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Old 05-21-2012, 09:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

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Last edited by Fish; 01-07-2013 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:05 PM   #1576
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So... here's a really cool pic... a good example of gravitational lensing and black hole hunting.

RX J1131-1231: Chandra & XMM-Newton Provide Direct Measurement of Distant Black Hole's Spin




  • Astronomers have directly measured the spin of a supermassive black hole in a quasar that is located 6 billion light years away.
  • This is the most distant black hole where such a measurement has been made.
  • Black holes are defined by just two simple characteristics: mass and spin.
  • Finding out how quickly black holes are spinning reveals important information about how they grow over time.

Multiple images of a distant quasar are visible in this combined view from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope. The Chandra data, along with data from ESA's XMM-Newton, were used to directly measure the spin of the supermassive black hole powering this quasar. This is the most distant black hole where such a measurement has been made, as reported in our press release.

Gravitational lensing by an intervening elliptical galaxy has created four different images of the quasar, shown by the Chandra data in pink. Such lensing, first predicted by Einstein, offers a rare opportunity to study regions close to the black hole in distant quasars, by acting as a natural telescope and magnifying the light from these sources. The Hubble data in red, green and blue shows the elliptical galaxy in the middle of the image, along with other galaxies in the field.

The quasar is known as RX J1131-1231 (RX J1131 for short), located about 6 billion light years from Earth. Using the gravitational lens, a high quality X-ray spectrum - that is, the amount of X-rays seen at different energies - of RX J1131 was obtained.

The X-rays are produced when a swirling accretion disk of gas and dust that surrounds the black hole creates a multimillion-degree cloud, or corona near the black hole. X-rays from this corona reflect off the inner edge of the accretion disk. The reflected X-ray spectrum is altered by the strong gravitational forces near the black hole. The larger the change in the spectrum, the closer the inner edge of the disk must be to the black hole.

The authors of the new study found that the X-rays are coming from a region in the disk located only about three times the radius of the event horizon, the point of no return for infalling matter. This implies that the black hole must be spinning extremely rapidly to allow a disk to survive at such a small radius.

This result is important because black holes are defined by just two simple characteristics: mass and spin. While astronomers have long been able to measure black hole masses very effectively, determining their spins have been much more difficult.

These spin measurements can give researchers important clues about how black holes grow over time. If black holes grow mainly from collisions and mergers between galaxies they should accumulate material in a stable disk, and the steady supply of new material from the disk should lead to rapidly spinning black holes. In contrast if black holes grow through many small accretion episodes, they will accumulate material from random directions. Like a merry go round that is pushed both backwards and forwards, this would make the black hole spin more slowly.


The discovery that the black hole in RX J1131 is spinning at over half the speed of light suggests that this black hole has grown via mergers, rather than pulling material in from different directions.

These results were published online in the journal Nature. The lead author is Rubens Reis of the University of Michigan. His co-authors are Mark Reynolds and Jon M. Miller, also of Michigan, as well as Dominic Walton of the California Institute of Technology.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:19 PM   #1577
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So nothing comes from nothing? What holds me together and why am I here? Can anyone explain that to me?
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:37 PM   #1578
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Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
So nothing comes from nothing? What holds me together and why am I here? Can anyone explain that to me?
That doesn't really mean anything, "Nothing comes from nothing". I'm not sure what you're asking. Did you mean "Something comes from nothing"? Even so, who are you directing that to?

Your skin and atmospheric pressure hold you together. Science can't answer why you're here. That's more of a philosophical question.
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Old 03-05-2014, 10:59 PM   #1579
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Originally Posted by scott free View Post
All of "science" starts out humble, lol... shove that bullcrap back up your outhole.

Don't believe anything besides current understanding until the day you die, go ahead, its a tiresome argument trying to get human beings to understand that they do not have all of the answers to lifes mysteries... not even our smartest minds.

Good night and God bless.
You just don't get it. I think you expect to receive the arrows of your enemies, in some grand battle.

Thats just not the case. I'm not angry at you, I'm not a member of some rival faction who needs to figure out some how, some way to show that you are inferior. This is not a fight, and I don't see you as some kind of an opponent to defeat.

You are just, simply, wrong. Simply, provably, wrong. You aren't going to receive anger, only pity.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:07 PM   #1580
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
So nothing comes from nothing? What holds me together and why am I here? Can anyone explain that to me?
I don't know what you mean when you say nothing comes from nothing.

