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black hole rethink

22 October 2015

At http://phys.org/print364634051.html … the recent announcement that an eleven year search had failed to find the gravitational waves from two black holes in the process of merging has provided a bonus – a rethink on black holes.

However, this is not the kind of back to basics rethink but altogether something more like picking and choosing (your favourite blend). Possibilities are that the two black holes did not really merge but missed each other. Another is that Einstein was wrong. Still another is that the two black holes merged extremely quickly and too fast to create the gravitational waves or the rumble in the heavens. Puzzlement reigns.

Astronomers elsewhere say they have caught a black hole shredding a star to pieces – see http://phys.org/print364648303.html … but what actually did they see (as opposed to what they think they saw). It seems a cloud of gas or debris can be seen at the end of a tidal disruption event (a huge blast of light and material from a hypothetical black hole) in a far away galaxy. Tidal eruption events appear to be somewhat similar to cornonal mass eruption events on our |Sun – but these are galactic and originate in the heart of galaxies (the assumed location of black holes). They are extremely powerful and emit an awful lot of x-rays. They surge very quickly followed by an explosion of light that fans out in an arc from the said galaxy. The debris, as it is described in the Nature paper, is ejected beyond the black hole event horizon, which suggest, if nothing else, the black hole spat out its meal rather than munching it as is the theory. Are black holes all they are cracked up to be and rather than swallowing passing cosmic bodies and material, even eating smaller galaxies, may be they are ejecting material and not consuming anything at all. Just a thought.

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