond its breaking point. The stretching was caused by the differences in gravitational force on the front and back of the star. This unlucky star just wandered into the wrong neighborhood. Astronomers estimate that the black hole, located near the center of a galaxy known as RXJ1242-11, has a mass 100 million times greater than the Sun's. The star torn apart was probably similar to the Sun. The black hole consumed about one percent of the star, while flinging the rest of the star into space."

 

 

A Megamerger in Space: Two Black Holes Collide

 

November 20, 2002. "Two supermassive black holes in a galaxy 4 million light-years away are warily approaching each other in preparation for a titanic collision that will shake the very fabric of space-time. The merger is the result of a collision between two large galaxies, identified collectively as NGC6240."

"The black holes in the center of galaxies are in a class unto themselves. While they can't be viewed directly, they make their presence known by their gravitational effect on surrounding material and by the radiation representing the last SOS from gas, dust, and other objects as they fall into the black hole's grasp. The objects pack 10 million to 100 million times the sun's mass into objects with the diameter of our solar system. The two black holes currently are 3,000 light-years apart - roughly the distance between Earth and the Trifid Nebula in the constellation Sagittarius in our own galaxy."

"The final merger is expected to take place in 100 million years. When they do, their collisional shudder will ripple through the cosmos in the form of gravity waves, a phenomenon predicted by Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Yet no gravity waves from any source have yet been detected, although physicists are working on it. They have built a pair of gravity-wave detectors on Earth - one in Louisiana and one in Washington State. The project, called LIGO, began taking data in September. By 2012, astronomers hope to send a gravity-wave detector into space."

If General Relativity does not apply to this situation, gravity waves may not exist at all. Read on to see how strange the conventional physics concept really is!

 

Black holes get an identity check

"To understand why such things excite astronomers requires a nodding acquaintance with some of the mind-bending notions the theory of space-bending black holes entails. Black holes can be as small as several solar masses or as gigantic as the billion-solar-mass black holes at the core of many galaxies. Massive or not, there's no matter in the structure of a black hole! 'A black hole is made wholly and entirely solely by the warpage of space and time.' "

"There is no gravitational force in general relativity. The gravity of a mass manifests itself in this warpage. Nothing escapes a black hole because, at its perimeter, space is so strongly curved that all paths lead into the hole. Time flows inward at the edge of a black hole. Nothing can escape because the future of everything on the perimeter lies inside the hole."

"Direct black-hole insight will raise a fundamental scientific challenge. Physics, as now known, doesn't work well inside these incredible objects. The great laws of conservation of energy and momentum are inoperative. Relativity theory predicts what's called a singularity - a point-like place of great mass - where all theory breaks down at a black-hole center. This is the part Einstein disliked. It's essential to understand what happens there or, if singularity is a false concept, to learn what should replace it. To know that is to know the universe's birth. The big bang was the greatest singularity of all."

Hence, the entire concept of a black hole is based on General Relativity, for a situation that Einstein himself did not believe that it applied to! Real matter goes in and simply disappears. But somehow, the gravity from that matter still gets out.