Scientists observe supermassive black hole feeding on cold gas

Black hole deluged by cold intergalactic 'rain'
The cosmic weather report, as illustrated in this artist concept, calls for condensing clouds of cold molecular gas around the Abell 2597 Brightest Cluster Galaxy. The clouds condense out of the hot, ionized gas that suffuses the space between the galaxies in this cluster. New ALMA data show that these clouds are raining in on the galaxy, plunging toward the supermassive black hole at its center. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF; D. Berry / SkyWorks; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

At the center of a galaxy cluster, 1 billion light years from Earth, a voracious, supermassive black hole is preparing for a chilly feast.

For the first time, astronomers have detected billowy clouds of cold, clumpy gas streaming toward a black hole, at the center of a massive galaxy cluster. The clouds are traveling at speeds of up to 355 kilometers per second—that's almost 800,000 miles per hour—and may be only 150 light years away from its edge, almost certain to fall into the black hole, feeding its bottomless well. The observations, which will be published in the journal Nature, represent the first direct evidence to support the hypothesis that feed on clouds of .

The results also suggest that fueling a black hole—a process known as accretion—is a whole lot messier than scientists had once thought.

"The simple model of consists of a black hole surrounded by a sphere of hot gas, and that gas accretes smoothly onto the black hole, and everything's simple, mathematically," says Michael McDonald, assistant professor of physics in MIT's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. "But this is the most compelling evidence that this process is not smooth, simple, and clean, but actually quite chaotic and clumpy."

Given the new observations, McDonald says black holes probably have two ways of feeding: For most of the time, they may slowly graze on a steady diet of diffuse hot gas. Once in a while, they may quickly gobble up clumps of cold gas as it comes nearby.

"This diffuse, hot gas is available to the black hole at a low level all the time, and you can have a steady trickle of it going in," McDonald says. "Every now and then, you can have a rainstorm with all these droplets of cold gas, and for a short amount of time, the black hole's eating very quickly. So the idea that there are these two dinner modes for black holes is a pretty nice result."

McDonald is a co-author on the paper, which was led by Grant Tremblay, an astronomer at Yale University.

Black hole deluged by cold intergalactic 'rain'
Deep in the heart of the Abell 2597 Brightest Cluster Galaxy, astronomers see a small cluster of giant gas clouds raining in on the central black hole. They were revealed by the billion light-year-long shadows they cast toward Earth. These ALMA data present the first observational evidence for predicted "chaotic, cold" accretion on a supermassive black hole. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF; D. Berry / SkyWorks; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)
Seeing shadows

The researchers made their detection using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA—one of the most powerful telescopes in the world, designed to see the oldest, most distant galaxies in the universe. The team focused ALMA's telescopes 1 billion light years away, on the central galaxy in the Abell 2597 Cluster, a galaxy that is some tens of thousands of across. This particular galaxy is among the brightest in the universe, as it is likely producing many new stars.

The team originally wanted to get a sense for how many stars this cluster was churning out, so they mapped all the cold gas within the cluster. This cold gas has cooled and condensed out of the diffuse halo of hot gas surrounding a cluster, forming clumps. It is the collapse of cold gas that creates new stars, especially in the cluster's central galaxy.

"In the center of a cluster, there's a single massive galaxy, the big daddy galaxy of the cluster," McDonald says. "It's sitting at the bottom of a gravitational funnel, and all the gas from a thousand galaxies is available to it. These are the galaxies that are the most massive, with the most massive black holes in the universe, and the most potential for star formation."

The researchers used ALMA to map the spectral signatures, or radio emissions, from the galaxy cluster, looking specifically for signatures of carbon monoxide, the presence of which usually indicates very cold gas, of minus 200 degrees Fahrenheit and below. They mapped carbon monoxide across the entire and found that as they looked further into the cluster, they encountered progressively cooler gas, from millions of degrees Fahrenheit to subzero temperatures.

At the very center, just at the edge of the cluster's , the researchers discovered something quite unexpected: the shadows of three very cold, very clumpy gas clouds. The shadows were cast against bright jets of material spewing from the black hole, suggesting that these clouds were very close to being consumed by the black hole.

"We got very lucky," McDonald says. "We could probably look at 100 galaxies like this and not see what we saw just by chance. Seeing three shadows at once is like discovering not just one exoplanet, but three in the first try. Nature was very kind in this case."

