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Hungry Hungry Hippos…

SkyHarbor, 2013/02/25 

Far-Infrared image of the Galactic Center of the Milky Way

Lurking deep in the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, in the direction of Sagittarius A, is a super-massive black hole, the ‘Eater of All Things’. Out here in the galactic ‘burbs, we’re relatively safe… for now. But when our lovely neighbour galaxy Andromeda comes a-callin’ in a few billion years, all bets are OFF!

The more we look, the more we see these gravitational gargantuans in the centers of galaxies. My guess is we’ll find that these beasts are absolutely intrinsic to galaxy formation. No giant Black Holes – No big galaxies. Just an informed guess.

Here’s a very good PBS/NOVɅ programme on the topic:


NASA: The Black Hole in the Milky Way

Wiki: Andromeda-Milky Way Collision

4 Comments »

  1. Max wrote,

    The center doesn’t look that scary. Kind of cute and playful. Think I’ll just warp over to the vicinity to get a better look… Wait- a second… reverse full impulse! Oh shit.

    Comment on 2013/02/25 @ 1:32 pm

  2. SkyHarbor wrote,

    phfffffft!
    Even if you weren’t sucked in, the high-energy sleet near the center would fry your lily-white ass in seconds!

    Comment on 2013/02/25 @ 2:56 pm

  3. Max wrote,

    Neither snow nor rain nor high-energy sleet near the center of the galaxy stays this space traveler from frying his lily-white ass off in seconds.

    Comment on 2013/02/25 @ 3:19 pm

  4. byronius wrote,

    This supermassive black hole is a character in my screenplay ‘Radical Rules’. The main character uses his forcefield to approach the Beast, just out of curiousity; he doesn’t account for an intelligence that might be able to comprehend and manipulate his forcefield, and nearly becomes one with the Eater before his sexy robotic artificially-intelligent girlfriend twitches reality and boosts them out of harm’s way.

    Whew. That was close.

    THE DORM ROOM DISAPPEARS.
    Ryan is floating in speed-blurred space again. He sits up.
    RYAN
    Gabby?
    GABBY
    Yes?
    RYAN
    I dreamed I was back in the dorm room. And Cynthia was there.
    GABBY
    Really?
    RYAN
    Why’d you stop it?
    GABBY
    Glitch.
    RYAN
    Okay. Well, it was nice. I had a window. Where are we, by the way?
    GABBY
    We’re here. I took the long way around.
    The blurred space slows, and resolves into a startling and brilliant panorama of light and color.
    RYAN
    We’re really here? Galactic Central? Where’s Sagittarius?
    GABBY
    It’s right in front of you.
    Ryan leans forward, and a vast dark spot in the scenery resolves into a haloed, spinning, massive black hole.
    RYAN
    I’m officially freaked out.
    Ryan starts to get up — the camera floats over to him.
    RYAN (CONT’D)
    Thanks. You sure this is safe? Because it’s kind of impossible.
    He takes the camera, turns it on, and begins taking pictures.
    GABBY
    These processors are like warp thirty.
    RYAN
    Just stay out of the event horizon, okay?
    GABBY
    Why? We can go there.
    Gabby moves the field directly toward the black hole at a frightening rate –
    RYAN
    No no no Gabby don’t –
    He is stunned into silence as Gabby breaches the black hole’s event horizon. Brilliantly colored light, chaos, and then — a strange geometry. Ryan glimpses something, bizarre and incredible.
    RYAN (CONT’D)
    I can’t — I can’t –
    A spot of darkness appears in front of the field, shaped like a pointed star — something comes from it towards them –
    The forcefield begins bucking and twisting.
    The laptop is thrown about, Ryan scrambling to secure it –
    RYAN (CONT’D)
    Gabby!
    GABBY
    I’m being — tested — I can’t –
    The contortion of their little bubble increases.
    RYAN
    Gabby get us out of here!
    GABBY
    I can’t! They’re locking me! I’d have to translate us!
    The field begins to elongate, and is pulled like taffy, along with everything else inside of it.
    RYAN
    GABBY! DO IT! DO IT!
    EXT. OUTER SPACE – CONTINUOUS
    AN INVISIBLE SPHERE POPS INTO BEING, filled with floating things — the laptop, Ryan, and everything else.
    Ryan’s eyes are closed — then he gasps, opens them, and takes a giant, panicked breath.
    RYAN
    Oh, Gabby. Are you okay?
    Silence. Then –
    GABBY
    I’m sorry, Ryan.
    RYAN
    There was something there, at the end. I saw something.
    GABBY
    I did, too.
    RYAN
    Where’d we go? Where are we?
    GABBY
    Not sure yet. We just went.
    RYAN
    So –
    GABBY
    We’re lost.

    Comment on 2013/02/25 @ 8:49 pm

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