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Trio of Big Black Holes Spotted In Galaxy Smashup 74

sciencehabit writes Astronomers staring across the universe have spotted a startling scene: three supermassive black holes orbiting close to one another, two of them just a few hundred light-years apart. The trio, housed in a pair of colliding galaxies, may help scientists hunting for ripples in spacetime known as gravitational waves.
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Trio of Big Black Holes Spotted In Galaxy Smashup

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  • Why did I read that as nipples in space time

  • may help scientists hunting for ripples in spacetime known as gravitational waves

    Or more accurately, black holes waving.

  • by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @02:28AM (#47330867)

    just 450 light-years apart and orbit each other every 4 million years.

    I can't stop thinking that a four million year orbit means humans will have populated that galaxy before those black holes have completed one more cycle.

    We're like smart bacteria inside a human being. We could learn about the season cycle, but but the time winter comes, innumerable generations of our descendants will already have killed our host and traveled to other ones.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We will most likely die on our piece of meaningless dirt before the universe can say "Jack Robinson".
      Star trek is high fantasy, not science fiction.

      • To believe that I'd need more historical references of creatures or cultures extinct by their own means.

        History is reality. The world didn't begin our birth day.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        4 million years is a long time though on scales we usually think about. Using just the physics we know of now, some fission and fusion rocket designs can approach a specific impulse of over 10^6 s, which would allow reasonable travel at 1-2% c (less than a third of the ship would need to be fuel). Giving 500 years to spread out to near by stars and construct a new set of ships to prepare to repeat the process, you end up being able to colonize a whole galaxy on the time scale of a couple to several millio
        • Internal fuel would do us no good. Notice that the LHC can't rely on photons' internal fuel. In order to get them puppies off their butts and straighten up and fly right at very high speeds relative to us, we have to pour in EXTERNAL fuel. A common question is, "Can a motorcycle go the speed of light using the fuel it has in its tank?" The answer is, "No, the motorcycle must use energy from the universe its embedded in." We don't need no steenkin fuel. What we need is an engine that gathers external sou
          • At less than 10^-29 g/cc, I'm afraid the average energy density of the universe doesn't bode well for external fuel either. Lucky for us, Andromeda will be here soon enough. As I've stated before, the rest of the entire universe is rushing away from us as fast as it can. They just don't like us. We're pretty much stuck here.

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Friday June 27, 2014 @09:18AM (#47332443) Journal

    I learned one important thing from that web site: It was programmed by yet another clown who feels it's vital to have a menu overlay taking up 25% of my scarce phone screen real estate.

    I propose a Constitutional amendment to execute them. Whoever decided tiny screens need to be even tinier deserves it.

  • From the headline, I thought this was a story about damage to a smartphone.

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.