Black hole deluged by cold intergalactic 'rain'
Composite image of Abell 2597 Brightest Cluster Galaxy. The background image (blue) is from the Hubble Space Telescope. The foreground (red) is ALMA data showing the distribution of carbon monoxide gas in and around the galaxy. The pull-out box is the ALMA data of the "shadow" (black) produced by absorption of the millimeter-wavelength light emitted by electrons whizzing around powerful magnetic fields near the galaxy's supermassive black hole. The shadow indicates that cold clouds of molecular gas are raining in on the black hole. Credit: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); G. Tremblay et al.; NASA/ESA Hubble; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)
A high-energy feast

The team estimated the velocities of the three clouds to be 240, 275, and 355 kilometers per second, with all three headed toward the black hole. McDonald says these three cold gas clouds will likely not stream straight into the black hole but instead be absorbed into its accretion disc—the massive disc of material that will eventually spiral into the black hole.

He adds that while ALMA was only able to see three clouds of cold gas near the black hole, there may be even more in the vicinity, setting the black hole up for quite a feast.

"We're only seeing this tiny sliver," McDonald says. "If there are three clouds in just our line of sight, there might be millions of clouds all around. And there's a tremendous amount of energy in just these three . So if we were to look at this thing a million years later, we might see that the black hole is in outburst—much brighter, with more powerful jets, because all this high-energy material is landing on it."


Explore further

Measuring a black hole 660 million times as massive as our sun

More information: Grant R. Tremblay et al, Cold, clumpy accretion onto an active supermassive black hole, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature17969
Journal information: Nature

Citation: Scientists observe supermassive black hole feeding on cold gas (2016, June 8) retrieved 25 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-06-scientists-supermassive-black-hole-cold.html
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Jun 08, 2016
The ridiculousness of these pseudoscientists and their feasting unicorns in a gravity only Universe is astonishing. We are truly in the dark ages of Cosmology. Following generations will laugh heartily at such utter rubbish!

Jun 08, 2016
Aren't you just the prophet...
Now explain WHY they will be laughing... (or not)

Jun 08, 2016
something quite unexpected: the shadows of three very cold, very clumpy gas clouds. The shadows were cast against bright jets of material spewing from the black hole, suggesting that these clouds were very close to being consumed by the black hole.


That the clouds are raining inward is a typical conclusion of a committed merger maniac. There are other cases where rather cold gas has been shown to be ejected mechanically outward.

Likely the observing resolution is low enough for the merger maniac to justify his conclusion, since such an observation has been highly sought for many years. How convenient.

Jun 08, 2016
"Now explain WHY they will be laughing... (or not)"
Because stuff comes out of these objects, just as it does form our Sun.

Jun 08, 2016
"—and may be only 150 light years away from its edge, almost certain to fall into the black hole, feeding its bottomless well."

A "bottomless well" ? Not "well" put when you think about it. No stellar body has infinite capacity, only a body that has infinite gravity can do that, and to get infinite gravity requires a body of infinite mass to form an infinite "bottomless well", presuming of course the allusion is about a gravity well.

Jun 08, 2016
June 8, 2016, 7:03 pm 1 IMP-9

A "bottomless well" ? Not "well" put when you think about it. No stellar body has infinite capacity, only a body that has infinite gravity can do that, and to get infinite gravity requires a body of infinite mass to form an infinite "bottomless well", presuming of course the allusion is about a gravity well.


It figures IMP9 that you too can't do this simple math, so I'm not surprised at the downvote......yours is the pseudo-science mentality that runs rampant here.

Jun 08, 2016
Those mechanical assumptions are laughable, first of all a CCM is surrounded by a super hot environment, hotter than a stars core any star, and any atom approaching this mass and this will lose its orbiting atoms to be suspended by gravity in orbit around the by gravity, building a magnetic field vessel around that mass , leaving just protons and neutrons approaching the mass, like a cosmic particle accelerator design, those neutrons and protons will be enveloped into a orbiting high velocity particle plasma field made of neutrons and protons in high velocity kinetic collisions like in a particle accelerator breaking apart into their quantum construction parts and raining on the mass by gravity to construct a quantum particle mass

Jun 08, 2016
Those mechanical assumptions are laughable, first of all a CCM is surrounded by a super hot environment, hotter than a stars core any star, and any atom approaching this mass and this will lose its orbiting atoms to be suspended by gravity in orbit around the by gravity, building a magnetic field vessel around that mass , leaving just protons and neutrons approaching the mass, like a cosmic particle accelerator design, those neutrons and protons will be enveloped into a orbiting high velocity particle plasma field made of neutrons and protons in high velocity kinetic collisions like in a particle accelerator breaking apart into their quantum construction parts and raining on the mass by gravity to construct a quantum particle mass
- ursiny33

Theghostofotto1923 makes yet another sock puppet to confuse the unwary so that Otto can yuck it up about how easy it is to fool these humans.

