Music. Tea. Justice. (Bitey mad lady with a love of physics, food, and fiction, and a hyper-literate prog rock soundtrack.)
Finally! A black hole that you can visit and survive!
Want a trip through a black hole without having to experience that pesky death? You’re in luck. There’s a special kind of black hole that’s not just survivable, but might get you to another time, or another universe.
Black holes are, traditionally, the scariest things in the universe. Huge, mysterious, inescapable, they wander through the universe and eat everything that gets too close. “Too close” is defined by their event horizon. This is the point at which they go dark, because it requires so much energy to escape them that not even light can get away. Since not even a photon can cross the barrier, no event that happens inside the horizon can ever have an effect on people outside.
Unless, something very odd was going on in the center of the black hole. Most black holes spin - this is something that was discovered way back in the 1960s by physicist Roy Kerr. It wasn’t exactly a shock, because most of the material that collapses into a black hole was already spinning. Sometimes, however, the spin on Kerr black holes goes a little above and beyond. Ever spun a glass of water, or soda bottle, so that the liquid inside swirls? Sometimes, if you spin it enough, the liquid actually parts, leaving a clear center and a spinning ring of water around it. The same kind of thing can happen in Kerr black holes. Instead of a singularity at the center, there’s a ring. And you can go through the open portion of that ring without touching the gravitational crush.
What’s on the other side? A lot of people have wondered. Some people think that these kind of black holes might be our key to time travel. They might be wormholes that let us hop between different points of the universe. Or they might be portals to different universes entirely. First we’ll have to find a few, and then we’ll need a few volunteers to go through. Preferably ones that haven’t seen Event Horizon.
Top Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Second Image: Dana Berry/NASA
Strange and Unusual Tombstones
Everyone has a different view of death. Some fear it. Others count down the days. Regardless of your particular view on the matter, you probably have an opinion on how you would like to be remembered. Whether is was the people lying below these tombstones or their beloved family members, someone had to make the decision on the above tombstones. It’s hard not to imagine what some of them must have been thinking.
mmmmmake it a cleeeeean break
mmmmmake it a faaaaaaast cut
My dad and I watched every episode of The X-Files together. We still play this game where we quiz each other on the titles of episodes, because they never told you what the titles were. You had to go out and buy a TV Guide to find it out.
This was before the internet (is a lie because I had a 14.4k modem when I was four years old and The X-Files premiered that same year.)
This one is War of the Coprophages.
Paperclippe Fun Fact: I know more about The X-Files than I do any other television show. Excepting maybe Top Gear.