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AVE, LECTOR.

For some reason I am cheerful today.

No, wait, take that back, I have a reason. Never mind.

ALL RIGHT.

This day is going to be PRETTY AWESOME.

Know what else is pretty awesome?

If you said SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES, you are CORRECT!

First (obligatory): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwB8L092ZzU

NOW THAT WE’VE GOTTEN THAT OUT OF THE WAY, let’s talk about the ACTUAL BLACK HOLES.

Where to start?

Well, I suppose at the beginning. We all know how a black hole forms, riiiiiiiiiiiiight?

WELL IN CASE YOU DON’T REMEMBER, I’ll just go over it in brief.

SO.  Stars are pretty impressive as far as longevity, but they don’t last forever.  Far from it.  Now, the smaller stars (like, say, the DAY STAR or “sun,” as some call it,) last longer, relatively speaking.  They live, meh, 10-14 billion years.  Not that impressive.  Even smaller stars than our sun (as in, significantly smaller) can live for the really just ridiculous span of 100 billion years.  Or more.  Yeah.

THE LARGER A STAR IS, the more swiftly it reaches the end of its time span, and the more likely it is to just go nuts as its time runs out.  Most stars–at least, the well-adjusted ones like our DAY STAR–might get a little bloated in their old age, but eventually bow out quietly.

But large stars can just be assholes. 

First this hypothetical star will swell up, beyond its already-considerable size, overextending itself.  Eventually, the weight of the star will become too massive for its fusion output to support, and it will collapse.  It crushes in on itself, smashing all the assorted elements and bits in its core together.  These elements do not like this.

Eventually, the repulsion between the different particles overcomes gravity and blows back out, creating a shockwave that essentially headsplosions the star.  This headsplosion is called a supernova, and if you happen to be a planet anywhere near the star, this will ruin your entire day.

NOW, what happens next VARIES WILDLY, so let’s go over this.

POSSIBLY what’s left of the star will just be a wad of neutrons, which will group together through mutual apathy and form a neutron star.  I already wrote about that a LONG TIME AGO, though, so I will NOT MENTION THOSE AGAIN.

THE OTHER POSSIBILITY IS THE ONE WE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT, because it is SO COOL. 

In this outcome, gravity becomes tired of the star’s bullshit and decides to implode that bastard.  The remaining core of the star is smushed into itself by its own weight, pulling in anything nearby like a cosmic whirlpool.  And inside that mess of contracting star guts, something magical happens.

A point in space reaches infinite mass.  And then we have a black hole.

This black hole has a massive gravitational field stronger than  [YOUR MOM LOL]  pretty much everything.  It sucks in and smashes up light, passing particles, spaceships, wizards, and anything else nearby and broadcasts X-rays to everyone as it does so to let the universe know how badass it is.  Even more than that, the force of that gravitational field actually bends light going past it, just to mess with any astronomers who might have wanted to look at that.

SOMETIMES, when TWO BLACK HOLES LOVE EACH OTHER VERY MUCH pass near to one another, one will eat the other and become ‘larger,’ because a point with infinite mass can totally increase in size.

Like I said, assholes.

BUT I DIGRESS.

When this new, bigger black hole goes about its business, it will have an even larger gravitational field, and it is thus less likely that it will be eaten by another black hole.  This interstellar cannibal then sucks in more holes, progressively adding to itself until it becomes REALLY QUITE REMARKABLY LARGE.

These black holes are not entirely solid objects–some of them can be less like a ‘hole’ and more like ‘a giant puddle of water’ in density and consistency (according to our research).  But for all that they are VERY LARGE, and will just chill in a galaxy, slowly munching on anything that comes by at the right angle.

AND THAT’S a supermassive black hole.

I think you’ll agree that they’re all assholes.  But they’re pretty cool, too.

THAT IS ALL FOR NOW.

Vale, lector.

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2 Comments

  1. Well, I’d better be careful while driving . . . . I wouldn’t want to pass by this “black hole” and get sucked in . . . LOL

  2. I did not forget, I just wasn’t online for a while! : /

    Also, I do not need to click that link to know what it is. xD


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