Astronomers have shown that
matter likely disappears after entering a black hole, refuting an
alternate theory that matter is destroyed by colliding into a hard
surface in space.
It’s a big deal because humanity hardly understands what black holes really are. Hollywood has incorrectly envisioned them as “cosmic vacuums” or separate time-traveling dimensions, and they’re still a mystery to the fleets of scientific labs studying them.
As it stands, two prominent theories describe what happens to stars in space. One is the “event horizon”
theory, which argues that matter essentially gets sucked up into black
holes and then vanishes.
Event horizons are basically a boundary around a
black hole that is literally inescapable. Their force of gravity is so
strong that nothing — including light — can escape it. Read more (5/31/17)
I was reading about Vortices and after hours of research online, out of the blue I stumbled upon this amazing bird. This is the Red Necked Phalarope and from the looks of it seems to have put vortices to a really productive use - catching its prey.
By rotating around ~60-80 times a minute, it produces an upward vortex that sucks out insects/bugs/crustaceans from the water, which it swiftly picks up with its beak and eats. ( This one would have aced the Fluids class for sure :D)
This is analogous to tornadoes sweeping up cars and houses along its way in an upward swirl.
** The actual dynamics of vortices of course is waay more complicated. ;)
*** There are three species of phalarope (red-necked, red/grey, and Wilson’s), and they can all feed like that.
Around 6 million years ago, the African and Eurasian plates moved together, cutting the Mediterranean Sea off from the Atlantic. Without an influx of water from the Atlantic, evaporation began removing more water from the Mediterranean than rivers could replace. The sea dried out almost completely over the course of a couple thousand years.
About 5.3 million years ago, the Straits of Gibraltar reopened, creating a massive flood into the Mediterranean known as the Zanclean Flood. Water rushed down the straits and into the Mediterranean at speeds as high as 40 m/s (90 mph). At its peak, the Zanclean Flood is estimated to have reached rates 1000 times greater than the volumetric flow rate of the Amazon River.
A similar breach flood occurred in the Black Sea within the past 10,000 years when the Bosporus became unblocked. That flood likely had a devastating impact on Neolithic societies in the area and may be the inspiration for the floods described in the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible. (Image credit: BBC, source)