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Offline neilep

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe






Scientists have determined the mass of the largest things that could possibly exist in our universe.  New results have placed an upper limit on the current size of black holes - and at fifty billion suns it's pretty damn big.  That's a hundred thousand tredagrams, and you'll never get the chance to use that word in relation to anything else.

Black holes are regions of space where matter is so dense that regular physics just breaks down.  You might think physical laws are immutable - you can't get out of gravitational attraction the same way you can get out of a speeding ticket - but beyond a certain level laws which determine how matter is regulated are simply overloaded and material is crushed down into something that's less an object and more a region of altered space.

While there's theoretically no upper limit on how big a black hole can be, there are hard limits on how big they could have become by now.  The universe has only existed for a finite amount of time, and even the most voracious black hole can only suck in matter at a certain rate.  The bigger the black hole, the bigger the gravitational field and the faster it can pull in matter - but that same huge gravitational gradient means that the same matter can release huge amounts of radiation as it falls, blasting other matter further away.

Based on this self-regulating maximum rate, scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Massachusetts, and the European Southern Observatory, Chile, have calculated an upper limit for these mega-mammoth masses.  Fifty billion suns, that's 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 kg, otherwise known as "ridiculously stupidly big" and triple the size of the largest observed black hole, OJ 287.

There are potential problems with this calculation.  Based as it is on the radiation outflow from a black hole, new discoveries could change this estimate - though only from "insanely massive" to "ridiculously ginormous."

Source: the Daily Galaxy


 

Offline syhprum

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #1 on: 13/03/2009 20:58:54 »
What would that be in elephants or blue whales, the normal units for awfully big things?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #2 on: 14/03/2009 01:45:46 »
Will we disappear into it?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #3 on: 14/03/2009 10:56:05 »
Quote
...otherwise known as "ridiculously stupidly big"

 :D

Is that blackhole bigger than J-Lo's bottom?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #4 on: 14/03/2009 10:58:22 »
Will we disappear into it? :D
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #5 on: 14/03/2009 12:00:43 »
Will we disappear into it? :D

Did you ask again because no-one answered you the first time?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #6 on: 14/03/2009 12:03:02 »
No.

It was a reply to:

Is that blackhole bigger than J-Lo's bottom?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #7 on: 14/03/2009 12:27:48 »
Ah, I see. You tried to make a joke.
 

Offline neilep

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #8 on: 14/03/2009 12:54:02 »
What would that be in elephants or blue whales, the normal units for awfully big things?

A lot of blue whales and even more elephants !
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #9 on: 14/03/2009 12:55:07 »
Will we disappear into it?

Not if we camp just outside it. We can then sing songs and toast marshmallows !
 

Offline neilep

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« Reply #10 on: 14/03/2009 12:56:15 »
Quote
...otherwise known as "ridiculously stupidly big"

 :D

Is that blackhole bigger than J-Lo's bottom?

Those scientists got it wrong. Thye forgot to consider the enormity of J-Lo's exit area !..tch tch tch !!
 

Offline yor_on

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #11 on: 14/03/2009 13:09:59 »
How come we on one side say that there never will be any mass reaching past the event horizon and on the other treat black holes as growing? Where will all that extraneous mass be if so? Growing and propagating for ever towards a event horizon, that as they  also are spinning, creating an enormous frame dragging effect. So what happens if so? You can't assume that this mass building will be 'broken down' in a 'quark gluon soup' as it never reach past the event horizon. And when considering the spin shouldn't this mass outside the event horizon behave somewhat like a stone in a sling, getting 'massed up'? Here is a description of a spinning black hole using the Kerr metric http://www.bun.kyoto-u.ac.jp/~suchii/spinhole.html And here http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/873

Read it and ponder.
« Last Edit: 14/03/2009 13:15:19 by yor_on »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #12 on: 14/03/2009 14:08:13 »
How come we on one side say that there never will be any mass reaching past the event horizon and on the other treat black holes as growing? Where will all that extraneous mass be if so?

The mass is inside the event horizon. It can get in, but can't get out again (unless you think Hawking radiation is a real phenomenon). So, there is no dichotomy about "...there never will be any mass reaching past the event horizon" and black holes growing.

In any case, if black holes do indeed contain singularities, then it is just the event horizon that will grow (expand). The singularity would remain a zero-size point.
« Last Edit: 14/03/2009 14:12:30 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline LeeE

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #13 on: 15/03/2009 00:30:47 »
Quote
The bigger the black hole, the bigger the gravitational field and the faster it can pull in matter - but that same huge gravitational gradient means that the same matter can release huge amounts of radiation as it falls, blasting other matter further away

Hmm... but once the radiation has 'blasted' other matter further away there will be less in-falling matter, so the amount of radiation will drop, letting the matter be drawn back in towards the BH, which is now even more massive than it was before, thanks to the matter it drew in and which caused the radiation that 'blasted' the matter away.  So if radiation does have a significant effect re 'blasting' away in-falling matter, it seems to me that we should see an oscillation.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #14 on: 15/03/2009 01:02:53 »
It would probably happen over millions of years
 

Offline yor_on

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #15 on: 15/03/2009 10:10:20 »
As I remember it the mass you're observing will from your perspective always be on its way towards that elusive 'event horizon' never ever reaching it. What you are describing I believe to be the 'former' description where we had mass passing the EV, In that scenario all 'mass' will finally reach a center, but in the one I'm referring to, black holes would have to be 'born' at our spacetimes beginning as the mass never will reach the EV. That is as I've understood it






« Last Edit: 15/03/2009 10:14:59 by yor_on »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #16 on: 15/03/2009 10:49:33 »
You're referring to what's known as "The Blue Curtain", where the time dilation is so great to an outside observer that it appears to stand still and matter seems to accumulate at the event horizon. Light accumulating in this way is infinitely blue-shifted (infinities again grrrrrr).

