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Magnetic Reconnection and Black Holes

5 February 2022

At https://phys.org/news/2022-02-supermassive-black-hole-flares-simulations… … black holes, it seems, aren't always dark places, or invisible. Astronomers have seen intense light shows, or flares. Using computer simulation physicists now say energy released near a black hole's event horizon is powered by 'reconnection of magnetic field lines.' In other words, they are drawing a parallel, of sorts, with magnetic reconnection events that occur when there are big bursts of solar plasma erupting from our Sun. Why the change in thinking? It seems it is all down to a change in what is inserted into the computer, affecting what comes out of the other end. One is left wondering if it still requires a black hole.

A black hole, we are told, emits no light. So flares must originate at the black hole's event horizon. This is the boundary where its gravitational pull becomes so strong that not even light can escape. We are then informed that orbiting and infalling material surrounds the black hole in the form of an accretion disk [see earlier post on the subject]. At the north and south poles of black holes jets of particles shoot out into space – at nearly the speed of light. Black holes bend time, and space, and they are surrounded by powerful magnetic fields, radiation, and turbulent plasma. They then declare that the supercomputer used in this instance was more powerful than earlier supercomputers that were used to simulate black hole dynamics, as if power = a computer brain, when in effect it is what is put into the computer programme, that influences what comes out of the other end. Computers can't think or deduce. They number crunch. We are told they have a higher resolution factor than earlier attempts, when all computers are doing is assessing input – not deciding how black holes work. It is fairly evident that what has changed is the input, and the inclusion of magnetic reconnection, plasma, and other new findings. Different input different results. Not so much to do with resolution – although they no doubt had to justify the use of the bigger computer. A bigger range of info for the computer to analyse. In fact, the link provides the change of mind in detail. Instead of the black hole absorbing magnetic field lines as it attracted material into the core, or hole, as in earlier computer simulations, they added the possibility that the flare itself was a magnetic field line emitted from the black hole, or rather, the event horizon. A clear change of thinking had occurred which was then processed into the supercomputer in order to see how it fared, and hey presto. The computer assessed the information and regurgitated the more likely scenario – a flare. Not an eating session.

At https://phys.org/news/2022-02-earth.html … another piece of modeling wizardry. Apparently, a massive influx of interstellar water in the nascent solar system. Water was there prior to the accretion of the first constituent blocks of our planet.

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