As far as you are concerned, you are made out of star stuff. Long ago, complex elements and heavy metals were formed from the stars, and eventually that matter formed into what you are now.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:16 PM   #1581
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
That doesn't really mean anything, "Nothing comes from nothing". I'm not sure what you're asking. Did you mean "Something comes from nothing"? Even so, who are you directing that to?

Your skin and atmospheric pressure hold you together. Science can't answer why you're here. That's more of a philosophical question.
Go a little deeper, what holds an atom with positive and negative neutrons together and separate? Why does everything not co-exist as a big blob? How can you question what I think? How do I question what you think? Matter dosen't think, where did your spirit and soul come from?
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:22 PM   #1582
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Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
You just don't get it. I think you expect to receive the arrows of your enemies, in some grand battle.

Thats just not the case. I'm not angry at you, I'm not a member of some rival faction who needs to figure out some how, some way to show that you are inferior. This is not a fight, and I don't see you as some kind of an opponent to defeat.

You are just, simply, wrong. Simply, provably, wrong. You aren't going to receive anger, only pity.
Wow, he wasn't even on a high horse, apparently you are.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:22 PM   #1583
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Has there been any evidence that souls exist?
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:31 PM   #1584
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
I don't know what you mean when you say nothing comes from nothing.

As far as you are concerned, you are made out of star stuff. Long ago, complex elements and heavy metals were formed from the stars, and eventually that matter formed into what you are now.
Star stuff? Your a regular genius, I digress.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:32 PM   #1585
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Wow, he wasn't even on a high horse, apparently you are.
He asserted "God".

How does the horse get any higher than that?
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:34 PM   #1586
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Quote:
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Star stuff? Your a regular genius, I digress.
yes, star stuff. That is a common colloquialism of what I'm talking about. If you have never heard of that phrase before, thats on you.
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alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.alnorth has an IQ even higher than Frankie's.
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Old 03-05-2014, 11:42 PM   #1587
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Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
Go a little deeper, what holds an atom with positive and negative neutrons together and separate? Why does everything not co-exist as a big blob? How can you question what I think? How do I question what you think? Matter dosen't think, where did your spirit and soul come from?
Protons and neutrons are held together by the strong force. Neutrons aren't negatively charged though. Protons have a positive charge, but neutrons are electrically neutral. The strong force is a fundamental force of nature, the same as gravity. Electrons have a negative charge, and are attracted to the nucleus, which has a positive overall charge.

Different atoms contain different numbers of protons, neutrons, and electrons. The differences in charges and attractions/repulsion are what keeps matter from coalescing, in a sense.

I cannot question how you think. I can only take what you type here for me to see, and interpret it against my own experiences. Matter doesn't think. But when matter is arranged in such a way as to form a neural network of connections, and organism can use that matter to think.

The idea of a spirit/soul is a philosophical idea as well.
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:03 AM   #1588
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Originally Posted by alnorth View Post
He asserted "God".

How does the horse get any higher than that?
He believes in a God, he didn't say he was better than you or anyone else. You my friend have it completely wrong, a Christian is a sinner like everyone else, no better, no worse. Leaving it at that, not my battle.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:27 AM
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:08 AM   #1589
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Star stuff? Your a regular genius, I digress.
FYI... He's completely correct. You've never heard that saying before?

The molecules that make up our body, and everything on Earth for that matter, were created in the 10 million degree furnaces in the center of stars. Everything on Earth is carbon-based life. When the universe was really young, the only elements that existed were hydrogen, helium, and a couple others.

After millions of years, stars formed. The hydrogen and helium atoms that stars are made of were smashed and heated under the insane pressure and heat in the center of a star. Smashing those simple atoms together, makes heavier more complicated elements through a process called nucleosynthesis. Eventually, those stars run out of hydrogen to burn, and starts burning the heavier elements that were already created, which then creates even heavier elements. Elements like oxygen, iron, carbon, and others. After this process goes on for billions of years, the star eventually explodes into a supernova. When that happens, all those new elements the star created are dumped into the universe. Which eventually over a long time allows things like Earth to form from the carbon and other elements that were created. And in turn, humans.

The universe is in us. We are part of it, not just living in it.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:47 AM   #1590
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That doesn't really mean anything, "Nothing comes from nothing". I'm not sure what you're asking. Did you mean "Something comes from nothing"? Even so, who are you directing that to?

Your skin and atmospheric pressure hold you together. Science can't answer why you're here. That's more of a philosophical question.

It wasn't directed at anyone, it was a rhetorical question, something doesn't come from nothing, hence, what comes from nothing, nothing.
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