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Friday, July 10, 2009

Black Holes, a Riddle All Their Own, May Be Fueling the Blobs


"Black holes, dead stars and other objects so dense that not even light can escape them might seem like the most inwardly focused denizens of the universe. Space and time have effectively closed around them, leaving no exit."

"But astronomers have found growing evidence that black holes can be extroverts, reaching out across millions of light-years and controlling the destinies of galaxies and even clusters of galaxies. The ultimate control freaks, the black holes seem to be able to regulate other objects’ cosmic growth by a fiery feedback of light and other radiation from material on its way to oblivion."

And now, researchers have found evidence that black holes may also be the key to mysterious glowing clouds of gas lurking in the early universe.
Over the last 10 years, astronomers patrolling the distant reaches of space have discovered dozens of these clouds, which are technically called blobs. One, named Himiko after a mythical Japanese queen by the Japanese astronomers who found it, dates to only 840 million years after the Big Bang.

The blobs inhabit places and times in which galaxies and stars were being built like gangbusters, but astronomers have been divided about what these blobs have to say about how galaxies are born, and what makes them glow.

"A group of astronomers, brandishing results from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, are now pointing a finger at black holes. The blobs, they reported at a recent news conference and in a paper to be published on Friday in The Astrophysical Journal, are being blasted and lighted up from inside by the radiation spilling from the lips of supermassive black holes, weighing in at perhaps a billion times the mass of the Sun, at the centers of newly forming galaxies."

"The blobs themselves were probably “leftovers,” as one scientist put it, from the initial growth spurts of these galaxies."

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.