On Black Holes
I should warn you that we are entering uncharted scientific territory. For all we know, there may be undiscovered laws of physics that govern events at the center of the black hole. But until the next Einstein comes along, let’s perform a thought experiment.
If you could survive the trip into a black hole, you might emerge in another place and time in our own universe, circumventing the first commandment of relativity: Thou shall not travel faster than light.
Nothing can move through space faster than light, but space is not near emptiness. It has properties. It can stretch and shrink. It can be deformed. And when that happens, time is deformed, too.
Einstein discovered that space and time are just two aspects of the same thing - space-time. Space-time itself can deform enough to carry you anywhere at any speed. Black holes may very well be tunnels through the universe.
On this intergalactic subway system, you can travel through the farthest reaches of space-time. Or you might arrive in some place even more amazing.
We might find ourselves in an all together different universe. But how can a whole universe fit inside of a black hole, which is only a small part of our universe? It’s another magic trick of space-time. The phenomenal gravity of a black hole can warp the space of an entire universe inside it. Our local gravity may be a drag to us, but it’s really feeble compared with what goes inside of a collapsed star.
As far as we know, when a giant star collapses to make a black hole, the extreme density and pressure at the center mimic the Big Bang, which gave rise to our universe. And a universe inside a black hole might give rise to its own black holes, and those could lead to other universes.
Maybe that’s how our own cosmos came to be.
- Episode 5: A Sky Full Of Ghosts, Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey
Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. It is the only natural satellite known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object other than Earth for which clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found
Titan is primarily composed of water ice and rocky material. Much as with Venus prior to the Space Age, the dense, opaque atmosphere prevented understanding of Titan’s surface until new information accumulated with the arrival of the Cassini–Huygens mission in 2004, including the discovery of liquid hydrocarbon lakes in Titan’s polar regions.
The atmosphere is largely nitrogen; minor components lead to the formation of methane and ethane clouds and nitrogen-rich organic smog. Titan’s lower gravity means that its atmosphere is far more extended than Earth’s and about 1.19 times as massive. It supports opaque haze layers that block most visible light from the Sun and other sources and renders Titan’s surface features obscure. Atmospheric methane creates a greenhouse effect on Titan’s surface, without which Titan would be far colder. Conversely, haze in Titan’s atmosphere contributes to an anti-greenhouse effect by reflecting sunlight back into space, cancelling a portion of the greenhouse effect warming and making its surface significantly colder than its upper atmosphere.
Titan’s clouds, probably composed of methane, ethane or other simple organics, are scattered and variable, punctuating the overall haze.The findings of the Huygens probe indicate that Titan’s atmosphere periodically rains liquid methane and other organic compounds onto its surface. Clouds typically cover 1% of Titan’s disk, though outburst events have been observed in which the cloud cover rapidly expands to as much as 8%. One hypothesis asserts that the southern clouds are formed when heightened levels of sunlight during the southern summer generate uplift in the atmosphere, resulting in convection. This explanation is complicated by the fact that cloud formation has been observed not only after the southern summer solstice but also during mid-spring.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
get to know me meme: [7/5] favorite movies » star wars episodes IV-VI
↳ The Force will be with you, always.