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[–]PurpleSunCraze 1310 points1311 points  (43 children)

Bonus points to the author for the url, "black-hole-sun".

[–]The_First_Page 200 points201 points  (14 children)

In my eyes! Indisposed! In disguises no one knows..

[–]Skipinator 89 points90 points  (9 children)

Hides the face, lies the snake, and the sun in my disgrace.

[–]Stickitinthetailpipe 45 points46 points  (8 children)

Boiling heat, Summer stench ‘Neath the black the sky looks dead

[–]june_trainwreck 41 points42 points  (7 children)

Call my name through the cream And I'll hear you scream again

[–]ea4x 33 points34 points  (6 children)

Black hole sun, won't you come

And wash away the rain

[–]wish_theyd_done_it 29 points30 points  (5 children)

Black hole sun.

Won't you come.

Won't you come.

won't you come...

[–]fizzler20 138 points139 points  (9 children)

Incidentally it's the one year anniversary of Chris Cornell's suicide. RIP. Still saddens me to the core.

[–]PoisedbutHard 34 points35 points  (5 children)

It saddens me to the core so much, it escapes me.

[–]OsloDaPig 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Won’t you come? And wash away the rain

[–]aphra2 15 points16 points  (5 children)

That music video absolutely terrified me when it came out. I had nightmares about it, and still can’t watch it without feeling uncomfortable.

[–]finelargeaxe 5 points6 points  (3 children)

That music video is not something I would recommend watching while on drugs...

[–]electricp0ww0w 1178 points1179 points  (242 children)

Am I right in saying this actually occured 20 million years ago?

[–]timurleng 1060 points1061 points  (233 children)

Yes, it is 22 million light years away, so the light from this event took 22 million years to reach Earth.

[–]I_am_a_Willennium 334 points335 points  (135 children)

that is insane.

we could get a telescope powerful enough to see a sentient race, then years (many years) later travel there and they could all be evolved/extinct/replaced.

[–]kcirvam 246 points247 points  (122 children)

Yep just like if anything is looking in at us right now it's probably seeing dinosaurs

[–]grephantom 292 points293 points  (111 children)

Most probably "Nothing there, next planet."

That's why life is so hard to detect out there. It's not just a question of where, but when, too.

[–]KesInTheCity 163 points164 points  (80 children)

I literally never thought about it this way. There could - at this moment - be intelligent life somewhere light-years away and we wouldn’t know it because we can’t see it...yet. Right?

[–]Al13n_C0d3R 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Indeed, watching the stars is like reading a book long ago concluded.

[–]corianton 87 points88 points  (65 children)

What does "at this moment" even mean when dealing with such large gaps in spacetime?

If information and causality flow at the speed of light, is it even sensible to talk about simultaneity?

[–]boot2skull 14 points15 points  (4 children)

Think about radio signals. We have radio telescopes that may be able to detect radio or TV signals from other words. But that world would have to develop similar technology at some point in their history. And we would have to point our telescope in that direction at the right time as the signals are passing earth, which at light speed is also affected by distance.l. And if you think about our situation, analog radio has only been around a little over 100 years, analog TV only about 70, and analog TV is about dead. Analog is important because it’s easy to decode. If we could detect analog signals there’s a decent chance we could decode it back into audio or video, or whatever other format it is. However if it’s digital, there is probably compression applied simply because it’s more efficient use of bandwidth. That’s more challenging because you have to decode the compression algorithm too, and with no idea what the original data looks like, who knows how that would turn out. Plus our digital broadcasts may have some kind of encryption or copy protection applied to it, which means now someone has to crack that, with no knowledge of our numeric system to begin with.

So essentially earth has a 100 year window of communications traveling away from the planet that is “easily” decoded. We could assume something similar with other planets that achieve this technology. So really if a planet is 22 million light years away, we have to hope we hit that window when we point a telescope at it to look for signals.

