Saturday, March 12, 2011

Black holes and Revelations

So basically, black holes are giant event horizons where matter, well.. relatively disappears, because light can't escape from its gravitational pull. It peaked my curiosity. How do those black holes intervene in the case that the universe is expanding, and would eventually become so diffuse all the remaining matter would freeze? Will the supermassive black holes at the center of most galaxies eat up the frozen remains until there's no more light and visible matter in the universe, perhaps even the dark matter and whatever's left of the diffuse star stuff Carl Sagan liked to refer to?

The theory wants that our universe is pretty flat. Imagine those huge black holes being the only remnants of the big bang that allowed for billions of light years of cosmic evolution? It's all very fascinating to imagine the end, not of the world, but of time altogether. No more stars in the sky, a generalized event horizon. Now we can't see past 16 billion light years, as the light from the objects that were before that is too diffuse to get to us. Space is expanding, but that fraction of it that emits light, that part of it we can see, is currently estimated to be 4.6%. Now nothing is made, nothing is lost, all is transformed, right? That's the pattern generally observed with regular matter. What about dark energy? Is it a constant or a quintessential force? Similarly, Black Holes were theoretical only a few decades ago, until the effect they have on their surroundings gave them away and showed us their locations in the cosmos. We still can't "see" what's inside a black hole, hence the name. We can't see dark matter either, or the elusive dark energy. I can't help but wonder what the link is.

Perhaps in a decade or two, dark matter and dark energy will have more eloquent names, and their existence and influence will be more widely know, but in the meantime, I can't help but look at both these phenomenons and wonder where this collapsed matter in black holes ends up, and what will be their role in the expansion and possible death of the universe. Maybe the universe will end up contracting, maybe this dark energy is only a wave, and the subsequent void will pull the remaining matter into a cosmic "crunch", like they say. For all we know, gravity does affect this dark substance thing, plus there is no observable epicenter for this "Big Bang", anymore than we can formally pinpoint any horizon line in the cosmic sky. So what exactly are we looking at?

We'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, let's enjoy some related videos. Nothing instructional, unless you wanna learn how to rock the cosmos.

This Mastodon song is magnificent, and plugging quintessence in my speech about black holes was nothing but an excuse to link this. (ok not really, but might as well have been the case.)

On the softer side, I struggled to decide if I was being obvious with Supermassive Black Hole, but I decided to go with another song from Muse's Black Holes and Revelations album, Starlight. The lyrics are a great parallel between the way we behave as humans, just like star clusters and galaxies, sometimes we gravitate towards one another,  we attract and destroy, sometimes we just drift away, and sometimes we blow up and become supermassive black holes, sucking our entourage into our endless mess. I mean just look at Lindsay Lohan! (oh SNAP!)

I like this Porcupine Tree song. Sounds much like a modern Pink Floyd, without the exquisite guitar sound and voice of David Gilmour. And yes, more variation on a theme. :P

I also stumbled upon this short movie on youtube, while searching for more black holes. Seems like this guy found one in his office! INCREDIBLE!!! Hahaha.

Enjoy! ;)


  1. mignon le petit vidéo à la fin! très instructif ton billet d'aujourd'hui, juste un commentaire par contre, l'écriture blanche sur ton fond d'étoiles rend la lecture difficile... Just sayin'

  2. Kin ma belle, c'est mieux comme ca aussi! :) Si je suis instructive aujourd'hui, toi tu es constructive, hihihi, merci!

  3. J'adore les trous noirs et l'astronomie en général, même si les concepts sont souvent trop nébuleux (see what I did there?) pour mon cerveau. Et super le vidéo de la fin, quoique un peu terrifiant. XD,

  4. Haha, that play on word was stellar! (ohhh!) :P