Black-Hole-Powered Planets Reach Speeds Matched Only by SubAtomic Particles
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April 06, 2012

Black-Hole-Powered Planets Reach Speeds Matched Only by SubAtomic Particles

 

           2-CircinusGalaxyBlackHole


New research has found that hypervelocity planets may be flung to the outer reaches of the galaxy by black holes at speeds matched only by subatomic particles, traveling at 1.5 to 30 million miles per hour.

The finding builds on previous work on hypervelocity stars, which appear when a binary star system — two stars orbiting a central point — enter the gravitational well of a black hole, similar to the one at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The black hole tears the stars apart, sending one of the stars hurtling from the galaxy at very high speeds while the other remains within the gravitational field of the black hole.

Harvard's Avi Loeb, chair of the Harvard astronomy department, surmised that such planets could be seen through a telescope as “transits,” or traces, as they crossed a star’s light. He subsequently launched his collaboration with Dartmouth's Ginsburg to examine the possibility of such planets’ existence.

“Once we realized that, it was clear to me that we could make a paper out of this,” Loeb said.Ginsburg and Loeb continued their collaborative research following Ginsburg’s move to Dartmouth to continue his studies. They developed computer simulations to explore the existence of hypervelocity planets, using facilities at both institutions, according to Ginsburg.

The simulations placed the planets orbiting the binary stars in a binary planet system. When subjected to the same pressures that form hypervelocity stars, the models revealed that the planets would be similarly ejected at high speeds, Ginsburg said.

The planets would travel toward the outer reaches of the galaxy and beyond at 1.5 to four times the speed of hypervelocity stars, potentially making them the fastest moving objects other than subatomic particles.

Hypervelocity stars are rarely seen due to technological limitations, but observing a planet orbiting a hypervelocity star would “say a lot about having planet formation” around the center of a galaxy, Ginsburg said, describing this possibility as “the cutting edge of knowledge.”

The image at top of the page by the Hubble Space Telescope shows the active galactic nucleus of the Circinus Galaxy, where matter glows brightly before likely spiraling into a massive black hole. Although only 15 million light years distant, the Circinus Galaxy went unnoticed until 25 years ago because it is so obscured by material in the plane of the Milky Way.

The Daily Galaxy via Dartmouth.edu

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Comments

Maybe if we could learn to control gravity we could make an artificial 'black hole' (that can be 'turned off' and 'on') that can slingshot space ships / satelites to near light speed...

With the right orbit ships can travel really fast. The trick is finding the nearest black hole, send a ship towards it, then repeat until the ship gains enough speed.

Similar strategies are used to send spacecraft from planet to planet today!

There are other problems but the one that came to my mind (such as it is) is the Roche Limit and the tidal forces involved. I believe we all can see it in our minds what it would be like.

The point that interests me most here that one is approaching high speed stars in distant galaxies around 12 billion years away. These objects send e.m. signals whose speed need to be measured in order to check the possibility of super-lumin speeds, exceeding the accepted 'c' value today!

"but observing a planet orbiting a hypervelocity star "

The differences the star and planet would have like distance from each other and the ejecting force, the difference of their size/weight and their original trajectories seems like it would be next to impossible for the planet to still orbit the star. The odds would be like 1 in 10 billion that would stay together for a short period and 1 in 100 billion that would last longer than a few years. And yes, I pulled these numbers out of the air. Im sure the real numbers are much higher.

"such planets could be seen through a telescope as “transits,” or traces, as they crossed a star’s light."

The diameter of Jupiter = 88,846 miles and as I understand it that near the top of planet size before becoming a star. Lets say 90,000 miles across, moving on the slow side of 1.5 million miles per hour, even if the star it was passing was a super giant and the distance apart was perfect for us to see it, even if we was expecting it and all ready looking, it would pass so fast that an accurate measurement of size and speed and distance from us would only be a guess. But I guess we see lots of guesses claimed as true in astronomy. But I guess if we was expecting it and all ready looking we would all ready have some idea about those things. If it was at the top end of the speed, 30 million miles per hour, I doubt it would even register on any equipment we have today, digital, photographic or electronic.

@Smartypants:"If we was expecting it"...Twice. TUT.
If we WERE expecting it.

Now you know why I didnt use the name "PerfectGrammer"

And its sad that all you had to offer. 8(

"Perfect Grammer". Hmm.(Incorrectly spelt.) No, definitely stick with smartypants. Soz, I just can't help myself..

;)

Actually, while worrying about your grammar, I totally forgot to mention that you make a valid point.

My sentiments exactly

There is a big problem now with the reliability of this piece of news. There was an experiment at CERN claiming a neutrino (a very light and small subatomic particle ) was claimed to have been accelerated faster than light and ALL the AMERICAN scientists disagreed with that finding. Most scientists still agree with Einstein that the speed of light is the universal SPEED LIMIT!!!!. The first BIG mistake in this article is the cement" speeds only matched by subatomic particles" that made me realize this is bogus. The speed of subatomic particles still do not move faster than the speed of light. Light which is made of the subatomic particle photon is the fastest. the rest of the particles have to be accelerated in a particle accelerator to get close to the speed of light. Also In a super nova millions of light years away neutrinos did not get here before light either. Do some of your own research.

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/318661/20120323/rogue-planets-light-speed-supermassive-black-hole.htm


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