[–]Cryst 12 points13 points  (0 children)

So..ah..you're saything theres a chance!

[–]Doctorpuffandstuff 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Could you imagine aliens attempting to crack coded and encrypted human signals, thinking they were some kind of ancient test or puzzle only to find an episode of Seinfeld?

[–]AnonymousGuy767 100 points101 points  (58 children)

There isn’t a gap in time, there’s just a gap in observation. Stuff is happening all over he universe right now, we just won’t observe it for a while.

[–]3076r 18 points19 points  (1 child)

There could have been intelligent life orbiting a star for a million years that was wiped out right before the photons reached our sights.

[–]chowder138 54 points55 points  (21 children)

This fact is enough to explain Fermi's paradox for me.

Modern humans have existed for, what, 100,000 years? Society has existed for like 8,000. We've been "spacefaring" (if you could even call it that yet) for like 60 years. The universe has existed for 13 trillion billion years.

It is very, very likely that alien races existed in the past and went extinct, or will exist in the future but don't yet. The odds of an alien race existing concurrently in time with humanity and close enough to be detected are very slim.

Edit: I need to proofread my comments.

[–]Zenode 25 points26 points  (1 child)

Slight correction, the universe has existed for 13-14 billion not trillion years

[–]chowder138 32 points33 points  (0 children)

Not slight. Thanks for the correction. Fixed.

[–]datsraycists 11 points12 points  (2 children)

they wouldnt be able to...unless some physics breaking detection method is invented on their part, the lens required to view earth in detail would be light years in diameter and would basically have enough gravity on its own to crush itself into a black hole. maybe an array of lens would work, but the array would be in the 10s of light years across and would basically be limited by the speed of light to begin with when it comes to processing an image. not to mention the gravity well created by such an object, even if its spaced out fairly well

[–]ProfJemBadger 180 points181 points  (27 children)

Just a hair less, due to expansion of space.

[–]no_downside 187 points188 points  (19 children)

Should just a hair more, as with space expanding, it's gonna take longer to cover more space

[–]ProfJemBadger 64 points65 points  (16 children)

I always understood it as less, since as the light leaves, expansion furthers it from its source at a speed greater than c. But I may very well be completely wrong.

Edit: I see what happened. It was my poor wording. I meant the true distance would be slightly less than ly distance due to expansion. I worded it where it seemed opposite. We were both right, I guess.

[–]musthavesoundeffects 30 points31 points  (3 children)

Depends on the Galaxy. If it's something in the local cluster it may be gravitationally bound and not expanded away from us.

[–]topazot 50 points51 points  (47 children)

Holy crap we can observe stars that are that far away? What galaxy even is that?

[–]timurleng 105 points106 points  (28 children)

It says it in the article, galaxy NGC 6946: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_6946

If that blows your mind, read up on the Hubble Deep Field: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Deep_Field

Hubble was able to capture light from galaxies 12 billion light years away.

See also the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Ultra-Deep_Field which captured galaxies over 13 billion light years away, which is just about as far as you can go given the size and age of the universe.

[–]WikiTextBot 76 points77 points  (4 children)

NGC 6946

NGC 6946 is a face-on intermediate spiral galaxy with a small bright nucleus, whose location in the sky straddles the boundary between the northern constellations of Cepheus and Cygnus. Its distance from Earth is about 22.5 million light-years or 6.8 megaparsecs, similar to the distance of M101 (NGC 5457) in the constellation Ursa Major. Both were once considered to be part of the Local Group. but are now known to be among the dozen bright spiral galaxies near the Milky Way but beyond the confines of the Local Group.


Hubble Deep Field

The Hubble Deep Field (HDF) is an image of a small region in the constellation Ursa Major, constructed from a series of observations by the Hubble Space Telescope. It covers an area about 2.6 arcminutes on a side, about one 24-millionth of the whole sky, which is equivalent in angular size to a tennis ball at a distance of 100 metres. The image was assembled from 342 separate exposures taken with the Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 over ten consecutive days between December 18 and December 28, 1995.

