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Super Black Hole Astounds Astronomers


By James Donahue


If there is anything we know for certain about our universe it is this . . . all that we think we know is probably wrong.


As we build larger and more powerful telescopes, putting them into space so they can gaze farther with no obstructions, we are finding no apparent end to its vastness. And the surprises are almost unending.


Case in point . . . the recent discovery of a black hole that is so large, it could engulf 1000 of our own Solar Systems and weigh as much as all of the stars in the Milky Way. The thing is so massive scientists estimate it contains about 10 billion times the mass of the Sun.


The existence of such a super giant seems to destroy all previous theories as to the age and origins of the universe as we thought we knew it.


For example, based upon Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, which is about the only way science can even attempt to explain the existence of something that is so negative it even absorbs light, this hole would have to be nearly as old as the universe. They say it had to form only a billion years after the Big Bang that started everything in the first place.


And that is assuming there was a Big Bang, and that the universe created itself some 14 billion years ago.


Black holes are, in themselves, an enigma. They are seen only as a black mass of nothingness filling large amounts of space. Their existence can be proven only by the actions of nearby stars affected by the gravitational pull produced by the mass produced by this collection of negative stuff.


A simplified layman’s description of a black hole is a region of space that contains mass that is so concentrated that nothing, not even light, can escape its gravitational pull. They are believed to be produced by burned out stars, or suns, that collapse in on themselves.


The theory is that black holes begin as relatively small things that grow by pulling passing planets, stars and even solar systems into themselves. Once caught in that deadly gravitational pull, nothing escapes. Thus it is theoretically possible for black holes to get very large.


But to grow to the size of the hold just found by astronomers would mean this one is so ancient, the star that started it had to have burned itself into a negative state almost from the day it was created.


Either that, or the whole Big Bang theory is wrong, the universe is much older than scientists first thought, or black holes are not what astronomers think they are.


After all, who can really explain something that cannot be seen, photographed, or visited by a space probe without becoming part of the blackness itself?


All we can say is that black holes seem to exist in space, they have a tendency to eat up everything around them, and they seem to be a negative side of everything we think we know about our universe.


So who really knows what exists within those things. For us, if we could live long enough to reach one of them in a ship, it would most surely mean certain death.


But maybe not.