Mind-Blowing Black Hole!
By Shlomo Maital
BBC’s Radio 4 reports the discovery of a new black hole, a massive one.
“Public astronomer Dr Marek Kukula, of the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told BBC broadcaster John Humphreys about the new discovery of a huge and ancient black hole. He said it has grown faster than current physics would suggest possible, in the early development of the universe. John Humphrys was surprised by the information from Dr Kukula that the black hole “is smaller than an atom” but “contains as much material as 12 thousand million [12 billion] stars, like the sun”. “
Smaller than an atom? Holds material equal to 12 thousand million (i.e. billion) suns? When our sun’s mass is 4.4 times 10 30 pounds – 12 billion of those, in a single atom?
And here’s the best part.
According to Dr. Kukula – this black hole was ‘born’ only 1 billion years after the birth of the universe, or 12.8 billion years ago.
This is impossible. Black holes are born when suns explode, then ‘implode’ inward, creating such dense mass that the gravitational force does not allow light to escape, and sucks everything in the neighbourhood into this ‘black hole’. But a billion years only after the universe was born is not sufficient time for a sun to be born, live, grow old, die, explode as a supernova and then implode to a black hole.
It just can’t be.
So, what is going on? Do we have to alter the laws of physics?
Stay tuned. And kudos to all those astronomers, and Dr. Kukula, who spend long cold nights in the observatory, peering through telescopes, photographing things, so that one night, toiling in obscurity, so that they can find things that blow our minds.