The field is so small that only a few foreground stars in the Milky Way lie within it; thus, almost all of the 3,000 objects in the image are galaxies, some of which are among the youngest and most distant known.


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[–]aaeko 36 points37 points  (2 children)

6.8 megaparsecs

That's like 566,666 Kessel runs for the millenium falcon.

[–]robosnusnu 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Hubble was able to capture light from galaxies 12 billion light years away.

Only when reading about space does my jaw drop as much as it did just now!

[–]RaynSideways 13 points14 points  (0 children)

We can observe things billions of light-years away. It's just a matter of how long the light took to get here and if we have equipment powerful enough to detect it among all the rest of the light "noise" in the universe.

[–]svarogteuse 20 points21 points  (8 children)

You can see the Andromeda galaxy with your naked eye, its 2 million light years away. Sure this is 10x further but we are using a pretty decent telescope. Things just get fainter the further they are (and red shifted). With sensitive enough camera technology you just have to stare at them long enough to pick up a photon eventually.

[–]Rodot 4 points5 points  (0 children)

And that's only because it's close. Things father away can be further from us than the light travel time because of the expansion of spacetime

[–]Nuggetry 7 points8 points  (1 child)

It's crazy to think that an advanced civilization could be observing us "right now", but wouldn't receive the images for possibly millions of years. Maybe long after civilization collapses, aliens will arrive and say "shit, we're late.

[–]v0xmach1ne 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Or maybe they already came, a very long time ago, and there was nothing here of interest.

[–]butbutmuhrussia 219 points220 points  (95 children)

Say you've got a star in a really big box. You've got two versions of the box. Version #1 contains the star before it collapses, and version #2 contains the collapsed version--the black hole. Both boxes contain the same amount of matter. Do both boxes have the same gravitational pull? Or does the crazy density of the black hole have some effect?

[–]SmileItsCloudy 262 points263 points  (77 children)

They both have the same gravitational pull. If the sun were replaced right now with a black hole of the same mass, the earth's orbit would be entirely unaffected. Look up Gauss's law if you're interested.

[–]opalescex 178 points179 points  (62 children)

except we wouldn't have any light and we'd all starve

[–]Kahandran 248 points249 points  (37 children)

Not everyone would starve. Some people would freeze first!

[–]exosequitur 100 points101 points  (13 children)

A lot of people would die in the riots after the failed sunrise. The ones on the day side would all be dead from the x-rays and gamma rays from black hole formation, probably.

But that's OK, because the ones that lived would have new flat-screens and lots of canned food.

[–]thegovwantsussubdued 21 points22 points  (11 children)

I mean, wouldn't it be instantaneous? Or rather 8 minutes (or whatever length of time it takes sunlight travel). The parts of the world still in daylight would go dark, and the moon would cease to shine in the rest of the world.

[–]exosequitur 28 points29 points  (10 children)

True, but the people on "went dark" side would mostly be dead. The moon going out would be pretty damn intense tho

[–]TheLastOne0001 25 points26 points  (15 children)

We could probably go a few decades before it becomes too cold for life and a few centuries of air before it all freezes. We could build underground colonies powered by reactors, geothermal, or even fossil fuels. We have the tech right now to survive the sun disappearing but the biosphere would be fucked. It would be like building a base on the moon except we don't have to worry about oxygen, rockets, radiation, transportation thru space, ect.

[–]ThoiletParty 45 points46 points  (8 children)

Some deep sea lifeforms would survive near hidrothermal vents, even after thick ice sheets covered the oceans.

[–]merikariu 22 points23 points  (0 children)

There's the silver lining I was looking for!

[–]pliney_ 10 points11 points  (0 children)

True but the Earth wouldn't care. It would keep on going around what used to be the sun for billions of years.

