Galactic Gas Cloud Could Help Spot Hidden Black Holes

The heart of our Milky Way galaxy is an exotic place. It’s swarming with gigantic stars, showered by lethal blasts of high-energy radiation and a veritable cul-de-sac for the most enigmatic stellar corpses known to science: black holes. And at the center of the whole mélange is the granddaddy of all the black holes in the galaxy — Sagittarius A, a supermassive monster with 4 million times more mass than the Sun packed into an area smaller than the orbit of Mercury.

Sgr A* dominates the core of the Milky Way with its powerful gravity, trapping giant stars into breakneck orbits and actively feeding on anything that comes close enough. Recently astronomers have been watching the movement of a large cloud of gas that’s caught in the pull of Sgr A* — they’re eager to see what exactly will happen once the cloud (designated G2) enters the black hole’s dining room… it will, in essence, be the first time anyone watches a black hole eat.

But before the dinner bell rings — estimated to be sometime this September — the cloud still has to cover a lot of space. Some scientists are now suggesting that G2′s trip through the crowded galactic nucleus could highlight the locations of other smaller black holes in the area, revealing their hiding places as it passes.

In a new paper titled “G2 can Illuminate the Black Hole Population near the Galactic Center” researchers from Columbia University in New York City and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts propose that G2, a cloud of cool ionized gas over three times more massive than Earth, will likely encounter both neutron stars and other black holes on its way around (and/or into) SMBH Sgr A*.

The team notes that there are estimated to be around 20,000 stellar-mass black holes and about as many neutron stars in the central parsec of the galaxy. (A parsec is equal to 3.26 light-years, or 30.9 trillion km. In astronomical scale it’s just over ¾ the way to the nearest star from the Sun.) In addition there may also be an unknown number of intermediate-mass black holes lurking within the same area.



Visible/infrared comparison views of the newly discovered globular cluster VVV CL001

This picture shows a comparison of the view of the newly discovered globular cluster VVV CL001 in visible (upper) and infrared light (lower). The infrared view, from the VISTA telescope, shows the new cluster very clearly for the first time and allows many of the component stars to be studied. The visible-light version was created from photographs taken through blue, red and infrared filters and forming part of the Digitized Sky Survey 2. The better-known and brighter globular cluster UKS 1 appears on the right.


ESO/D. Minniti/VVV Team and Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin
Comparing Supreme Ultimate Diagrams

Contrasting two models of consciousness: The Multisense Realism model above uses an Absolute view, which accounts for all known phenomena, subjective and objective. Postulating a root “Qua” (aka, the Absolute, Totality) from which qualia are divided through quanta, quanta is conceived of as a constraint on Qua, a partition within it. Qua is sense capacity or presence, and so Quanta is the diminished reflection of that capacity…non-sense, entropy, uncertainty, and an expectation of absence. I am trying to show this as the horizontal arrows between qualia, indicating that quanta is nothing more than a kind of negotiation protocol which allows qualia to coexist in the same public space while retaining their private integrity. This is a complete reversal of the Western view, which features Quanta in the role of Qua, as the arithmetic-logical source of all phenomena.

On the left side of the diagram, there is a very general sketch of how Qua recovers itself ‘with interest’ as a qualitative enhancement - a consequence of having reunited on the other side of entropy-disorientation. On a human level, our experience yields a net human significance. Civilization is the residue left behind, a collective perceptual inertial of technology which echoes the individual’s narrative journey of exposure to the exteriorized spaces and the celebrated return home. Significance is literally a promiscuity of association among qualia, a depth of feeling and meaning which compels participation. My view is that this principle motivates on many, if not every level of the cosmos, and is not limited to human beings or animals (even though arguably significance is exponentially more…significant for human beings, at least in our own eyes).