I'm not sure of the current thinking about this.

That's made me wonder about something else. If the time dilation is that great, would we actually be able to observe the innermost part of the acccretion disk rotating? Wouldn't that, too, appear to stand still?
« Last Edit: 15/03/2009 10:51:55 by DoctorBeaver »
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #17 on: 15/03/2009 12:51:14 »
It is a very strange thing, a black hole. That's a very interesting question DB, I think we will see it moving, as well as observing the 'frame dragging'. and the way I think of it is like this. If we think of that 'accretion ring' and bends it out. Then we use it as a description of a journey taken by me from Earth to a star and back near 'c'. You stay on Earth watching me at all times with that new super telescope, will you be able to follow my travel at all time? Yes you will. Will there be a 'time dilation' seen? Yes there will be. Did that ship at any point seem to stop moving? No it didn't. If it would have been seen to have stopped, what would the consequences have been for our spacetime. But then again, one can easily lose ones way looking at the possibilities inherent in different scenarios :) So I won't swear to anything, I think :)

Here is another persons headache.. http://alrenous.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2009-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&updated-max=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=14
« Last Edit: 15/03/2009 14:35:07 by yor_on »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #18 on: 15/03/2009 13:12:31 »
I think I'll have to read that a couple more times to understand it fully.
 

Offline Vern

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #19 on: 15/03/2009 13:27:38 »
That's a very interesting link yor_on; you are very resourceful. I've quoted below an interesting observation from the link. It reflects on a notion that I have long held. That notion is; electrons cannot possibly be point particles; indeed point particles can not exist.

Quote from: yor_on's link
Similarly, if electrons and other fundamental particles were actually point particles, they would be behind their own Schwarzchild radii and instead of atoms we'd just have a very large black hole. The amount of an electron's charge and mass that is inside a zero-size volume is zero, which is why QCD gets nonsense when it assumes it isn't.
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #20 on: 15/03/2009 15:47:00 »
Yep, it was :) but I take it with a amount of salt, I think.
If you think of a photon, then that is said to be both sizeless as well as massless. That would make for a very strange black hole :)

Here is some other strange ideas. Relating to black holes.

'Ancient Galactic Magnetic Fields Stronger than Expected.'
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=26166

how black holes acquire mass.
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/scitech/display.cfm?ST_ID=265

Black hole spins at the limit.
http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/873

Astronomer Discovers Upper Mass Limit for Black Holes.
http://www.physorg.com/news139839433.html


---Optical Black Holes-

Can we create black holes here on Earth?
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2000-03/NS-Cwcb-1403100.php

Black hole event horizon created in the lab.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19726434.800-black-hole-event-horizon-created-in-the-lab.html
 

Offline Vern

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #21 on: 15/03/2009 16:55:01 »
Quote from: yor_on
If you think of a photon, then that is said to be both sizeless as well as massless. That would make for a very strange black hole :)
My speculative view of a photon eliminates the strangeness :) My photons exist as two plane waves, one electric, and one magnetic, radiating out from central points of maximum electric and magnetic amplitude.

Those were more interesting links yor_on. I suspect though, that artificial black holes can't possibly exhibit the true characteristics of the real critter. They may provide some interesting analogies. That spinning BEC that Hau is working with is fascinating.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #22 on: 15/03/2009 17:00:25 »
yor-on - Some ineresting links there. I'll read through them thoroughly sometime.
 

Offline LeeE

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« Reply #23 on: 16/03/2009 13:35:19 »
One of the things to remember when thinking about time-dilation effects near and at the event horizon is that the time-dilation will have consequences on any energy related stuff that occurs there.  So, for example, if you release a probe towards an event horizon and the probes flashes a light back to you at a regular interval, the period between the flashes will get longer and longer as the probes gets closer to the event horizon and the degree of time-dilation increases.  At the same time though, the light itself will get progressively red-shifted and dimmer and dimmer, so while it may seem to be slowing down what you'll see will also be getting fainter and fainter, and eventually be too faint to detect.
 

Offline Vern

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« Reply #24 on: 16/03/2009 14:11:12 »
Still the question remains; how can a black hole gain mass if nothing can get past the event horizon?

I still suspect there is something not yet discovered that prevents anything from reaching the singularity. It will always be approaching it; never reaching it; like repeated instances of getting half way there.
 

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50 Billion Suns! -The Biggest Single Object in the Universe !
« Reply #24 on: 16/03/2009 14:11:12 »

 

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