[–]bigwillyb123 15 points16 points  (10 children)

We could figure it out. Not all of us, but a lot of us would probably survive for at least a couple generations. Geothermal power or something.

[–]TSammyD 42 points43 points  (7 children)

Thinking through what would happen in that situation is kinda nuts. It wouldn’t be a traditional ice age, because even that had the sun to evaporate the oceans. With the sun just extinguished, we’d have the oceans freeze before we could get enough snow inland to make new glaciers. Submarines (nuclear at least), would weather this fairly well as they have stockpiles and free energy, but would get stuck in the ice. Heat exchangers may fail by getting clogged with ice. There would be no differentiation between the poles and the tropics. Eventually, our atmosphere would chill into a liquid.

Damn, that shit’s dark.

[–]WikiTextBot 27 points28 points  (3 children)

Gauss's law for gravity

In physics, Gauss's law for gravity, also known as Gauss's flux theorem for gravity, is a law of physics that is essentially equivalent to Newton's law of universal gravitation. It is named after Carl Friedrich Gauss. Although Gauss's law for gravity is equivalent to Newton's law, there are many situations where Gauss's law for gravity offers a more convenient and simple way to do a calculation than Newton's law.

The form of Gauss's law for gravity is mathematically similar to Gauss's law for electrostatics, one of Maxwell's equations.


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[–]WintersTablet 12 points13 points  (0 children)

AND we wouldn't even know about it for 8 minutes.

[–]codepoet 32 points33 points  (0 children)

The supernova sheds some mass, to start. However what is left would have a similar gravitational pull, but with a significantly reduced diameter. It’s all about density.

[–]jorbleshi_kadeshi 6 points7 points  (0 children)

As the other guy said, density is the only thing that changes.

To rephrase your question, you asked "if I take two objects of the same mass and position my measuring device the same distance away from each of them them (the standard sized box), do they have the same gravitational pull?"

And the answer to that is yes. The Law of Universal Gravitation doesn't care about the density of the objects. What matters is the masses involved and the distance (r) to the center of gravity (which you standardized by putting them in a box).

[–]D0TheMath 14 points15 points  (7 children)

The equation of the gravitational pull of two objects is:

F = G(m_1 + m_2)/r2 F = G(m_1 * m_2)/r2

Where m_1 and m_2 are the masses of the two objects, and r is the difference between the center of masses of the two objects, and G is the gravitational constant.

Because in your scenario both boxes contain the same math mass, they would both use the same equation to get the force of one object and another due to gravity.

The difference between your two objects is the density. If you were able to stand on the black hole, you would experience a greater force of gravity than if you stood on the star. This is because the distance between your center of mass and the object’s would be less on the black hole than on the star.

[–]PhillyFreezer_ 1437 points1438 points  (299 children)

These so-called "massive fails" (seriously) are thought to occur when the core of a star is so massive the exploding shell of gas cannot escape, and instead collapses back in on itself

I'm sorry, but isn't this just what a black hole is? This star was so dense it just collapsed into itself creating a black hole. Is that not how all black holes are created?

[–]Aethelric 1816 points1817 points  (259 children)

In a traditional supernova, the explosion at the end of fusion sends a large shell and a huge amount of energy out in every direction and creates a beautiful nebula while a central core remains; this core, if large enough, forms a neutron star or black hole. This is what we're used to seeing, and what we believe feeds our universe with the heavier elements needed to construct rocky planets like ours.

These stars are even larger than that: the mass of the star is great enough that not even the energy of a supernova can allow a shell of matter to escape. Instead, a much larger black hole than usual immediately begins to form as the star collapses back inward.

[–]Reverie_39 982 points983 points  (195 children)

That’s incredible. Their gravity is so strong that even the ridiculous power of a supernova can’t fling matter away from them? I can’t even wrap my mind around it.