ISN'T THAT RIGHT, LUCI? YOUR TIME IS GETTING SHORTER, OTTO POTAHTO.
LMAO

Jun 09, 2016
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Jun 09, 2016
On this picture I can see how bright spot become dark spot after scalling. PhotoShop?

But for sure I can not see black hole and I doubt that anybody else wil be able to see such fairy tale object.

Jun 09, 2016
For all the same reasons we mock flat earthers, hollow earthers, and epicyclists. It is the pinnacle of absurdity.

Jun 09, 2016
@Chris_Reeve
That is because the article is about cold molecular hydrogen.
http://arxiv.org/...06.02304

You just refuse to learn don't you. Even papers you have linked admit this is plasma. You on the other hand still remain with your ears plugged, eyes blindfolded, and your mouth full of something shafty.

Jun 09, 2016
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Jun 09, 2016
You must just laugh your ass off when a baby starts crying at an opera.

Jun 09, 2016
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Jun 09, 2016
Is everything within 150 LY of the object in question moving towards it? The answer, which is where the laughter part comes in...is NO. Once again we have an example of mainstream tunnel vision math. If anything within 150LY of this object ISN'T moving towards it in a similar fashion, then it aint gravity moving the "cloud".

you must not be considering mass density, then. (Along with the gravitationally driven kinetics)
If you believe gravity can pick it's targets as this math suggests, ...

How on Earth does the "math" suggest that? Gravity operates differently with bodies of different densities (mass configuration).
It is only after gravity has assembled the associated components in a particular configuration that any subsequent electrical activity comes into play...

Jun 09, 2016
Introducing Chris_Reeve, the latest sockpuppet of HannesAlfven and plasmasrevenge.

Jun 09, 2016
It is only after gravity has assembled the associated components in a particular configuration that any subsequent electrical activity comes into play...

This is why one needs to place the coffee pot below the electrical outlets, so the electricity will flow "downhill".

Jun 09, 2016
It figures IMP9 that you too can't do this simple math,


I downvoted you because you're trying to be a pedant, but doing it very badly. A black hole is like a bottomless well in that something that falls in will fall forever, such is the nature of a singularity. You do not reach r=0 in a finite proper time. But I guess that's not "simple" enough for someone like you. Just because the colourful metaphor is lost on you doesn't mean it's wrong.

Jun 09, 2016
you must not be considering mass density, then.


LMAO!!! Would you like me to find one object denser than the gas cloud closer than 150LY that is NOT moving towards the object? Cause to counter this point that's all it would take.

If it has sufficient kinetic momentum couple with sufficient density, It might not be moving directly towards the BH. Rather, in an orbital configuration or - just passing thru...

(Along with the gravitationally driven kinetics)


Expand how you envision gravitationally driven Kinetics.
The use of planetary bodies to accelerate or decelerate spacecraft should be sufficient explanation...

Jun 09, 2016
How on Earth does the "math" suggest that? Gravity operates differently with bodies of different densities (mass configuration).


See my counter to your first point.

see my counter to your counter to my 1st point...

It is only after gravity has assembled the associated components in a particular configuration that any subsequent electrical activity comes into play...


All stable SA particles interact via their charge. Nobody has discovered "quantum gravity yet". Electrical activity doesn't even apply until the charges migrate in the form of a current. But gravity has nothing to do with atomic bonding...you're dead wrong.

May be... But magnetism does. And even tho you may consider magnetic fields as insufficient to have any effect at any distance - YOU'RE dead wrong...

Jun 09, 2016
It is only after gravity has assembled the associated components in a particular configuration that any subsequent electrical activity comes into play...

This is why one needs to place the coffee pot below the electrical outlets, so the electricity will flow "downhill".

