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Posted by Paul Rest/">Paul Rest on October 1, 1998 05:05:15 UTC

The confirmation of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies is one of the biggest triumphs of the HST, and very important to astronomy in general. However these black holes are not sucking any real sizeable amount of material from their galaxy (relative to the overall size of the galaxy that is), most of the material in a galaxy is in a perfectly stable orbit around these black holes. In young galaxies some material is being sucked in and that final flare of superheated matter along with the huge jets of plasma that are sometimes emitted is what we see as a quasar. These are called active galaxies, or active nuclei, but are a minority of the overall galaxy population in the universe (from what we've seen anyway). I do not believe that black holes suck in spacetime, that twist and warp and swirl spacetime, but spacetime is not the same as the material objects in it and can't really be sucked into a black hole. I may be wrong on this last point, I'm not really sure about it, but this comes from my own understanding of this subject. As for new universes coming from blackholes, this is a very interesting area right now. I highly suggest that anyone interested in this topic read Lee Smolin's "Life of the Cosmos." Universes coming from black holes seems possible, but right now we really can't say either way. I would be curious to know how you imagine the universe being curved in a higher dimension but not ending up back where it started. For example, imagine you have a globe with a solid surface, and you have a bunch of cars all drive away from the north pole in every direction at equal speeds. Eventually they'll all reach the south pole at the same time, and of course we'd then have a big car wreck but with galaxies we can assume they would collide, bunch together, and be squeezed more and more until there is a Big Crunch and a new Big Bang. Please respond and tell me if you agree or disagree and your arguments for your stance.


: : At the risk of sounding arrogant I'm going to assume that when you said I know few things you meant I know a few things. If I am wrong, correct me. However falling back on your theory about our three-dimensional universe being curved in a higher spacial dimension and having finite size while going on forever, this is one of the most interesting theories in cosmology (in my opinion) but is hardly new. I really couldn't say whether it is true or not, it seems possible but would be difficult to prove without hoping in a spacecraft, firing up your special many-times-faster-than-the-speed-of-light-engines and flying off in any one direction in space. If you end up back where you started in however many years (could be thousands or trillions or more) you know the universe curves back on its self life a four-dimensional sphere, a sphere on whose surface we exist (remember that a four-dimensional surface would be three-dimensional). We may know someday, but that will likely be centuries from now. However if indeed the universe does curve back on its self this brings up some interesting ideas. If the universe is expanding and will do so forever, for example, then won't all that matter just end up right back where it started, ie. another Big Bang? There are other things I'm sure as well that are related to this, but at the moment I can't really think of any. I know a bit about this because I read a lot and think a lot. Hope this helps some.

: -Paul : When I said that you know few things I meant that you know more than just few things :o)

: I know that this theory isn't new, I mentioned : Albert Einstein. I read this in his theory of : relativity (I don't know if this is the right : translation since I am not from English speaking : teritory, so I appologize if the translation is : incorrect).

: Anyway, this is the most reasonable theory about : space I ever heard, and I mostly agree with you. : But there is something in your post I am not so : agreeable. The part that space will never BigBang : again.

: In center of the galaxies exists a giant black hole : that sucks all matter(and spacetime)in it. : Maybe when all of the matter and spacetime is being : "sucked in" it will "bigbang" again to create a new : universe. That's what I think, I didn't read so much so : I am not sure I am the only one who think so. So : I am asking all of you to agree or disagree with me.

: Thanks.

: : Tomislav

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