[–]browsingnewisweird 364 points365 points  (125 children)

Small distinction here-- the supernova isn't an explosion per se the way you might imagine a firecracker popping. When fusion starts to fail and the outward pressure it provides can no longer support the mass of the star, gravity takes over and the material falls inward and impacts the core, bouncing off. The bounced material is your supernova explosion and the compressive impact often results in the core becoming a neutron star or black hole. In these, there's so much material it collapses directly into a blackhole strong enough to contain the bounce as well.

[–]Reverie_39 88 points89 points  (116 children)

I see. What makes the bouncing so forceful? I assume stars aren’t very “elastic”, so what makes incoming material bounce off instead of impact and get absorbed (mostly) like a meteor on a planet?

[–]spudohan 343 points344 points  (79 children)

The bouncing is so forceful because there's a solid core of Iron in the center of the star.

Here I drew a picture.

https://i.imgur.com/ZsYnxDr.png

[–]forengjeng 86 points87 points  (6 children)

Surprisingly good picture. Well done

[–]ratbrainfliesplane 73 points74 points  (5 children)

It really shows the "graity" of the sitution.

[–]MrStructuralEngineer 41 points42 points  (3 children)

I thought you misread “gravi” at first. Then realized he mispelled it the first time, and shortened it the second time.

[–]saysthingsbackwards 5 points6 points  (2 children)

I think the official term is Graviolis

[–]tje210 23 points24 points  (27 children)

2nd picture... Empty space? How big is that? I mean, iron core, inward pressure from gravity... Intuitively I can't think of where any empty space would come from. Or is that the state right at the moment fusion stops occurring?

[–]spudohan 35 points36 points  (25 children)

Empty space? How big is that?

The size depends on how big the star was, but this is a depiction of any core collapse super nova.

Intuitively I can't think of where any empty space would come from.

The iron core that forms is much much much colder and denser than the fusing plasma that was there before. Think how colder things contract, so this iron core is much much more compact than the super hot plasma that was there before.

[–]you_sir_are_a_poopy 18 points19 points  (17 children)

Now that is an interesting thought.

How quickly does it go from plasma to iron? Is it very rapid or sorta slow (not very scientific terminology but I'm sure you know what I mean).

[–]spudohan 42 points43 points  (16 children)

From the time the first iron atom is created in the core to super nova is estimated to be seconds, even less, depending on the star.

[–]Lost_Llama 6 points7 points  (3 children)

What is the timescale involved in the collapse and cooling of the iron core?

[–]spudohan 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Fractions of a second. The core isn't cold by our everyday standards, it's in the center of a star, so it's hot, but not hot like a fusing plasma.

[–]datenwolf 21 points22 points  (3 children)

There one key ingredient missing from your picture. If it was merely an elastic bounce the energy released would be "just" the gravitational binding energy of the star's mass. While quite a freaking huge amount of energy, that would just be enough energy to lift the stars matter back to the height it originally came from (if nothing was dissipated as heat). Conservation of energy, yada yada.

However when the star's matter "bounces" this happens at tremendous pressure (after all it's pressing the core into neutron star or even black hole) and densities, i.e. temperatures. We're talking literally known-physics-borderline pressures and temperatures here, just a little further lie singularities. Practically every atom nucleus in "bounce region" will undergo fusion, at least one time. And for every element lighter than iron fusion is an exothermic process. It's this rapid fusion process which released the humungous energies of a supernova.

It's hard to wrap one's mind around supernovae. Now matter how violoent, big and extreme you think they are, you're like underestimating them by serveral orders of magnitude. Relevant What-If: https://what-if.xkcd.com/73/

[–]rafitoxD 32 points33 points  (0 children)

I clicked it expecting Peyton Manning lmao. Really easier to understand with the drawing, thanks.

[–]royprins 4 points5 points  (3 children)

Oxygen and Carbon are also fusion products in significant amounts?

[–]spudohan 4 points5 points  (1 child)

So it depends on the size of the star, but I drew them in because a star that's capable of fusing into iron will have already gone H -> He -> Li -> C -> .... -> Fe. So those elements will be floating around in there.

