Sci/Tech International study suggests a massive black hole exists in the Sword of Orion

tom_mai78101

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(Phys.org)—An international team of astrophysicists, including UQ's Dr Holger Baumgardt, has shed light on the long-standing mystery of the binding force behind a cluster of unruly and rapidly swirling stars located in the famous Sword of Orion.

Using sophisticated computer modelling programs, the team found these fast-moving stars, visible in the night sky and known as the Orion Nebula Cluster, were potentially held together through the powerful gravitational pull of a black hole up to 200 times the mass of the sun. Formed one or two million years ago, the Orion Nebula Cluster has long been known for its strange properties.

The stars in the cluster move at a rapid speed, as if the whole cluster was flying apart. Compared to the number of low-mass (light-weight) stars that can be seen in the cluster, the number of high-mass (heavy-weight) stars are too few and especially rapidly-moving. "These properties have been a puzzle to astronomers, given all the knowledge that they have about how stars are formed and distributed," Dr Baumgardt, of UQ's School of Mathematics and Physics, said.

 
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Nyph

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"massive black hole". I wanna see a non-massive black hole.
 

Varine

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"massive black hole". I wanna see a non-massive black hole.
Most of them, probably. They aren't very big until they have absorbed like a significant portion of a galaxy.
 

Nyph

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Most of them, probably. They aren't very big until they have absorbed like a significant portion of a galaxy.
Even the smaller ones are still way heavier than pretty much anything else, though.
 

Varine

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Even the smaller ones are still way heavier than pretty much anything else, though.
Just because it has a lot of mass doesn't make it big. I mean technically yeah, massive means a lot of mass, but typically that's because of a large volume. People think of large volumes man! No one's like "Hey man look at that massive rock," and end up talking about a littler rock that is a lot denser so is heavier. They talk about the big rock. That analogy sucks I know...
 

Nyph

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Just because it has a lot of mass doesn't make it big. I mean technically yeah, massive means a lot of mass, but typically that's because of a large volume. People think of large volumes man! No one's like "Hey man look at that massive rock," and end up talking about a littler rock that is a lot denser so is heavier. They talk about the big rock. That analogy sucks I know...
Well then really "big" black holes are actually tiny. Singularities really aren't big on volume...
 

iPeez

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For all we know we are inside the smallest black hole in the universe :eek:
 

Nyph

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Event horizons are.
No they aren't... A star is many orders of magnitude bigger than the event horizon of a black hole. Cygnus X-1's event horizon radius is only a predicted ~26km.
 

Varine

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I didn't say they were bigger than stars. I said they were bigger than singularity.
 

Nyph

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I didn't say they were bigger than stars. I said they were bigger than singularity.
Well, event horizons are just the radius at which the escape velocity becomes greater than the speed of light, it really doesn't have anything to do with the actual size of the black hole. Defining the size of the black hole as the size of the event horizon seems pretty arbitrary. Plus 26km is definitely not big here.
 

Fatmankev

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Judgin' by what the article says, this mass hole would be about 1/10 of the radius of the Earth. Definitely big. Totally massive on a terrestrial scale, not so much on the astronomical scale. But Supermassive-classed black holes can be up to 1,495,978,707km in radius according to Wikipedia, which is, by about anyone's count, pretty fuckin' massive.

And I looked around for about 15 minutes, and everything I saw measured the radius of a black hole by the bounds of its event horizon, so I'd say that sounds about right.
 

FireCat

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doesn't control the budget for research.
Just where do you think that money comes from? Well, If you're lucky, you will at least survive longer. NO no?

o_O So you believe in black hole now? @Varine eh?
 

Varine

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Well, event horizons are just the radius at which the escape velocity becomes greater than the speed of light, it really doesn't have anything to do with the actual size of the black hole. Defining the size of the black hole as the size of the event horizon seems pretty arbitrary. Plus 26km is definitely not big here.
The event horizon IS the black hole... it's a very big part of the black hole.
 
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