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Rules Don't use bad words on this wiki be nice to one another especially the admin of this wiki. No fandom names for the pages that you're making, except for fan-made creatures those I can accept. There shall be no dead characters on my wiki. No editing on the main page because that'll get you into an immediate blocked for a longer period of time, than just two hours or a week. If the buecreats is blocked for how long on the wiki then the users will have to have that long until the beucreats is out of blockage. Long ago, it blazed with a light that eclipsed the galaxy it lives in.


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Today, it is dark and quiet. If you were to look at NGC through a telescope, you'd have no idea that this ancient giant even exists. Such monsters lurk in the centers of many galaxies, including our own Milky Way. They are almost surely black holes, an extremely dense form of matter predicted by the general theory of relativity. In , soon after the discovery of quasi-stellar radio sources, or quasars, astronomers proposed that quasars' tremendous luminosities come from matter falling into giant black holes.

The confirmation of this idea has been one of the exciting sagas of modern astrophysics, and one of the most esoteric. Yet the story begins with something as commonplace as radio waves. Radio astronomy is a technical by-product of World War II and the advances of radar technology.

Throughout the s and '60s, the field progressed rapidly as more and more sources of radio noise in the sky were linked to visible objects. Normal stars and galaxies proved to be weak sources, but some objects in the sky emitted strong radio waves. Among these were gaseous nebulae, the remnants of exploded stars, and "radio galaxies. A jet races away from the core of M Maarten Schmidt at the California Institute of Technology was one of the astronomers trying to understand these strange radio stars. He observed them with a spectrograph on the inch 5-meter telescope on Palomar Mountain, and he quickly found that these quasi-stellar radio sources were distinctly unlike stars.

Their spectra showed only a few broad emission lines at unfamiliar wavelengths. Puzzled by these unusual spectra, Schmidt tried to plot the line spacings for the brightest of the objects, 3C , against the wavelengths of light emitted by hydrogen gas.

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Much to his surprise, the wavelengths matched when he lined them up, provided that the lines were redshifted accounting for the object's movement by an unprecedented 16 percent. The fact that he had to make such a big adjustment meant that the quasar was moving away from Earth at a tremendous speed.


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A black hole in NGC expels a bubble of hot gas red. This came as a huge shock. The law that describes the expansion of the universe the Hubble law immediately implied that 3C is very far away. At 13th magnitude, however, this "star" was not faint; it can be seen with a fairly large amateur telescope. Schmidt had just discovered one of the most distant objects known, yet its light was bright enough to overexpose his first spectrographic plates.

For 3C to be so far away and to be still so bright, it must be enormously luminous -- trillions of times more luminous than our Sun. Another radio quasar, 3C 48, was confirmed within a few hours. Others followed. Soon, some quasars were found to vary in brightness in only a few days or weeks, indicating that they are no larger than the solar system.

Since we know the speed of light, we can determine the size of the quasar by the time it takes the light to travel across it. The quasar could not vary in only a few weeks, because the back side would appear to fade while the front side would grow brighter; the effects would cancel out. How could such a huge luminosity come from such a small volume? Likely sources included groups of exploding stars, called supernovae; supermassive stars; giant pulsars; and supermassive black holes. For a while, one theory was pitted against the next to explain these quirky quasars.

Black holes finally emerged as the winner, opening the door to some of the most fascinating theoretical and observational work in science today.

Galactic Creatures

Less powerful versions of quasars are seen in some nearby galaxies. They are called Seyfert galaxies.

Radio galaxies, Seyfert galaxies, and quasars collectively are known as active galactic nuclei AGNs. All are thought to be powered by black holes devouring nearby gas and stars.


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  7. The escape velocity from the surface of an object depends on both its mass and radius. If Nature can make the radius of a given mass small enough, the escape velocity reaches the speed of light. Neither matter nor radiation can then escape from the surface of the object to the universe outside.

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    What's more, atomic or subatomic forces cannot hold the object up against its own gravity -- the object is doomed to collapse to an infinitesimal point. The original matter is lost from view forever, and only its gravity remains. The point of no return, where the radius gets small enough so that the escape velocity equals the speed of light, is called the Schwarzschild radius, or the horizon. This radius is proportional to the mass of the hole.

    If the mass is 50 million times that of the Sun, the radius is equal to the radius of Earth's orbit around the Sun. The mass of the Sun equals one solar mass -- a convenient unit of measurement in astronomy when discussing objects as massive as black holes. Because no light can escape, physicist John Wheeler named such objects "black holes. It will continue to grow as long as there is enough "stellar food" to gobble up. Theory and observations indicate that black holes of a few solar masses form when very massive stars die. Astronomers find such black holes in various places in our galaxy by their X-ray emission.

    The black holes in galactic nuclei, however, are much bigger. If no light can escape from black holes, how can they explain the huge luminosities of quasars? The radiation comes from matter that is close to the hole but still outside the horizon. Matter that is falling into a black hole accelerates closer and closer to the speed of light as it approaches the horizon, acquiring a tremendous amount of energy.

    Under some circumstances, this energy can be converted to radiation. For example, the gas is expected to form an "accretion" disk around the black hole, and friction of the gas in this disk heats it up to very high temperatures. That is why it radiates so ferociously -- at efficiencies of up to 10 percent, which means 10 percent of the mass is converted to energy.

    In contrast, nuclear fusion reactions like those that power stars have an efficiency of less than 0. For quasar luminosities, which range from billion to trillion solar luminosities, a black hole would have to eat 0. How massive does the hole need to be? If the black hole's feeding frenzy lasts for the estimated lifetime of a quasar about 10 million years , its mass will grow to at least solar masses.

    Also, the black hole must be massive enough to pull in new fuel despite the fact that its radiation is trying to blow the fuel away. This minimum mass is solar masses, depending on the quasar's luminosity. The strong gravity of a spinning black hole may explain the ability of some quasars to eject "jets" of material at close to the speed of light. Paperback , pages. More Details Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews.

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    Galactic Monsters - StarDate's Black Hole Encyclopedia

    Sort order. Jun 11, Phil Giunta rated it liked it. A fun collection of eleven short stories with a common theme of spaceships or satellites constructed in the form of birds, dragons, fish, and other animals. There were only a few editing issues that caught my attention. On my copy of the trade paperback, both the title and the editor's name are misspelled on the spine and "L A fun collection of eleven short stories with a common theme of spaceships or satellites constructed in the form of birds, dragons, fish, and other animals.

    On my copy of the trade paperback, both the title and the editor's name are misspelled on the spine and "Lawn Care" is interrupted three pages before the end by a brief excerpt from what appears to be a story outline that is completely unrelated to the theme of this anthology.

    Aug 22, Star rated it liked it. There are some funny stories and some serious, but all mind-bending and -expanding captured in this anthology.

    V/A Galactic Creatures (Digital Album – Space Factory)

    The authors will have you looking up at the stars with new appreciation and longing to travel among them. Timothy M. McCann rated it liked it Nov 27, Scribbling Lion rated it it was amazing Jan 07, Dark Quest Books rated it it was amazing May 31, Scott W. Christopher added it Jul 14, Abbey added it Oct 28, Laura marked it as to-read Jan 13,