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Milky Way could hold hundreds of rogue black holes: study
AFP on Yahoo ^ | 1/09/08 | AFP

Posted on 01/09/2008 3:07:12 PM PST by NormsRevenge

CHICAGO (AFP) - Hundreds of rogue black holes may be roaming around the Milky Way waiting to engulf stars and planets that cross their path, US astronomers said Wednesday.

The astronomers believe these "intermediate mass" black holes are invisible except in rare circumstances and have been spawned by mergers of black holes within globular clusters -- swarms of stars held together by their mutual gravity.

These black holes are unlikely to pose a threat to Earth, but may engulf nebulae, stars and planets that stray into their paths, the researchers said.

"These rogue black holes are extremely unlikely to do any damage to us in the lifetime of the universe," said Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

"Their danger zone, the Schwarzschild radius, (or gravitational radius) is really tiny, only a few hundred kilometers. There are far more dangerous things in our neighbourhood."

The evidence for "intermediate mass" black holes, as opposed to supermassive or stellar-mass black holes, is still largely theoretical and therefore controversial. Only two tentative observations of objects of this sort have been made to date.

But the theoretical case for them is strong, and X-ray observations in recent years suggestive of their existence encouraged Holley-Bockelmann and colleagues at the University of Michigan and Penn State University to simulate what would happen if intermediate mass black holes combined with stellar-sized black holes, which are plentiful in globular clusters.

Using sophisticated computer modeling, they calculated that these mergers would generate hundreds of mid-size black holes, and that the force of their combinations would catapult them out of the globular cluster at speeds of up to 4,000 kilometers per second.

That would leave these black holes, each weighing several times the mass of the sun, to careen around interstellar space, unattached to any stellar system, at high speeds. Hence the term rogue.

Bockelmann presented her findings Wednesday at the 211th American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin, Texas.

Separately, researchers reported that they have discovered a new X-ray source in the galaxy of Centarus A.

The X-ray appeared in new observations of the galaxy taken in 2007, but was not visible in a survey taken in 2003. The new ray is much smaller than the X-ray jets that have long been a feature of the galaxy, but it still glows brightly.

The new object is most likely a binary star system, the researchers from Ohio State University said. The two stars probably formed at the same time, with one much more massive than the other.

The more massive star evolved more quickly, and collapsed to form a black hole. It is now slowly devouring its companion. Such binary systems are thought to be rare.


TOPICS: Astronomy; Chit/Chat; Science
KEYWORDS: blackholes; catastrophism; centarusa; haltonarp; hundreds; milkyway; rogue; rogueblackholes; rogueblackpoles; stringtheory

1 posted on 01/09/2008 3:07:13 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

What can be done about the one in DC?


2 posted on 01/09/2008 3:08:19 PM PST by spunkets ("Freedom is about authority", Rudy Giuliani, gun grabber)
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Have a nice day and Watch out for the extremely difficult to detect rogue black hole in your neighborhood.

Make sure and donate to FR while you still can. 8-o


3 posted on 01/09/2008 3:08:43 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICE’s toll-free tip hotline —1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
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The astronomers believe these "intermediate mass" black holes are invisible except in rare circumstances and have been spawned by mergers of black holes within globular clusters -- swarms of stars held together by their mutual gravity.
4 posted on 01/09/2008 3:10:17 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICE’s toll-free tip hotline —1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
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To: NormsRevenge

Is Don Imus talking about that basketball team again?


5 posted on 01/09/2008 3:10:17 PM PST by djf (...and dying in your bed, many years from now, did you donate to FR?)
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To: NormsRevenge

Please!

No comments about Barak Hussein Obama, here!

People may not understand, it’s about the “hole” part.


6 posted on 01/09/2008 3:10:23 PM PST by unspun (God save us from egos -- especially our own.)
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This Spitzer Space Telescope image released in 2006
shows the galactic center of The Milky Way galaxy.
Hundreds of rogue black holes may be roaming around
the Milky Way waiting to engulf stars and planets that
cross their path, US astronomers said Wednesday.
(AFP/NASA-HO/File)


7 posted on 01/09/2008 3:18:59 PM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICE’s toll-free tip hotline —1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
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To: NormsRevenge

I’m sure someone will propose a method of taxing them.....


8 posted on 01/09/2008 3:20:31 PM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo (Tracking The "Flyin' Imams" since 11/20/06)
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To: Hyzenthlay

ping


9 posted on 01/09/2008 5:56:20 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: ergonomic

But there’s only one black hood (and thank God for that)


10 posted on 01/09/2008 7:27:17 PM PST by ergonomic (Power of love...)
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To: AdmSmith; bvw; callisto; ckilmer; dandelion; ganeshpuri89; gobucks; KevinDavis; Las Vegas Dave; ...

11 posted on 01/12/2008 9:22:49 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________Profile updated Sunday, December 30, 2007)
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To: 75thOVI; AFPhys; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; Berosus; ...
No wonder it's so dark here...
 
Catastrophism
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

12 posted on 01/12/2008 9:23:57 AM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________Profile updated Sunday, December 30, 2007)
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To: NormsRevenge
"There are far more dangerous things in our neighbourhood."

Actually, we're pretty well off here in a relatively dust free lane of the Milky Way. We can see outside the galaxy and we're enriched in metals, orbiting a stable G2V star making things nice and habitable.

13 posted on 01/12/2008 5:49:55 PM PST by onedoug
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Biggest black hole in the cosmos discovered (18 billion suns)
New Scientist | 1/10/08 | David Shiga
Posted on 01/10/2008 3:52:18 PM EST by LibWhacker
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1951627/posts

Rapidly Whirling Black Holes Revealed
ScienceDaily | Jan. 11, 2008
Posted on 01/10/2008 10:47:48 PM EST by Aristotelian
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1951810/posts


14 posted on 01/13/2008 6:29:58 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________Profile updated Sunday, December 30, 2007)
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To: NormsRevenge
There's no such thing as a black hole.
15 posted on 01/13/2008 9:44:55 PM PST by jeddavis
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