In the world of Binary Choice™ ‘fed-up with all of them’ voters may now have an option to choose between two different candidates, because as we’ve all been told, and told, and told, ad nausea: THERE ARE ONLY TWO CHOICES! *cough BS cough* wait, where was I? Oh yes, … choose between two candidates:
Sweet Meteor of Death (SMOD) or the new guy on the block, Gravitational Waves.
Albert Einstein knew about gravitational waves 102 years ago and explained this candidate with 10 equations in his Theory of General Relativity.
Just what does the new guy have to offer that is so much better than SMOD? Well, considering his waves travel at the speed of light “stretching and squeezing space as they go” causing ripples in the fabric of space and time and if they collide with matter, BAM! a black hole could be created and good-bye earth as it’s sucked in.
Sounds like SMOD could have some real competition in this race.
Scientists have been hunting for gravitational waves since Einstein first told us about them. According to LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) who published a news release in February 2016 the first gravitational waves were finally detected on September 14, 2015, 100 years after Einstein made his predictions.
“For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.”
These waves carry information, LIGO’s explains, about their origins and about “the nature of gravity that cannot otherwise be obtained.”
These waves are actually created when black holes collide or stars explode.
Stretching and squeezing space as they go.
In the waves detected in 2015 they were able to observe and conclude that 1.3 billion years ago these waves were produced “during the final fraction of a second merger of two black holes to produce a single, more massive spinning black hole,” called a binary black hole, and is something that has only been predicted but not observed until now.
LIGO is a research facility made up of scientists, engineers, and staff from CalTech and MIT and has four distinct facilities around the nation, the two universities and two field detector site facilities, one in Washington and one in Louisiana and collaborates with over 80 scientific institutions around the world.
VIRGO Collaboration “is a gravitational-wave interformeter designed, built and operated by a collaboration made up of 20 laboratories in 6 countries.” LIGO and VIRGO collaborate in gravitational waves detection.
By the end of 2015 LIGO’s two detectors were able to catch a second signal from a second pair of colliding black holes and again for a third time in November 2016 “demonstrating that a new window in astronomy has been firmly opened.”
In September 2017 BBC’s science correspondent Pallab Ghosh reported that VIRGO added a third detector in Italy to the collaboration in addition to LIGO’s two. The need for there to be so much distance between the one in Washington and Louisiana is so there is a “slight difference in the time when each sensed the passing waves” which helped calculate where on the sky the collusion occurred.
“But the area of uncertainty was huge – a region that 3,000 full moons would occupy.” But by adding this third one even further away shrinks that area down to just 300 full moons.
Ghosh goes on to report that VIRGO’s Giovanni Losurdo who leads the detector in Italy said what they’ve discovered with this third detector is a “milestone.”
“The whole enterprise was based, since its start, on a visionary goal: the creation of a network capable of localizing the sources in the sky and to start the era of investigation of the Universe. And finally, after decades, we are there.”
The new collision they detected was picked up on August 14, 2017 and “has two black holes that were approximately 25 and 31 times the mass of our Sun.”
I’d say Gravitational Waves is on the right track with the whole binary thing.
But what happens when waves collide?
Newsweek reported that scientists at Princeton University and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario set out to find that answer also using Einstein’s 10 equations using the numerical solution approach starting with the hypothesis that “if the waves were big enough” could such a collision create a black hole?
Frans Pretorius, a physics professor at Princeton who co-authored the study told New Scientist, “These particles have a lot of energy and produce curvature in space-time, and when the waves collide, that curvature wraps in on itself. Space-time is sort of sucking itself into a black hole.”
Space-time itself getting sucked in a black hole? Gravitational Waves are coming on stronger.
But wait. What’s this?
In May of this year astronomers at the Australian National University say they discovered the “fastest-growing” black hole ever. “It ate up a mass equaling that of the sun’s every two days.” It grew, they say, at a pace of about one percent every one million years … starting twelve billion years ago. They estimate it to be about the size of 20 billion suns and call it a monster that grows every day.
“This black hole is growing so rapidly that it’s shining thousands of times more brightly than an entire galaxy…” and that “if we had this monster sitting at the certre [sic] of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon … and would appear as an incredibly bright pin-point star that would almost wash out all of the starts in the sky.”
And the energy emitted from it, mostly made up of ultraviolet light, would make life here on Earth impossible from all the x-rays.
Hmm, we could have a clear-cut case for the need of a third-party candidate here. The Supermassive Black Hole may just shake this “hole” binary choice on its head.