Coffee pots are usually on a counter in a kitchen - which usually has outlets on the wall, ABOVE the coffee pot heating element, so...

hmmm...
Must be the logic you followed when making that really stupid analogy...

Jun 09, 2016
It is only after gravity has assembled the associated components in a particular configuration that any subsequent electrical activity comes into play...

This is why one needs to place the coffee pot below the electrical outlets, so the electricity will flow "downhill".

Coffee pots are usually on a counter in a kitchen - which usually has outlets on the wall, ABOVE the coffee pot heating element, so...

hmmm...
Must be the logic you followed when making that really stupid analogy...
- WhydG

You purport to be an "artist", yet you could not quickly see the sarcasm in CD's coffee pot analogy? Do you also frown at obviously funny comedy club routines?
Where is the OLD WhydeningGyre who used to be a fun guy before he took his FIVE ratings by his "fan club" as a matter of course?
Well, keep on catering to the "lost souls" who vote you FIVES even when your posts are inane, but vote you down whenever you don't do right by them.

Jun 09, 2016
It is only after gravity has assembled the associated components in a particular configuration that any subsequent electrical activity comes into play...

This is why one needs to place the coffee pot below the electrical outlets, so the electricity will flow "downhill".

Coffee pots are usually on a counter in a kitchen - which usually has outlets on the wall, ABOVE the coffee pot heating element, so...

hmmm...
Must be the logic you followed when making that really stupid analogy...
- WhydG

You purport to be an "artist", yet you could not quickly see the sarcasm in CD's coffee pot analogy? Do you also frown at obviously funny comedy club routines?

I took his comment to be demeaning, rather than humorous sarcasm...

Jun 10, 2016
Chris_Reeve 1 /5 (11) Jun 09, 2016
The article uses the word "gas" 20 times. It doesn't give plasma even a single mention.


I could fart in your face and you'd call it plasma.

Jun 10, 2016
May be... But magnetism does. And even tho you may consider magnetic fields as insufficient to have any effect at any distance - YOU'RE dead wrong...


Umm...you're talking to the guy who believes only magnetic fields operate over astronomical distance and are responsible for the plasma motion we observe ... so in essence we agree on this...

We'll leave that discussion for another time. I have a theory...:-)
re-read the article, the claim is that a gravitational source 150LY from a cloud is responsible for it's trajectory and velocity.

I re-read the article. That claim is not made, but inferred. And yes, it is possible - depending on the "density" of the attracted matter. When you have a large enough gravity well, molecular sized matter will move toward it more easily than the "denser" (larger chunks), which already have their own "trajectories" and therefore be more resistant to momentum change. Denser mass to affect, therefore less action on it.

Jun 10, 2016
[q
It is only after gravity has assembled the associated components in a particular configuration that any subsequent electrical activity comes into play...

That comment was intended more for CD85.
All stable SA particles interact via their charge. Nobody has discovered "quantum gravity yet". Electrical activity doesn't even apply until the charges migrate in the form of a current. But gravity has nothing to do with atomic bonding...you're dead wrong.

Who is talking about SA particles?!? We're talking about cold, molecular sized matter (in this case, usually neutral-ish hydrogen).

Jun 10, 2016
It figures IMP9 that you too can't do this simple math,


I downvoted you because you're trying to be a pedant, but doing it very badly
......no you didn't post a 1 Star for "pedant", you cast it for the following reason which even you admit to:

A black hole is like a bottomless well in that something that falls in will fall forever, such is the nature of a singularity
.......there is no such thing as "bottomless" within the body of any stellar mass & you can't prove differently. Many BHs begin as neutron or super-novae stage stars before proceeding to the so-called BH stage, so where was the "infinite gravity" at those points? It just sort of shows up is that the idea? No need for the presence of additional mass for creation of all that new found gravity according to you, we'll just label it a "singularity" and VOILA, infinite gravity makes it's appearance out of nowhere......talk about people who believe in Funny Farm Pseudo-science.

Jun 10, 2016
Upon a galaxy's maturity into disc formation, its negative charge presents a negative electric field into its center whereby protons assume unique population at a margin separating a negative outer domain of stellar matter and a growing positive inner domain of accretion.
While the inner domain is formed as a disc, it performs a sorting procedure upon stellar matter:
• It extracts electrons from atoms by calling them to a positive field along its rotational axis. They repel each other as a pair electron beams departing the galaxy.
• Naked protons rise to extend the invasion aloft.
• Neutrons, naked or paired with a proton present chaotic orbital descent to the black hole.
As the inner domain slows and grows fat, the polar jets have had their chips. The resulting galactic bulge keeps its electrons in its tummy but goes on acting as jaws for the BH.
Nothing comes out of the BH!

