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BTW, while I'm whining... Who made the choice not to use an explicit return statement? That seems particularly non-optimal. There's absolutely no visual difference between the last statement falling out the bottom and an incomplete line of code just from looking at it. I mean readability is far more important than saving a few characters.
Was watching news tonight (I know - filthy habit) and heard that someone decided that the universe was several billion years younger than was previously thought. When I was younger this would have been interesting in a 'wow science is awesome' sort of way, but now I just thought "So what? Does it help make my car payment, or pay the mortgage, or improve my life?" And I was saddened to reply (to myself) "Nope".
This makes me sad
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, navigate a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects! - Lazarus Long
Almost every press release from every astronomer could be replaced with wither the word "bullsh1t" or the word "wolf".
We're developers. How often do we roll our eyes when something happens in this field and we hear reporters completely fail to accurately describe what's going on because they don't understand what was explained to them and they mess up their dumbing down for the masses?
The same thing is going on in astrophysics. Don't blame them for the bullshit, blame the reporters.
Well, while there is always a certain amount of 'manipulation' required to turn non-visual data into a picture, it's hardly photo-shopped. As to the exo-planets thing, I've never heard a single instance of anything remotely like that being said by any reputable scientist.
And, it has to be said, that modern digital cameras are no different. They capture energy levels as numbers and those are only turned into pictures by your computer assigning colors to those numbers. If some of that energy is outside of the visual spectrum by the time it gets here, that doesn't make it invalid to assign colors to those numbers based on known attributes of energies of particular levels.
Dark energy of course is theoretical still, and it might get dumped in the long run. But you have to have working hypotheses to move forward on and test, even if they have to be ultimately discarded or modified. The press almost always makes them out to be far more proven than the scientists ever actually claim. The actual papers may be full of qualifications and self-doubts and error bars, but that never gets into any 10 second new show 'science' segment.
Well, while there is always a certain amount of 'manipulation' required to turn non-visual data into a picture, it's hardly photo-shopped.
They decided that they wanted black holes to have a black middle and a bright ring (which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever; they would be the brightest objects in the sky), so they used a taxpayer-paid-for hyper-expensive version of photoshop to take away away everything that didn't look like that (about two thirds of the six million photons that had to work with), and called it absolute proof that their (ridiculous) idea of what a black hole looks like is indisputably true.
Dean Roddey wrote:
As to the exo-planets thing, I've never heard a single instance of anything remotely like that being said by any reputable scientist.
Black holes have a planar accretion disc. It's not a globe around it, it's a flat disc around it, which would be aligned parallel to the black hole's rotation axis. We are seeing it about half inclined to our line of site, so it would look like a bright ring around a black center. Particularly for one so enormous, the event horizon is very large. If it were really small, then yeh, we probably wouldn't see much of a black center because it would be overwhelmed by the light of the accretion disk. But when the event horizon is more like solar system sized, that wouldn't be the case.
That's incorrect. The black holes being discussed here are at the center of galaxies. There is always material falling into these black holes. It's just a matter of how much, which changes over time. In the case of M87 it's VERY active, so there's lot of dust and other material falling into it, so it will have a very bright accretion disk.
The material in that disc isn't 'colliding' it's spiraling in, getting faster and faster as it gets closer to the horizon, which generates immense amounts of energy. Once it hits the horizon of course we don't see anything else from it. But, until then, it's enormously energetic, with the material reaching speeds of a substantial percentage of the speed of light.
That spiraling in creates a planar accretion disk which absolutely does matter as to the orientation relative to the observer. It also controls the direction of jets ejected from the black hole, which are perpendicular to the disc when they occur. M87 has enormous jets spewing out through the galazy from the black hole. And, if you look at the direction of the jets, it would agree very well with image in terms of orientation of the disc.
So, anyhoo, your understanding of the physics involved is just not right.
So, anyhoo, your understanding of the physics involved is just not right.
That's exactly what I was going to say to you.
I suggest you think a bit more carefully about what the immediate region surrounding a black hole would look like, rather than just believing the "absolute truths" that astronomers would have you believe.
I wanna be a eunuchs developer! Pass me a bread knife!
What exactly would that be? I think you misunderstand the distinction between a black hole and the singularity inside it. What we call a black hole is just the area inside the event horizon. No, there's not really 'stuff' inside that event horizon, but that makes no difference for what we are talking about here. The gravitational influence of the black hole DOES extend beyond the event horizon. Gravity is neither energy nor mass, so it isn't stopped at the horizon. It extends outwards just as the earthy's gravity extends beyond its surface.
Material falling into the center of the galaxy will be pulled into an accretion disc around the horizon, just as it would if it were falling onto a planet's surface.
You know that just making vague statements doesn't make you right? You claim they are idiots but you provide absolutely no justification or counter argument. If you think I'm wrong, say why. Otherwise you are just wasting everyone's time.
If you are saying that material doesn't fall into the center of galaxies, that's an utter lack of understanding of the dynamics of galaxies. They are chaotic, though immensely slow about it by our standards. There are interactions between bodies all the time. Some gain from those interactions and some lose. Those who lose will fall to lower orbits because they are going slower. Over time this happens enormous numbers of times and material cycles down into the center.
Of course the other big way it happens is from collisions. All larger galaxies have lots of dwarf galaxies and globular clusters in orbits around them. Those often pass through the plane of the galaxy. Every time they do they tend to get pulled apart more and more and that material can fall into the center of the galaxy.
In super-massive elliptical galaxies like M87, it has almost certainly gobbled up not just small galaxies but other fairly large ones over time. That process provides enormous amounts of material for the central black hole, over long periods of time (by our standards anyway.)
Please tell me you do not believe in the Flat Earth nonsense going 'round.
Well, I'm careful whenever I go to the end of the b;lock to make sure I don't fall off and I wondered how I stuck to the earth when I was in the southern hemisphere. I've even been to the equator and didn't see any curving of the sidewalk.
CQ de W5ALT
Walt Fair, Jr., P. E. Comport Computing Specializing in Technical Engineering Software