September 22, 2009
Black Holes Pierce Stars To Cause Gamma Ray Bursts

If we could even detect the black hole's approach is there any way to divert it from hitting our Sun?

Black holes are invading stars, providing a radical explanation to bright flashes in the universe that are one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy today.

The flashes, known as gamma ray bursts, are beams of high energy radiation similar to the radiation emitted by explosions of nuclear weapons produced by jets of plasma from massive dying stars.

The orthodox model for this cosmic jet engine involves plasma being heated by neutrinos in a disk of matter that forms around a black hole, which is created when a star collapses.

But mathematicians at the University of Leeds have come up with a different explanation: the jets come directly from black holes, which can dive into nearby massive stars and devour them.

What I want to know: This far out on our spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy what are the odds that some black hole will come flying thru our solar system and into our sun? We'd all die if that happened.

If it happened to us it would all be over in 10,000 seconds. But we'd be dead before that.

Their theory is based on recent observations by the Swift satellite which indicates that the central jet engine operates for up to 10,000 seconds - much longer than the neutrino model can explain.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 September 22 08:23 PM  Dangers Natural General


Comments
anonyq said at September 23, 2009 5:48 AM:

Those stars are in a double system or in a galaxtic center. For the Milkyway the chance of a star colliding with another star is ones every 10 billion year so for a black hole it is much lower.

David Govett said at September 23, 2009 11:08 AM:

The amazing thing is that the density of galaxies in the known universe is greater than the density of stars within a galaxy. I wouldn't sweat a gamma ray burst.

Brett_McS said at September 25, 2009 5:01 AM:

Well, if it were an intelligent black hole we may be able to reason with it and ask it not to destroy our sun - ala Fred Hoyle.

Dan said at September 26, 2009 7:32 PM:

If a gamma ray burst happened anywhere in our galaxy, we'd be toast ... doesn't need to be our sun.

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