[–]pintoburnvictim 34 points35 points  (2 children)

Brain Greene does a fantastic demo here.

https://youtu.be/75szwX09pg8

Edit: I'm gonna leave that typo alone.

[–]dorkish 40 points41 points  (12 children)

The same way a hammer bounces back when it strikes a piece of metal. Neither are particularly "bouncy", but there's going to be a rebound from the initial strike

[–]CaucusInferredBulk 14 points15 points  (6 children)

But they bounce far enough away that gravity doesn't pull it back in. That seems like more than just bounce energy.

[–]beerbeforebadgers 11 points12 points  (1 child)

In this case, "bounce energy" includes immense amounts of heat and pressure. It's a bit like overstraining a hydraulic system: compression until critical failure, usually resulting in a ton of fluid and metal flying everywhere (except instead of fluid and metal, it's superheated gas and probably other shit I don't know about)

Edit: removed mystery 'no'

[–]Mizzet 6 points7 points  (4 children)

If they're falling in due to gravity, how can it rebound to a further point (and then some, considering this is a supernova we're talking about) from where it was before falling in? I'm just curious where the extra energy is coming from.

[–]Onithyr 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I wanted to find a video of a stacked ball drop to explain the effect, and ended up finding a video that directly relates the phenomenon to a supernova.

Basically, the momentum from a much larger mass is transferred to a smaller mass translating into an extremely high velocity.

[–]VonFluffington 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Not everything that isn't the core rebounds enough to break gravity. The most outer layers are what's blowing off. The stuff that isn't pushed out of the pull gets to be part of the neutron star/black hole.

[–]FeignedResilience 11 points12 points  (3 children)

Those would be the forces that normally keep particles from being in the same place at the same time. Pauli's Exclusion Principle and Neutron Degeneracy Pressure are two of them; there may be others I can't remember. They are obscenely powerful, much more powerful than electromagnetism, which is the thing that keeps you from falling through the floor or walking through walls. They aren't infinitely powerful though; they are the last thing to resist the pull of gravity during a star's collapse, and if they are overcome, there's no longer a limit to how compact the star can get, and a black hole forms.

In most cases, the region where gravity beats everything is tiny compared to the star's volume just before this final collapse, so anything outside a certain radius from the center will not be able to compact enough to fall into the black hole (remember, the new black hole doesn't have stronger gravity than the core matter that formed it, it just fits in a smaller(!) space). It certainly makes the effort though; it's experiencing somewhere around 7 billion km/s2 of gravitational acceleration (about 750 billion gees).

So, as the core implodes to a point, the rest tries to fall inward too, at a significant fraction of the speed of light. But since it's outside the region where gravity overcomes those forces mentioned, it reaches a limit to its compaction, like two people trying to walk through a door in the same direction at the same time, bouncing off each other and the door frame. Except this is several solar masses worth of material falling inward at relativistic speeds. When it hits that limit, it bounces hard.

This star is unusual in that it was massive enough that ALL of it could collapse into a black hole.

Can someone verify that I did the math right? I calculated gravitational acceleration with a central mass of 2 solar masses (the lower limit for a black hole) at 6 km (the Chandrasekhar Limit Schwarzchild radius). The escape velocity was just below c, so that checks out, but I'm not used to seeing or even thinking about accelerations > 24000 c/s2 . What does that even look like for a particle with non-zero mass? Or one with zero mass too, for that matter?

[–]Ebola-Senpaii 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Think of shooting a metal bb gun at a brick wall. Neither the bb nor the wall are elastic, but the bb bounces off just the same. In a supernova, the atoms of the star are the bbs and the core is the brick wall.

[–]hydraSlav 8 points9 points  (0 children)

like a meteor on a planet?

Both the meteor and the planet are rather soft (think about throwing a basketball into sand), cause their materials are not as compacted as the atoms in a star.