Jun 11, 2016
I did downvote you for being a pedant. It's a metaphor designed to make the writing more interesting not factual accuracy. I'm quite sure you knew that but you're constantly itching for a rant.

Many BHs begin as neutron or super-novae stage stars before proceeding to the so-called BH stage, so where was the "infinite gravity" at those points? It just sort of shows up is that the idea?


I'm not sure how to respond to that gibberish but I'll try. If the Earth were to shrink to half it's radius the surface gravity would quadruple. No extra mass is required, I'm just shrinking r. This is Newtonian gravity, not magic. Gravity is not some conserved quantity in physics if you're measuring at different places. Now if I shrink the radius to zero the surface gravity is infinite. Far away from the earth this collapse would make no difference to the gravitational field.

Jun 11, 2016
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Jun 11, 2016
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Jun 11, 2016
And in response to repeated textbook and technical explanation by plasma experts phails1 responds with; "wiki says"! Wow! The rubery is fantastic.

Jun 11, 2016
If the Earth were to shrink to half it's radius the surface gravity would quadruple. No extra mass is required


WOW........according to your version of GR, just increase the density of an object, adding no additional atoms, and VOILA, up goes gravity like so much magic no additional mass necessary. You don't have the foggiest concept of gravity versus radius, versus mass, versus density, or much of anything else utilizing Einstein Field Equations. Go back to Facebook & stay there, you're not worth the bother trying to have an intelligent conversation with when it comes to very basic 1st Semester Physics.

Jun 11, 2016
Ugh Benni. *Surface Gravity* *Surface Gravity*

Let's try this in another way you may understand, simply apply Newtonian Gravity. F_grav = GmM/r^2. Now, let r_2 = 0.5r.... Then you can define F_grav_2 = GmM/r_2^2 = GmM/(0.5r)^2 = 4GmM/r^2 ........

Don't even need differential equations.

By all means, feel free to correct me? If m,M,G are all constant, and r_2 = 0.5r, how much would the surface gravity increase?

Jun 11, 2016
Ugh Benni. *Surface Gravity* *Surface Gravity*

Let's try this in another way you may understand, simply apply Newtonian Gravity. F_grav = GmM/r^2. Now, let r_2 = 0.5r.... Then you can define F_grav_2 = GmM/r_2^2 = GmM/(0.5r)^2 = 4GmM/r^2 ........

Don't even need differential equations.

By all means, feel free to correct me? If m,M,G are all constant, and r_2 = 0.5r, how much would the surface gravity increase?

Matt,
Actually I think he does understand it, but is just "fishing"...
(Looking for someone to engage with him)
Apparently, his "estate" is not enough to keep him busy...

Jun 11, 2016
WOW........according to your version of GR, just increase the density of an object, adding no additional atoms, and VOILA, up goes gravity like so much magic no additional mass necessary.


LMAO, Mr. "Differential Equations" himself emits a gaffe exposing his complete lack of understanding of GR. A glistening example of how radius affects gravity at a given mass is:
https://en.wikipe...d_radius

Compressed to its Schwarzschild radius any given mass is going to have a higher surface gravity. "VOILA" you nincompoop.

Jun 12, 2016
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Jun 12, 2016
Upon a galaxy's maturity into disc formation, its negative charge presents a negative electric field into its center whereby protons assume unique population at a margin separating a negative outer domain of stellar matter and a growing positive inner domain of accretion.
While the inner domain is formed as a disc, it performs a sorting procedure upon stellar matter:
• It extracts electrons from atoms by calling them to a positive field along its rotational axis. They repel each other as a pair electron beams departing the galaxy.
• Naked protons rise to extend the invasion aloft.
• Neutrons, naked or paired with a proton present chaotic orbital descent to the black hole.
As the inner domain slows and grows fat, the polar jets have had their chips. The resulting galactic bulge keeps its electrons in its tummy but goes on acting as jaws for the BH.
Nothing comes out of the BH!
U R not dealing with issue. Just denigrating authors.

