Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Black holes

Post 2, already! Sorry for the mess, below -- I may come back and organize later ;)

I'll start off by getting a few random thoughts off my chest that have been hanging around for years (though they haven't nagged at me enough to seek formal answers).

Ok, I admit it, I've fallen behind and haven't studied astrophysics and the properties of stellar bodies like any good person should. That being said, I do wonder random strange things (for many such wonderings, the answers are likely already known -- I simply haven't had the good fortune to see them yet).

Take a black hole, for instance. It has an event horizon, yadda yadda, beyond which it was originally thought that nothing would escape, including light. (I seem to recall some rumblings of black holes being able to emit radiation and lose mass under some conditions, though...I'll have to take the time to dig into this some day when time permits).

Hypothetically, if the hole remained static (and so, too, the event horizon), then it seems as though you'd wind up with an ever increasing amount of light that was traveling at a tangent to the horizon in orbit at that distance. You'd also likely wind up with a fairly rapid accumulation of it, too. (Think for a moment about looking up at a starry sky...as you look around, light from those celestial objects is reaching your eyes, of course -- if you were standing at the event horizon, you'd be in the same sort of situation...some of the light from each of those bodies would reach the black hole at a tangent to the event horizon and wind up in orbit -- and this would happen continuously!)

If for whatever reason the event horizon began to retreat (the hole started to lose mass, or for some other reason I'm not aware of), then that "orbital light" might wind up escaping/being "emitted" from the black hole. If the event horizon could oscillate, then by the same token we could wind up with a black hole being a pulsating "source" of light. (Not so much a source, though -- more like a rechargeable battery)

If anyone knows how this actually does or doesn't work, please post your comments or a link to reference material -- it would be nice to put this thought to rest (or perhaps it'll spawn more random thoughts on similar tangents).

No comments:

Post a Comment