Also, this:

https://youtu.be/2UHS883_P60?t=1m55s

[–]YesMeans_MutualRape 13 points14 points  (3 children)

That's whats going on in the sun constantly. The nuclear explosions want to blast out into the solar system but the sun's core is so massive that it holds everything in a tight fireball. A constant battle of forces keeping perfect balance...for now.

[–]Wolphoenix 11 points12 points  (1 child)

perfectly balanced, as all things should be

[–]RaynSideways 86 points87 points  (0 children)

To put this in simple terms:

Normal black holes: huge explosion forms pretty nebula, remains of the star collapse into a black hole

This black hole: huge explosion; star is so huge that the black hole forms immediately, black hole eats the explosion, no nebula left.

[–]PsychoMantis616 20 points21 points  (2 children)

Honest question here. What's the mass of the star in order for it to have a so-called "Massive fail"??? I heard that a star over 8 times the mass of the star creates a hypernova and a black hole. And could you give some examples of stars that could possibly end up as a massive fail???

[–]DoritoTangySpeedBall 8 points9 points  (1 child)

So I think around 10-30% of massive stars with a mass of more than 14 solar masses experience this. Very massive stars(>30 solar mass) do indeed result in a hypernova explosion sometimes, which are usually accompanied by gamma ray bursts, which is an explosion where over a few seconds more energy is released than our sun will output in its lifetime! I think in 2009 there was a star that experienced a failed supernovae, but I forgot the details so you might want to research that yourself:)

[–]BayouCountry 6 points7 points  (7 children)

Is the latter what they call a supermassive black hole?

[–]Aethelric 35 points36 points  (6 children)

No, this black hole is much too small still. A supermassive black hole is much, much bigger, and typically only found at the center of galaxies.

[–]d3rian 9 points10 points  (4 children)

Do we know what causes supermassive black holes then? Is it just even larger supernovas?

[–]vitringur 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Multiple generations of black holes merging.

[–]combatchuck 10 points11 points  (2 children)

My guess is that black holes merge until eventually one is the biggest. I'm imagining something similar to water droplets on a hydrophobic surface.

[–]thetapatioman 10 points11 points  (1 child)

So basically agar.io but on a galactic scale..? Wild.

[–]woeeij 4 points5 points  (12 children)

So does that mean the star doesn't produce "solar wind" (I think that's what it's called) the way our sun does? If the supernova can't escape, then pretty much only light is escaping the star when it's that massive?

[–]neurilax 7 points8 points  (11 children)

The star is a normal star until it runs out of fuel for its fusion. So I assume it would generate solar wind and do everything else stars do.

[–]Godmadius 24 points25 points  (4 children)

This is slightly different, but I can see where you are getting confused.

Not every supernova becomes a black hole, quite a few leave behind a neutron star.

Even a supernova that creates a black hole usually explodes with such force that the resulting black hole isn't massive enough to immediately swallow up all the remnant gasses from the explosion.

It sounds like in this instance, the core of the star was so massive that the resulting black hole was large enough to pull the rebounding gasses back in. Had this been a 2-3 stellar mass situation, the black hole wouldn't have been able to influence the gas enough to completely clear it out in just a few years.

Edit: good video on them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-P5IFTqB98

[–]Elin_Woods_9iron 65 points66 points  (11 children)

Nope! Most black holes are created when a star at least 14 times as large as the sun (if my memory serves me correctly) goes super or hypernova and a stellar remnant (neutron star) eventually collapses under its own gravitation. In this case, the star completely skipped the supernova phase because it was so massive.

[–]cryo 11 points12 points  (0 children)

and a stellar remnant (neutron star) eventually collapses under its own gravitation.

Generally they will do so immediately, without the neutron star phase, when the star is big enough.

