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Caught on Tape: Death Star Galaxy

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The latest act of senseless violence caught on tape is cosmic in scope: A black hole in a "death star galaxy" blasting a neighboring galaxy with a deadly jet of radiation and energy.

A fleet of space and ground telescopes have captured images of this cosmic violence, which people have never witnessed before, according to a new study released Monday by NASA.

"It's like a bully, a black-hole bully punching the nose of a passing galaxy," said astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, who wasn't involved in the research.

But ultimately, this could be a deadly punch.

The telescope images show the bully galaxy shooting a stream of deadly radiation particles into the lower section of the other galaxy, which is about one-tenth its size. Both are about 8.2 billion trillion miles from here, orbiting around each other.

The larger galaxy has a multi-digit name but is called the "death star galaxy" by one of the researchers who discovered the galactic bullying, Daniel Evans of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Tens of millions of stars, including those with orbiting planets, are likely in the path of the deadly jet, said study co-author Martin Hardcastle of the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom.

If Earth were in the way - and it's not - the high-energy particles and radiation of the jet would in a matter of months strip away the planet's protective ozone layer and compress the protective magnetosphere, said Evans. That would then allow the sun and the jet itself to bombard the planet with high-energy particles.

And what would that do life on the planet?

"Decompose it," Tyson said.

"Sterilize it," Evans piped in.

Death Star Galaxy

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I am amazed by the distance and that man has created something that can pick up the light from that far, "8.2 billion trillion miles." Wow!

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I am amazed by the distance and that man has created something that can pick up the light from that far, "8.2 billion trillion miles." Wow!

The Chandra telescope detects X-ray "light".

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I especially like the sage advice given by Tyson at the end of the full article:

"avoid black holes when you can."

Great article though.

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The latest act of senseless violence caught on tape is cosmic in scope: A black hole in a "death star galaxy" blasting a neighboring galaxy with a deadly jet of radiation and energy....

"It's like a bully, a black-hole bully punching the nose of a passing galaxy," said astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, who wasn't involved in the research.

But ultimately, this could be a deadly punch.

The telescope images show the bully galaxy shooting a stream of deadly radiation particles into the lower section of the other galaxy...

I wonder if Q from Star Trek could solve this problem?

Probably too powerful even for him! :)

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Something this brings to mind is that the universe -- the physical universe -- is neither malevolent nor benevolent, simply indifferent. That Death Star Galaxy isn't out to kill anyone (And there may well be sentient beings in its path), any more than our own Sun is deliberately nurturing us.

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Something this brings to mind is that the universe -- the physical universe -- is neither malevolent nor benevolent, simply indifferent. That Death Star Galaxy isn't out to kill anyone (And there may well be sentient beings in its path), any more than our own Sun is deliberately nurturing us.

I wouldn't call the universe "indifferent" either. The universe simply is or, as Ayn Rand might say, the universe cannot be evaluated in moral terms because it is metaphysical and not man-made.

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