Astronomers Puzzled by Cosmic Black Hole


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Hum

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Astronomers have stumbled upon a tremendous hole in the universe. That's got them scratching their heads about what's just not there.

The cosmic blank spot has no stray stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark matter. It is 1 billion light years across of nothing. That's an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of emptiness, a University of Minnesota team announced Thursday.

Astronomers have known for many years that there are patches in the universe where nobody's home. In fact, one such place is practically a neighbor, a mere 2 million light years away. But what the Minnesota team discovered, using two different types of astronomical observations, is a void that's far bigger than scientists ever imagined.

''This is 1,000 times the volume of what we sort of expected to see in terms of a typical void,'' said Minnesota astronomy professor Lawrence Rudnick, author of the paper that will be published in Astrophysical Journal. ''It's not clear that we have the right word yet ... This is too much of a surprise.''

Rudnick was examining a sky survey from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which essentially takes radio pictures of a broad expanse of the universe. But one area of the universe had radio pictures indicating there was up to 45 percent less matter in that region, Rudnick said.

The rest of the matter in the radio pictures can be explained as stars and other cosmic structures between here and the void, which is about 5 to 10 billion light years away.

Rudnick then checked observations of cosmic microwave background radiation and found a cold spot. The only explanation, Rudnick said, is it's empty of matter.

It could also be a statistical freak of nature, but that's probably less likely than a giant void, said James Condon, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. He wasn't part of Rudnick's team but is following up on the research.

''It looks like something to be taken seriously,'' said Brent Tully, a University of Hawaii astronomer who wasn't part of this research but studies the void closer to Earth.

Tully said astronomers may eventually find a few cosmic structures in the void, but it would still be nearly empty.

Holes in the universe probably occur when the gravity from areas with bigger mass pull matter from less dense areas, Tully said. After 13 billion years ''they are losing out in the battle to where there are larger concentrations of matter,'' he said.

Retired NASA astronomer Steve Maran said of the discovery: ''This is incredibly important for something where there is nothing to it.''

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Yusuf M.

I had no idea that was even possible. Let me get this straight. That area is completely devoid of matter? How can it exist? Something must be wrong if no star or galaxy can form inside of it.

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nemo

Maybe it's from the Earth's global warming.

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Nicholas-c
Maybe it's from the Earth's global warming.

heh yea

Well dare i say "The edge if space"

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Hum

Maybe they've found the core of 'God'. ;)

It's possible that whatever occupies that area of the physical Universe, exists on such a high frequency, that it seems to be empty.

Again, Light is only a part of the Electromagnetic spectrum, and is not the 'highest' of frequencies.

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Yusuf M.
Maybe they've found the core of 'God'. ;)

It's possible that whatever occupies that area of the physical Universe, exists on such a high frequency, that it seems to be empty.

Again, Light is only a part of the Electromagnetic spectrum, and is not the 'highest' of frequencies.

That's what I was thinking. Gamma rays have the highest energy and shortest wavelength on the electromagnetic spectrum and even that isn't present in the empty void. According to what humans know about the Universe, that area shouldn't exist. Perhaps it could be the home of a higher being. Maybe it's the area where the "Big Bang" occurred.

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acies
Maybe they've found the core of 'God'. ;)

Or maybe it's anything else.

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guru

man i wish i had that startrek ship. could have gone out there checked it out myself :p

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Lt-DavidW

It's the void.

Perhaps it could be the home of a higher being. Maybe it's the area where the "Big Bang" occurred.

I'm not sure which statement is furthest from the truth. Yes, perhaps it is home to the flying spaghetti monster, but it would be naive to even speculate on that until the evidence is in.

The big bang did not happen at one place in space, for space did not yet exist. That is akin to looking at any point on a bubble (where the surface of the bubble represents three dimensional space) and stating "maybe this is the area where the bubble expanded".

Edited by Lt-DavidW
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Yusuf M.
I'm not sure which statement is furthest from the truth. Yes, perhaps it is home to the flying spaghetti monster, but it would be naive to even speculate on that until the evidence is in.

The big bang did not happen at one place in space, for space did not yet exist. That is akin to looking at any point on a bubble (where the surface of the bubble represents three dimensional space) and stating "maybe this is the area where the bubble expanded".

I was going on pure speculation there. By the way, when I said higher being I meant a being more advanced than us. I wasn't referring to a god-like entitity ala "The Flying Spaghetti Monster". And the part about the Big Bang was meant to be sarcastic.

Edited by Anaron
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Lt-DavidW
I was going on pure speculation there. By the way, when I said higher being I meant a being more advanced then us. I wasn't referring to a god-like entitity ala "The Flying Spaghetti Monster". And the part about the Big Bang was meant to be sarcastic.

Ah okay, I misunderstood. I didn't mean to come across as being argumentative. Sure there may be extraterrestrial life there, it is fun to speculate. It is even possible that several advanced civilisations are occupying that space, enclosed by a colossal mass of cloaked Dyson spheres.

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Hum
man i wish i had that startrek ship. could have gone out there checked it out myself :p

You might get swallowed up in some Ultimate Black Hole. :woot:

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guru
You might get swallowed up in some Ultimate Black Hole. :woot:

yeah and ended up on earth - wormhole shortcut FTW

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acies
man i wish i had that startrek ship. could have gone out there checked it out myself :p

But if you go there it wouldn't be a void anymore.. no? :blink:

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vincent
But if you go there it wouldn't be a void anymore.. no? :blink:

Yes and no

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Manic9803

pretty crazy news. Id like to send Michael Vick as the test subject.

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Beastage

So awesome... imagine being at the edge staring at it... infinite nothingness

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Pacal
So awesome... imagine being at the edge staring at it... infinite nothingness

I think you would see the stars behind the void.

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uhaligani

I'm getting a headache - I think I'll leave this thread!!

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Captain_Wang
Yes and no

Is there any way to explain the consequence in lamen terms? I understand if that isn't possible.

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TheElite

LOL!

I dont know whats funnier, the fact that they found such a thing, or the fact that they cant explain it.

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sundayx

^Please enlighten my sense of humor.

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TheElite

Well, because according to science, these things shouldn't exist.

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