The Western view is a local rather than Absolute view. It does not account for sense or order itself, rather it begins from the assumption of physical matter and works backward to primitive mathematical functions. There are question marks included on the links which seem poorly understood or unjustified by the model as a whole. These include:

Why does geometry exist? I propose this as the Death of Computationalism. Along with the lack of support for Real numbers in computation, the universe or multiverse as a Turing emulation fails to account for the existence of forms like lines, circles, angles, etc. We know from our own computing and calculating devices that it is not necessary to physically draw a triangle in order to approximate correct computations about numbers which could correspond to triangular coordinates, so it really doesn’t make sense that any cosmic computation could or would invent geometric presentations of any kind. We don’t even need to get into questions of qualia, because computationalism fails to explain any sort of aesthetic forms to embody its functions. Mathematics is disembodied and anesthetic, and it works perfectly that way - no need for any strange magical fanfare.

Why do mathematical relations and laws give rise to physics? It’s all very well to have forms and functions mingle with each other as articulate mechanisms, but why should they 'materialize’ as space-time, matter and energy?

The question of why consciousness exists when it does not appear to have any particular advantage over unconscious mechanism is a mystery. It is very difficult not to smuggle in our own retrospective view of consciousness as having enormous utility for our survival, but this is in no way an endorsement from the prospective view. If our immune system can orchestrate phenomenally complex responses to pathogens without a conscious experience attached to it, then why would a hominid’s humdrum quest for sustenance and reproduction lend itself to such an absurdly ornate aesthetic phenomenon? Indeed, if evolution can make a human brain, with all the trimmings, using unconscious methods, surely the operation of that brain would be better suited to that tried and true option.

The final question mark is related, but not identical. Even if you have consciousness as an option for some reason, and that option works better for humans than turtles or clouds of methane for some reason, why should such a phenomenon as consciousness produce feelings which are other than a record of the physical events which they represent? Why should there be different kinds of sensory experiences when all logical functions can be reduced more effectively to a single binary format of data processing? This alternative to reality is cast aside from the Western view, but what metaphysical never-never land is it cast to? How did we get outside of the real universe and into an 'illusion’?

Slightly smaller than the Moon, Europa is primarily made of silicate rock and probably has an iron core. It has a tenuous atmosphere composed primarily of oxygen. Its surface is composed of water ice and is one of the smoothest in the Solar System. This surface is striated by cracks and streaks, where as craters are relatively rare. The apparent youth and smoothness of the surface have led to the hypothesis that a water ocean exists beneath it, which could conceivably serve as an abode for extraterrestrial life. This hypothesis proposes that heat from tidal flexing causes the ocean to remain liquid and drives geological activity similar to plate tectonics. Image Credit: NASA #astronomy #space #cosmos #cosmoslogy #interstellar #outerspace #universe #galaxy #europa #moon

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The Age of Topological Animism

Since Einstein turned the Cartesian grids of space and time into what he called a ‘mollusk’ of four dimensional curves, our era will be remembered as being marked by topological revolutions in physics. Although general relativity could have opened the door to a more holistic synthesis of physics and philosophy, it only got as far as the likes of Schrödinger, Heisenberg, and Planck before the tide of revolution retreated like the era of counter-culture pioneers in the wake of the 1960s.

The window seemed to close on the more provocative possibilities in physics in the late 20th century, with quantum mechanics spawning a variety of exotic topological objects. Everything from strings to branes to manifolds to standing waves of vacuum energy has rushed in to try to close the open door of relativity for good. Instead of pulling back the curtain on the mysteries of existence, we have taken a microscope to the curtain itself, and focused our imagination on eliminating any possibility of imagination. The creative impulse is scheduled for termination by multiverse, block, and firing squad if necessary.

We have come full circle from animistic shamanism, of nature spirits in the woods and gods in the sky. We worship shapes now. Unlike the Platonic view of forms as the embodiment of soul, this new level of ultimate abstraction combines the dour stoicism of 19th century materialism with digital technocracy. We now worship shapes, not as ideal forms, but as the idea of forms. We have only to choose finally, from the competing candidates or a new contender, which shape it is that will remain standing after all others are disqualified as being something more than truly meaningless. One unimaginable topology to rule them all; one unseen shape to bind them.

