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The spiral galaxy M91

spiral galaxy M91
Click for full release image.

Cool image time! The image to the right, reduced to post here, was released today by the Space Telescope Science Institute as part of a regular program using the Hubble Space Telescope to photograph galaxies.

This observation is part of an effort to build a treasure trove of astronomical data exploring the connections between young stars and the clouds of cold gas in which they form. To do this, astronomers used Hubble to obtain ultraviolet and visible observations of galaxies already seen at radio wavelengths by the ground-based Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array.

The galaxy is estimated to be about 55 million light years away, and is thought to have a supermassive black hole at its center with a mass somewhere between 9 and 38 million times the mass of the Sun.

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.


  • Typo alert: last sentence: “… is thought to have a supermassive black hole at its center with a mass somewhere between 9 and 38” — presumably: million — “times the mass of the Sun.” [probably not billion]

  • Michael McNeil: Yup, I forgot to type “million.” Fixed.

  • GaryMike

    If rotation is a fundamental organizing principle of 4-dimensional space-time, what can we infer from speculations about its equivalent in higher dimensional places, like those of 10- or 11- dimensional String theories. Just a lessor variation of vibratory behavior?

    Why do black holes seem to rotate if they are outside the normal 4-D space-time environment? Lipstick on a pig?

  • GaryMike asked: “Why do black holes seem to rotate if they are outside the normal 4-D space-time environment?”

    Perhaps they don’t. It may be that our 4D perception ‘sees’ rotation. And maybe the Universe is rotating around the black hole. Eye of the beholder, and all.

  • wayne

    check this (first one) out– some great factoids.
    (For our black hole, Sagittarius A*, the event horizon is spinning at about 30% the speed of light.)

    Black Hole Spin
    The Science Asylum (2019)

    More to your point, explore the Kerr Metric.

    Kerr Metric Video 1,
    Tensor Calculus Robert Davie

  • wayne


    This Guy addresses some of what you might be getting at. Upper-level undergrad & heavy on math, he has literally hundreds of hours available, but you should be able to zero in to some, just on the titled topics.

    “My background is in string theory and I teach both particle physics and general relativity…”

  • GaryMike


    Thank you. Finally, some stimulation.

    No, this is not a date.

  • GaryMike

    Perhaps oddly, I came to understand the underlying conceptual frameworks without knowing any of the math. I’ve spent 40 years trying to learn Spanish (family pressures) without much success. Math, for me and a lot of others, has always been a foreign language. In fact, it is.

    The coursework linked above, I don’t really use it to understand the work of the course. I actually get quite a lot of it (even earned income explicating for paying students).

    I use the coursework to backwards engineer the math I never understood up front because my teachers/professors either didn’t know the material themselves, or weren’t able to communicate the material in understandable ways.

    Thank you for pointing me to additional material.

    I know that I don’t know enough.


  • GaryMike

    Again, at risk of aggrandizing by quoting myself: “Why do black holes seem to rotate if they are outside the normal 4-D space-time environment?”

    It was an imprecise expression of my intended question.

    Do black hole singularities rotate? Would they have to, since they’re no longer actual participants in our own 4-D reality?

    If they do rotate, do they rotate the same way 4-D objects outside the event horizon(s) do, or chaotically as they rotate in multiple higher than 4-D dimensions simultaneously, not sharing the same coordinate system origins?

    How fast could they “chaotically” spin before overcoming structurally coherent gravitational compression, assuming that they are still subject to gravitational compression?

    Why won’t the Simulation allow us to see inside event horizons?

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