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A galaxy slowly being eaten by its black hole

Spiral galaxy
Click for full image.

Cool image time! The photo to the right, rotated and reduced to post here, was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. From the caption:

NGC 5495, which lies around 300 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra, is a Seyfert galaxy, a type of galaxy with a particularly bright central region. These luminous cores — known to astronomers as active galactic nuclei — are dominated by the light emitted by dust and gas falling into a supermassive black hole. This image is drawn from a series of observations captured by astronomers studying supermassive black holes lurking in the hearts of other galaxies.

Essentially Seyfert galaxies are galaxies whose central supermassive black hole has become dominant, large enough that its gravity is slowly eating up the rest of the galaxy. As it increasingly swallows stars and gas, the black hole emits more and more energy, thus becoming an active galactic nuclei.

Two stars from our own galaxy also dominate this picture, one inside and to the right of the galaxy’s center, and the other the bright star at the bottom of the picture, both identified by the diffraction spikes.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • GaryMike

    This from a post I made elsewhere:

    The diameter of a black hole event horizon determines the longest wave length of the radiation it can produce.

    The thermal temperature of the event horizon can not yet equal the thermal temperature of the surrounding vacuum which is colder and able to radiate at longer wavelengths.

    Conservation of information (things and other stuff) stored on the surface of the horizon in planck length units probably requires the condition.

    Something about the vacuum/spacetime/quantum mechanics is forcing them to evaporate to lose mass, limit horizon diameter & the corresponding longest frequency radiating wavelength.

    Inflation has made the vacuum colder than the black holes. Why do they resist inflation?

    I was an educator, not a theorist.

    I’m guessing.

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