April 30, 2009
Personally, I Blame Dick Cheney

Isn't this a comforting thought:

Hundreds of massive black holes left over from the early universe may wander the Milky Way, according to new calculations.

These rogue black holes are thought to have originally lurked at the centers of tiny, low-mass galaxies. Over billions of years, those dwarf galaxies smashed together to form full-sized galaxies like the Milky Way.

They say the nearest ones will be far away from us, but then they also say: "[The theory] predicts that hundreds of such black holes would still be around today in the outer reaches of the Milky Way, each containing the mass of 1,000 to 100,000 suns."

Which causes me to raise my hand all Horshack-like to note "excuse me, but haven't you astronomers always said we're sitting in the outer reaches?* Sorta bragged about it, even? CURSE YOU, CARL SAGAN!"

* True (apparently) story: When my dad went to his first meeting about the capabilities of the Saturn V**, they said something like, "if a catastrophic explosion should occur, we expect total devastation in an area this large [draws big circle around map]. You, Mr. Johnson, and your assistant will be stationed here [dot inside the circle] during launch."

Dad: "'Scuse me, 'scuse me, sir! You made a mistake there, you put our station inside the circle!"

Mr. Man: "No, I did not make a mistake."

Dad: "..."

Mr. Man: "We don't expect it to explode. To continue..."

** If you don't know, go review the Saturn Follies category.

Posted by scott at April 30, 2009 01:56 PM

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