Supermassive Black Holes

Supermassive Black Holes

2000, Science  -   58 Comments
Ratings: 8.41/10 from 80 users.

Supermassive Black HolesIn June 2000, astronomers made an extraordinary discovery. One that promises to solve one of the biggest problems in cosmology – how and why galaxies are created. Incredibly, the answer involves the most weird, destructive and terrifying objects in the Universe – supermassive black holes. Scientists are beginning to believe that these forces of pure destruction actually help trigger the birth of galaxies and therefore are at the heart of the creation of stars, planets and all life.

Exactly how our galaxy was created has mystified astronomers and physicists for years. Although there have been many theories, there’s little evidence to explain how the gas in the early Universe condensed to form the galaxy we see today. Now scientists realise they’ve been missing a vital ingredient – a supermassive black hole. The immense gravity of a giant black hole might trigger the gas to collapse in the first place. By churning up the gas around it, a giant black hole would trigger the birth of stars, planets and life itself. Despite being the most destructive thing in the Universe, scientists now think our supermassive black hole could be crucial in creating the galaxy as we know it.

The supermassive black hole in our own galaxy may be the reason we exist, but recent work suggests it may also be our end. At present Earth is so far away from the black hole that it can’t affect us, but physicist John Dubinski thinks all that could change. In January 2000 he graphically simulated the final fate of our galaxy. In 3 billion years we will collide with the next door galaxy, Andromeda. The resulting apocalypse will force the Earth and our Solar System out of orbit. Dubinski has calculated a worrying 50:50 chance that we’ll be sent hurtling in towards the black hole at the centre of this maelstrom. This would be fatal for the Earth.

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2 years ago

We know that a giant star transforms into a black hole,so based on that truth,a giant star was at every centre of every galaxy,and thru its actions and transformation it became what we have there now,a black hole.What the black hole was and how it behaved unto the formation of each of the galaxys,is not fully understood as it is not there for us to observe now.The stars at the centre of a galaxy at the time of there existence would not be like anything we can observe today as it was a seed that creates galaxys,and is probably a different object to anything in our observable universe.Unfortunately we are somewhere inbetween the beginning and probably the end.And as much as we try to theorise based on what we know,we cant know this,because its on another level of existence,that must be observed to understand its incredible,galaxy and element forming dynamic.Im not saying what it was composed of,but all the elements of the universe would have to be contained within it.Incredible it would be.And like nothing we have ever seen.

6 years ago

Einstein has been proven wrong as has been many. Just because some scientist has a theory and presents it doesn't mean a whole lot if you know the rest of the story or a lot more of it and how they miss the mark. Watch the docu "The Principle"(not sure if available on here, saw it elsewhere, but I highly reco it) concerning the Copernican view of the Universe that we all were wrongly taught. They touch on more than one view, present their findings, discuss with other scientists, even those that cannot let go of their nonsense but admit holes in their prior theories. Are black holes truly necessary? Are you sure?

6 years ago

I should add, one of the ppl who appear in the doco, Martin Rees, was actually one of the theorists of the 74 SBH. So probably none of this surprised him.
Though at the time, I doubt many ppl actually believed in black holes-even tho they'd been predicted by none other than Einstein.

6 years ago

The physicists/astronomers in this doc act surprised at the discovery of the SBH at the center of Andromeda. But from what I've read, our own Milky Way's SBH, Sag A*, was discovered way back in 1974.
Which strikes me as odd. From this doc, I guess I made the mistake of assuming these scientists didn't realize until recently that the Milky Way even has a black hole in its center.
How on earth did the 1974 guys even find a SBH without all the newfangled telescopes that we have today?
Then again, the source is Wikipedia so....who knows.