Jun 12, 2016
LMAO, Mr. "Differential Equations" himself emits a gaffe exposing his complete lack of understanding of GR. A glistening example of how radius affects gravity at a given mass is


Well you just go right ahead & do your LMAO, then go study some Differential Equations by which Einstein derived his Field Equations. Then if you can follow the math (which you've already hinted that you can't), you will come to learn that the gravity of a mass cannot change unless there is a change in the quantity of its mass. Gravity is not DENSITY dependent, it is TOTAL MASS dependent, learn the difference.

How did you ever come up with the concept that squeezing a billion atoms of something into a smaller volume increases its inherent gravitational attraction to another body? I'd say your grade school science teacher knew as little about 1st Semester Physics as you do,

Jun 12, 2016
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Jun 12, 2016
and benni continues not understanding the difference between "surface gravity" and "gravity".... oh this is epic

Jun 12, 2016
Ok Benni,

Succinctly, Gravity follows the inverse square law. The further you are away from an object the less gravitational acceleration you feel. Increasing the density without adding mass decreases the radius and decreases the distance between particles.

Standing on Earth you feel the gravitational attraction of all the particles that make up the planet. Some of those particles are over 12000 kilometers away from you. If we crushed the Earth to its Schwarszchild radius all of the particles would fit into the size of a peanut. Standing on the surface of this peanut you'd feel a greater gravitational effect from those particles that had otherwise been 12000+ km away because you are closer to them.

This is definitely one for the "Captain Stumpy presents Benni's Greatest Hits" collection.

Jun 12, 2016
Continued.
Since stars are liquid metals and not plasma's I reject the statement that 99% of baryonic matter is in the plasma state. It could be as much as 50% though, see
https://en.wikipe...c_medium

When you rely almost entirely on wiki to get your knowledge, is it any wonder why ignorance and false knowledge drive your beliefs. Stars along with this molecular hydrogen are plasma.

Jun 13, 2016
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Jun 15, 2016
How did you ever come up with the concept that squeezing a billion atoms of something into a smaller volume increases its inherent gravitational attraction to another body?

It doesn't increase "inherent" GRAVITY. The total gravity is the same. It's the amount of force applied to a given discrete locality, depending on the distance from the mass's surface, that is being referred to.

This math comes from Newton, btw...

Jun 15, 2016
@Phys1, this is exactly the stuff the Sokal Affair proved has destroyed philosophy and along with it history and sociology. Deconstruct deconstructionism and you find jealousy. They don't even want to admit reality exists, never mind hard science. They all turned into lawyers whose clients are themselves, and you know what they say about that.

Everything's about some "narrative" or something. They handwave and claim you can't actually know anything; that's where they went wrong. Until they figure it out and stop staring at their navels and look at consensus reality they're not worth wasting time talking to.

Jun 15, 2016
How did you ever come up with the concept that squeezing a billion atoms of something into a smaller volume increases its inherent gravitational attraction to another body?

It doesn't increase "inherent" GRAVITY. The total gravity is the same.
Say rather, the gravity field is the same for a given amount of mass in the limit of distance from the mass. It makes it totally unambiguous what you mean.

It's the amount of force applied to a given discrete locality, depending on the distance from the mass's surface, that is being referred to.

This math comes from Newton, btw...
Yes, it's very important to note that surface gravity changes with surface area but total gravity does not in the limit of distance. Once you go under the surface the gravity starts to fall off because there is less mass between you and the center of gravity of the mass and more mass above you.

This result is indeed from Newton.

Jun 15, 2016
It doesn't increase "inherent" GRAVITY. The total gravity is the same.
Say rather, the gravity field is the same for a given amount of mass in the limit of distance from the mass. It makes it totally unambiguous what you mean.

But that sounds so, I dunno, professional... Benni might not get it.:-)

It's the amount of force applied to a given discrete locality, depending on the distance from the mass's surface, that is being referred to.

This math comes from Newton, btw...
Yes, it's very important to note that surface gravity changes with surface area but total gravity does not in the limit of distance. Once you go under the surface the gravity starts to fall off because there is less mass between you and the center of gravity of the mass and more mass above you.

Notice how I didn't qualify which direction of distance from the surface...:-)

Jun 15, 2016
Until they figure it out and stop staring at their navels and look at consensus reality they're not worth wasting time talking to.

Consensus reality? So it's reality by popular vote? Sounds about right for your beliefs.

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