This is an admirable quest, however it is more for those who require a complete and internally consistent model of a physical universe without us in it. This is actually more difficult, but to me, not as satisfying as a plausible model which integrates perceptual participation with matter and energy. I can’t help but noticing, that regardless of what twisty, wavy, or granular plenum we conjure mathematically, what we wind up with can only be a way of keeping track of what things do to each other, but not what they feel or see or know. The universe of animated logical forms has no sense - no reason to detect or experience anything, let alone to experience their own experience or reason. Something is missing from this view, something which is all too easy for us, as experiencers who experience our own experiences, to overlook completely. What is missing from the picture is us. We have animated the photograph but embalmed the photographer.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the sharpest and biggest image ever taken of the Andromeda Galaxy, otherwise known as Messier 31. The enormous image is the biggest Hubble image ever released and shows over 100 million stars and thousand of star cluster embedded in a section of the galaxy’s pancake - shaped disc stretching across over 40,000 light-years. In fact, the image is so large that I could only fit about a ¼ of it above.

#astronomy #astronomer #space #cosmos #cosmoslogy #astrophysic #interstellar #outerspace #universe #galaxy #stars #planets #nebula #supernova #comet #asteorid #astronaut #hubble #nasa #esa #telescope #science

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Uni-Versus - Something From Everything

“THE greatest mystery, why is there something rather then nothing”

As ridiculous as it sounds, I think that I actually have a way of answering this.

1. Because ‘nothing’ is only an idea.

With that in mind the question can be more profitably rephrased as 'why is there something rather than everything?’.

Once we see that the idea of anything at all coming from nothingness is more unlikely than a subset of everything being partitioned out of everything, then we can see how truly naive our view of the universe truly is. This is in line with thousands of years of Eastern philosophical intuitions of an absolute singularity within which a multiplicity of multiplicities subdivides, not only as structured objects nested in space, but subjects and stories entangled through eternity.

2. Because the difference between nothing and something, anything, or everything is a matter of sense.

Understanding this helps us locate the mystery from a metaphysical paradox of something caused by nothing to a legitimate physical inquiries, namely, “Why do you ask? Who wants to know? and How can questions and askers of questions exist?”

To go there, I think that the discussion of the universe as something like “the emergent activity of wave motions” takes us to where conventional science leaves us at the moment, but my view takes us beyond that. The assumption that wave motions can exist a priori to any capacity to detect them or any modality of realization to present them (like geometric forms of visual contrast, feelings of semantic orientation, etc) is really pulling a dinosaur out of a hat. In my understanding, there is no way around the chicken-egg duality of subject and object, and it is the discernment of the juxtaposition between them, and the capacity to create such a possibility of discernment which is truly primitive in the universe.

The term universe itself is a good example of how we intuitively understand this: 

“from PIE root *wer- "to turn, bend” (see versus… “turned toward or against,” from pp. of vertere “to turn,” from PIE *wert- “to turn, wind,” “ wyrd "fate, destiny)”

The idea of universe evokes a process of uni-versus; juxtaposition not just of one versus many or one container of verse (languages, protocols, words, stories, senses), but of a unified cycling of reconciliation and opposition. It is cause and effect dissolved within an acausal totality of potential experience.

There are no waves without an experience of waving. There are no boundaries without a sense of difference between one and another. Something has to make sense of something in order for anything to 'exist’, and existence has to exist before there can be something to make sense. The solution is that existence and experience (not human experience) are one and the same. This unity prefigures causality itself, since cause and effect has no meaning without a capacity to tell one thing from another, to remember or record that difference in some way, and to interpret the change as a logical progression from one state or condition to another. Something from nothing is an upside-down result which arises from overlooking and disqualifying subjectivity itself. Taking awareness for granted, we construct an inside-out worldview where the very separation which preserves our isolation from everythingness is mistaken for the source of our somethingness. It’s almost true, as far as while we are isolated beings or experiences within the universe, we have no logical access to any realism beyond that isolation, we can only appeal to the sense of realism, self, and qualia for deeper guidance.