Wondering about wild grapes

Friday, March 30, 2012

Wandering about black holes.

First an update on the tires.  The tire place made record time getting the six large 22.5 inch tires replaced with new ones.  I made it there just before another RV pulled up.  Most of the bays were full of 18 wheelers so he had to wait behind me to get in.  We struck up a conversation and he said that he had retired and his wife was going to retire this coming week.  They had sold their house and had been living in the RV for almost a year now.  Already being full timers and after his wife retires in a few days, they have nothing to hold them any where and plan to hit the road and enjoy their retirements.  There you go folks, another full time RVing couple joining your ranks.

I got wondering about black holes and I keep coming up with questions.  Do you know that as early as the late 18th century a couple of scientists separately figured that a star could be so massive that not even light could escape?  A couple of hundred years later, Einstein’s theories showed this to be possible.  How do you study something you can not see?  Well, by the way things around it are acting.  In a binary system where two stars are locked together, one can be a neutron star or a black hole.  Both are strange creatures, but how the heck can you tell a large neutron star from a small stellar mass black hole?  Well, when the unknown object feeds off its partner, the gasses heat up and put off X-rays and when the material hits the surface of a neutron star, there is an X-ray burst.  If it were a black hole, there would be no burst since the gas would enter the event horizon after which nothing would escape.  Another way is to calculate the mass of the unseen object by the way it affects its partner star.

These small stellar mass black holes are tiny babies compared to the monsters that live at the center of galaxies.  They can be millions to billions of solar masses in size.  They are detected by X-rays, gamma ray bursts, etc. but the easy way is to observe the action of any stars in close proximity to the suspected object.  I am not going any deeper into black holes because up until recently, it was hard to prove their existence.  I, however, question their name.  Yes, they are black, but I don’t think of them as holes.  They have to be the densest object imaginable, so how could they be called “holes”.  Granted, no one knows what lurks behind the event horizon or what really goes on in there.  I, for one, don’t think the answer will ever be discovered, at least not by us humans.
Now I don’t want your day to be black, so you all have a good, bright day now, you hear?


  1. Dang!!! Every time you go space cadet on us I get a headache trying to deal with the distances. And now you throw black holes at us?

    My brain hurts!! Think I'll go do something that I can touchie feelie.. Like mow the yard.

  2. I swear that there is a black hole somewhere in my house where it sucks in all the thinks that I can't find. Too wet here to mow.

  3. I've been watching the Science channel a lot lately (they show the same programs over and over) and I think I finally understand the black holes and how they found them. What I do wish is that scientists & astronomers would quit looking for aliens. When they find them it can't be good for us.

  4. I just skipped all that black hole stuff, but,,let's go, you're ready now,,new tires and all.

  5. That black hole is what eats all of the socks in the dryer! Funny how just one of the pair disappears!

    Think I have one between my ears sometimes!

  6. Gypsy, if they ever do find aliens I hope they don't like war and violance like the people of earth do, or should I say the leaders here on earth.

    Trouble, I still need to get the driver's side window to work in case I have to go through a toll both. Also need the dash AC fixed and the main awning which protects one of the bigger slides.

    Hermit, there are left and right black holes; the left ones suck in the right sock and the right ones suck in the left sock. I, too, have a either a black hole or a vacuum in my head.

  7. They've discovered something denser than a black hole -the US Congress.

    Have a good one Dizzy!

  8. If we stop looking for Aliens, does that also mean we stop searching for God ? After all, what is the difference ?

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