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Thread: PBS Nova: Monster of the Milky Way

  1. #1
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    PBS Nova: Monster of the Milky Way

    Seen in BA Blog: Monster of the Milky Way

    PBS Nova airs October 31, 8 PM.

    Does a supermassive black hole lurk at the center of our galaxy?
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    Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations. --Carl Sagan

  2. #2
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    Does a supermassive black hole lurk at the center of our galaxy?

    Well Duh!

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    Well, it's got to be better than the lame-o pre-Halloween scare flicks the movie channels have been running all week...doesn't it?

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    Monster of the Milky Way

    I really enjoyed this Nova.

    I knew the basics of the supermassive black holes. But what I found intresting was the history. How they found them was really a neat thing to learn. And the very nice animations of galaxies "colliding" were a nice bonus.

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    How long was the orbital period of these stars in the center of the Milky Way? The show never gives that number.

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    Maybe here? (when they get around to posting it)
    The transcript of the television program is usually available one to three weeks after the original broadcast date...
    NOVA Transcripts

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    Bah, didn't see this thread till 2 days after the show aired. Oh well, the g/f isn't working on tuesday nights so she probably was hogging the tv for some stupid gilmore girls show or something anyway. Hopefully I'll catch a re-run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Jubjub View Post
    How long was the orbital period of these stars in the center of the Milky Way? The show never gives that number.
    I didn't see many other numbers given in the show.

    I know that a BH is hard to imagine, but the number of analogies given on the show was waaaay too much.
    I would have liked a little more explaination of how the stars react, why they orbit the way they do, how the core BHs of the galaxies merge, so on and so on.

    Or maybe I was cranky from the induced hunger caused by the number of food and eating references.

  9. #9
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    I was actually a little disappointed in the show. After a while there just seemed to be too many computer animations. Couldn't they have shown us a Hubble photo of real galaxies colliding?
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    I didn't see many other numbers given in the show...
    Right---I caught a re-run the next day in the wee hours---it just showed numerous orbits that sped up as they rounded the Milky Way's central BH, offering proof it exists. The sheer number of BHs out there is what amazed me; one per galaxy.

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    The sheer number of BHs out there is what amazed me; one per galaxy.

    I think you'll find that there are more than just one BH in each Galaxy. Oh... you mean in the middle.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Jubjub View Post
    How long was the orbital period of these stars in the center of the Milky Way? The show never gives that number.
    One orbit is shown here with the dates marked. And this page has an image without the dates but showing how much motion there was in nine years.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  13. #13
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    One thing they said in the NOVA episode was that at the moment you crossed the event horizon you would see a blinding light - all the light that had falling into the black hole and was stuck there at the event horizon.

    That's the first I've ever heard of such a thing and I suspect it is in error. I think that the light inside the BH would be heavily redshifted when looking toward the singularity, perhaps so much so that you wouldn't see anything at all.

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