When I was younger, my mom had a tradition of always taking us out into the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night to watch meteor showers, comets, and anything else you can see in the sky with the naked eye. At a young age, I knew all about the constellations and about other galaxies in the universe. You could definitely say I was a space nerd. It always reminded me how tiny and insignificant my life is compared to the vastness of the universe. It’s really a beautiful thing. However, there was one thing that always terrified me. Black holes. Not the kind that you consider your dryer to be when you come out with less socks and you put in. I’m talking planet-swallowing black holes randomly placed in outer space. For the space explorer such as myself, I’m going to tell you about three of the most interesting black holes that I’ve found in my research and how a new theory might change your perspective on them.
1. Middleweight Black Hole
An Australian telescope observed bursts of super hot gas, which inevitably lead to the discovery of the first middleweight black hole. Before it was discovered, supermassive black holes and stellar mass black holes were the only two types thought to exist. These types of black holes have been a constant mystery to astronomers for many years. The most recent discovery of one, an intermediate-mass black hole, is said to be approximately 290 million light-years from Earth. It is described as being 20,000 “solar masses” in size.
2. Rotating Black Holes
These bad boys are exactly as their name depicts them. To give you an idea of how fast they spin, the fastest one scientists have found is in the constellation of Aquila that spins more than 950 times per second.
3. Rogue Black Holes
We call a black hole “rogue” when it gets knocked out of their original location, usually due to galaxy collision. The first known one of these space ninjas is said to be approximately 600 million times the size of the sun. It is believed that in our galaxy alone, there could be hundreds of rogue black holes roaming around.
They are the age-old natural nemesis in space: Black holes. Infamous for what dangers might lurk within them, or on the other side of them. They are one of space exploration’s greatest mysteries, and a topic that I have always been curious about. NASA has dedicated resources specifically to the exploration of black holes. They come in all different shapes and sizes, a very different thought from the original idea that there were only the three general sizes; small, medium, and large. So the big question is always: what happens if we get sucked in?
According to the cinematic geniuses of our time, you either travel through space at light speed or you are transported (short cut style) to another part of the universe. As cool as both of these ideas sound, it’s very unlikely. Recently, a paper was presented in a space conference in Paris that suggested looking at black holes from a completely different perspective; not that looking at them in any perspective was easy in the first place!
A professor at Ohio State University, Samir Mathur, has dubbed black holes “Fuzzballs,” and claims that what happens when you get close to one is not like what happens in the movies. He says that the surface of the hole destroys your body (if you were floating through space and got close to one) and basically makes a hologram of it and it is forever stuck in the outer layer of the “Fuzzball.” He has dubbed them so because he thinks that they are a thin, fuzzy layer of space, which differs from the typical sooth layer that we all know and love. I think naming them something so cute sounding definitely takes away from the menacing fact that they could make a hologram of our lifeless bodies forever to be embedded in space.
Tailored for children, Space Scouts Summer Adventure is your start to a most interesting summer for: