This is a great video (compliments of Spacerip) displaying excellent computer simulations on how the largest black holes in the universe form. These Super-massive black holes are thought to be the result of the merging of 2 other black holes. Simulations shown in this video are based on theories from x-ray, infra-red and visible light images of actual black holes.
The largest known super-massive black holes are approximately 21 Billion solar masses (21 billion times the size of our Sun!).
This video is one of the best I have seen in describing the creation of super-massive black holes supported by actual images. The graphics and computer simulations are exquisite.
Maddalena Environmental Inc.
A Neutron Star forms when a medium-sized star (about 4-8 times the size of our Sun) comes to the end of its life (runs out of fuel) and explodes in a Super Nova. It is basically the end product of an intermediate size star, too large to collapse into a White Dwarf, but too small to create a Black Hole.
The Super Nova explosion strips away all protons and electrons from the nucleus of each atom of mass, leaving only neutrons (which have a slightly higher mass than protons). The end result is plasma composed of neutrons only. This plasma is so dense, that a tea spoon of mass from a Neutron Star would weigh 1 Billion tons! In addition, because of its small size and enormous density their gravitional pull is 2 x 1011 times that of Earth!
More than half the stars systems in the Universe are binary systems (2 stars) and many of these are Neutron Stars. In many cases, these binary systems containing Neutron Stars rotate around each other and draw closer to each other. They finally come close enough to merge and WHAM!... a Black Hole is created.
The creation of a Black Hole from 2 merging Neutron Stars is shown in this animated NASA video.....VERY COOL.
video is compliments of NASA Goddard
As shown in the NASA video above, colliding Neutron Stars are detected by very bright but temporary burst of gamma rays. When these occur, another Black Hole is created!
Maddalena Environmental Inc.
This is a great video demonstrating what black holes are and where are the supermassive black holes, remnants of super-massive stars that have died (video compliments of Spacerip).
Super-massive black holes form when massive stars end their lives, exhausting their fuel. When fusion is no longer counter-balancing their massive gravity, super-massive stars collapse under their own gravity.
The collapse is so intense and the force of gravity is so severe, the stars implode to create a black hole. If the collapse is large enough, it can form a super-massive black hole.
These super-massive black holes exist at the center of every galaxy, including our own. They are simply the most massive and most dangerous objects in the universe.
Maddalena Environmental Inc.
(image of Kepler's Supernova Remnant above is compliments of en.wikipedia.org)
When a large star reaches the end of it's life it explodes in what is called a Supernova. This immense explosion causes the star to become brighter than an entire galaxy for a short period of time when viewing the star through a telescope.
But why does the star explode when it runs out of fuel? What causes the immense explosion that releases such incredible energy that it can be seen millons of light years away?
It all starts with nuclear fusion, the basic process that begins when large volumes gas come together and are compressed combining lighter atoms into heavier ones. Each time fusion occurs large amounts of energy are released in the form of heat and light.
A young star fuses hydrogen into helium. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and most stars have so much hydrogen, that they spend most of their lives performing this form of nuclear fusion. Our Sun has spent half of its lifetime (5 billion years) so far in this stage. It is estimated that our Sun will continue to fuse hydrogen to helium for another 5 billion years before reaching the end of its hydrogen fuel.
However when most of the hydrogen has run out, the star begins fusing other heavier elements. It starts to fuse helium into carbon releasing energy in the process of fusion. (By the way, energy released through fusion is several times greater than the energy released through nuclear fission-splitting the atom).
When most of the helium is used up, the star begins to fuse carbon into oxygen. When most of the carbon is used up, the star begins fusing oxygen into neon, then into magnesium, then into silicon. When most of these elements are fused, the star begins fusing silicon into iron and this is where the process of nuclear fusion stops.
When a star develops a solid iron core, it has left-over layers of remnant elements that it has fused. Below is a cross-section of what an old star might look like just before it dies. You can see the layers of elements (some still burning) around the central iron core.
(image compliments of imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov)
Eventually, the amount of fusion taking place becomes insufficient to counteract the immense gravity of the star, and the iron core implodes, together with all the outer layers of lighter elements. When layers of lighter elements implode toward the central core, they essentially bounce off the core, sending out an immense shock wave explosion. The blast is a supernova explosion that drives off all the lighter elements into the universe.
The above process describes a Type II Supernova, involving hydrogen and an imploding star.
(above is the Crab Nebula viewed from the Hubble Space telescope-This is a remnant of a Supernova 1st detected by Chinese astronomers in the year 1054)-(image compliments of NASA and STScI)
What happens next depends on the size of the original star. In a star about 3 times the size of our sun, implosion of the iron core fuses protons and electrons creating a core composed almost entirely of neutrons, a neutron star, the densest objects in the Universe. Supernovas of stars that are 3-10 times the size of our Sun can create massive singularities of gravity called Black Holes. Supernovas of stars that are greater than 10 times the size of our Sun can create such immense singularities of gravity (Super Massive Black Holes) that entire galaxies revolve around them.
So you see, supernova explosions are essentially result in the transformation of a dying star into another form and disperse elements into the universe to be collected again to form other stars and even planets.
Isn't our universe amazing!
Maddalena Environmental Inc.
I saw the movie, read the book then read the "Science of Interstellar" by Kip Thorne, the renowned physicist that was the scientific consultant for the movie. I couldn't get enough of the movie and then the science explained by Kip Thorne, just put it all together for me. I loved the book.
To say the least, I loved the movie, not only for the amazing special affects but for it's consistency with current scientific theories. Kip Thorne made sure of that.
The movie was conceived by Kip and his wife who at first had Steven Spielberg lined up as director. Spielberg loved the script and would have been the director had it not been for some legal contractual obligation he had with a major motion picture company. So Spielberg had to decline and the hunt was on for another director.
Kip Thorne's wife was already aquainted with Christopher Nolan's wife and so they talked. Now as it seems, the script for Interstellar was written by Christopher Nolan's brother so it didn't take much convincing to get Chris Nolan on board.
Kip had only 1 condition, that the movie had to reflect the current scientific theories and principals as closely as possible. Christopher Nolan had no problem with this, so Interstellar was born.
To me, the scientific principles were elegantly portrayed and this made the movie extremely satisfying to me. Of course there were some assumptions, but everything in Interstellar was based on equations and calculations made by Kip Thorne. He gave these equations to the special affects guys who used them in their computer graphics programs! You can't get any more accurate than that!
Niel DeGrasse Tyson also commented on how closely Interstellar portrayed science.
Obvoiusly, knowing a little about the scientific principles makes the movie more enjoyable. So if you have not seen Interstellar yet, read up on black holes and worm holes and how they distort space and time. Read about Einstein's Theory of Relativity too because his true genius is only now being proven as we now have the technology to test his theories, all of which have been proven correct.
Leaning a little bit about these principles will make viewing Interstellar a truly enjoyable experience.
I purposely did not go into the details of the movie because I am not one to spoil the suspense and anticipation. I am just going to say, that this movie portrayed scientific principles as accurately as I have ever seen (I saw it twice). It also portrayed the "cruel reality of relativity". You'll know what I mean when you see it.
Oh, and make sure you see it on the big screen... Gargantua needs to be seen on a REALLY big screen!
Maddalena Environmental Inc