[–]Laquox 12 points13 points  (7 children)

Your typical supernova is when the star expands to the point it sheds it's outer layers and then it "explodes". The left over core some times can be so massive it implodes (technically there isn't enough energy to stop gravity but implode works for the idea) and creates a blackhole. This star's core was so dense that it went from supernova expansion directly to black hole instead of the added step.

*This is highly simplified but it gives you the basic idea.

[–]PIP_SHORT 37 points38 points  (0 children)

Well that makes my massive fails seem insignificant in comparison. Thanks supernova bro!

[–]chestermalone826 13 points14 points  (7 children)

Are we also seeing an improvement in the imaging technology over that 8yrs?

Or am I imagining a quality difference?

[–]moseythepirate 16 points17 points  (0 children)

You're correct.

The two images were made with different instruments. See the codes on the upper left? The one on top is the object observed. The code on bottom is the instrument used to take the observation.

The instrument for the right image is the Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed via the space shuttle in 2009.

[–]LOLZatMyLife 15 points16 points  (4 children)

I really wish I could witness something like that within a safe distance and watch it in real time

[–]newtbingrich 12 points13 points  (2 children)

Well, 22 million light years does constitute a safe distance if you ask me!

[–]klepie 69 points70 points  (10 children)

Aw that's so sad. The little star in its dying throes tried its hardest to become something beautiful, but it didn't succeed. :(

[–]xtheory 49 points50 points  (3 children)

It still became a beautiful mystery that we have yet to fully learn about. So there is still that. :)

[–]SalesyMcSellerson 12 points13 points  (2 children)

I'd rather be on the Discovery channel than on AE's unsolved mysteries. Just saying...

[–]LordDagwood 16 points17 points  (0 children)

It was under too much pressure.

[–]bigbadooga 8 points9 points  (0 children)

So how big is this star that collapsed, relative to the sun? Is this like Sirus A big, or like VY Canis Majoris level massive?

EDIT: I'm asking as, Sirus A is 109 times wider then the sun, and VY Canis Majoris is 2,600 times that of our sun. How big would that star be to collapse like it did?

[–]Imperator-Solis 6 points7 points  (8 children)

How large would a star have to be to collapse into a black hole before the end of its lifecycle?

[–]MarxIzalias 5 points6 points  (0 children)

How a black-hole event occurs.

You have a massive object, which is relatively dense.

Once it reaches a certain density, the atoms in the core are so compacted that some of them are forced to lose their volumetric properties and collapses to a much more compact and stable form.

Normally two atoms are held at a distance by a variety of electron shell interactions but the denser material, we'll call it Blackholeium lacks this interaction.

An atom can come a lot closer to the Blackholeium alloy than other atoms because the Blackholeium lacks the repulsion that we depend on to keep us from falling through surfaces and at that distance, the gravitational effects are enough to overcome the next atom's repulsive field so the next atom quickly alloys with the Blackholeium to make even more of the substance.

On the outside, the gravitation remains the same, meanwhile, in the core, the Blackholeium alloy is rolling around, hollowing out the mass of the star until one day, the hollowed out giant silently collapses and goes dark leaving a silent but deadly object floating through space, orbited by it's celestial objects.

It has the same gravitation as before, the same matter, but if you get to close to the point of no return, your matter may end up as Blackholeium alloy too.

Even if a small amount of blackholeium alloy fell to earth, it would punch a hole through the crust and fall to the core where it would gather material, hollowing out the Earth until the crust gives way killing all life on earth.

[–]Arquebus12 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Not an astronomer, nor do I play one on TV... not even in a sitcom...

Understanding that the two picture were taken 8 years apart, because Hubble didn't spend that time focused on one event, and was in fact focusing on other goings on, the article mentions the collapse occurring within "an instant".

On a day to day human timeline, how long would it actually take for such an event to occur? How long would it take a very large and bright star in it's death throes, threatening to go supernova, to actually collapse into a singularity? Years? Days? Minutes? Milliseconds? Or is the article being arbitrary, in that 8 years is an actual instant on a galactic scale?