Ginamarie t.
7 years ago

Connect the dots people! It's like yin yang this doc does say it appears that all galaxies have black holes relatively proportioned to the size of each galaxy. I was not a math expert in school but I have had a deep passion for Astro physics since a very young age. It makes sense to come to understand that ALL galaxies have these black holes . Think of it like this the yin is the matter and the yang is the energy and gravity it takes to hold in place . It can even relate to newtons law to every action is a OPPOSIT REACTION. A body that stays in motion tends to STAY IN MOTION.. I'm paraphrasing this but I'm sure someone gets what I mean. If we could connect all the matter into the web of space and time then those black holes would simply be the catacombs of the matter that exists in each galaxy and each black hole in each galaxy could explain the very essence of how gravity, matter and the energy of each and every mass can continue and coexist in the web of our universe

Dr f
7 years ago

Graphics r great need more research

Dr d
7 years ago

New theorem as mass cannot be destroyed black holes may lead to multiverse exchanges .mass sucked by 1 black hole of universe prime = mass given by another black hole of multiverse parade or mass emitted by white hole of. Universe prime

Matthew Holder
7 years ago

I don't understand the universe but I can recognize a supermassive a**hole as Jonno when I read one!!!

7 years ago

I cant wrap my head around dust "floating" in a vacuum. And "explosions" in a vacuum.

8 years ago

lol.."the only one who understands" in awe of yourself, eh?

*the music is from disney's Black can u dis that? great doc !!

9 years ago

Need more data.

9 years ago

The 3 billion year collision will not matter for earth. The sun will have gotten too hot to support life in less than 2 billion years.

11 years ago

when a galaxy is born, i believe it begins as an enormous cloud of gases..those gases are more than likely warmer than surrounding space, and thus movement within the cloud will begin..i believe that the movement within the cloud creates great pressure at the heart of the cloud and so begins a black hole..of course it's just a theory..

11 years ago

Great stuff. Gotta watch the others now

Ken Davis
11 years ago

It is impossible to get to the heart of creation seeing that the universe was created supernaturally.

11 years ago

Life is so amazing, the best part of it, we don't know everything.

Matthew Marrinan
12 years ago

At 08:26 it is demonstrated that whilst Dr. Alan Dressler has mastered the intricate workings of the exceptionally small to the thought provokingly large, he has yet to master the finer points of office car space allocation as he somehow manages to park 1.5 people in, and simultaneously block access to the space he should have originally taken.

However, I must admit the exceptionally poor angle of the car is spectacularly offset by the thought provoking angle of the camera.

12 years ago

Well, I loved the music, the content, the CGI, everything.

12 years ago

I that the music was in Star Wars

12 years ago

The background music is from the first "Predator" movie, which makes it pretty damn awesome!

12 years ago

jonno u need to get ur ass to nassa, tell them they're all idiots, get them to take ur word for everything 'for it is i, jonno. the only one who understands it all' then thrust ur fists in the air and stare at it and scream "BEHOLD" then when u hear phones ringing in the background and ppl murmuring and feel lots of eyes on u, u might snap out of it.

12 years ago

the doco was pretty cool! the question im left with is: if black holes created all galaxies.....where did black holes come from? oh, i thought the music was nice yo!!!

12 years ago

The eerie music is from Disney's 1979 movie The Black Hole. :D

12 years ago

no u r the one among in the whole world who is unaware of the possibilities of a black hole which is deeply but invisibly dependent on supporting each and every life,matter,antimatter the cosmos

But i don't suppose u understand it until the reign of those astounding discovery make up human minds more thirsty to discover more about the cosmos

13 years ago

The music is off putting, it just doesnt stop. And I noticed soundtracks from Predator, Aliens and Star Trek.

13 years ago

I'm fairly certain that a part of the Predator sound track was played during this documentary

13 years ago

i dont think the music is important as personally i was too engrossed by the content.

My only thought is that surely we are just as screwed if thrown off into the emptiness of space?

13 years ago

I agree that the music is horribly off-putting.

13 years ago

all I could think of was the Predator soundtrack when I watched this doc. Lol

13 years ago

f*** that music, omg

great content though

13 years ago

A fascinating subject totally wrecked by the accompaning music. Pity, the music was so distracting that I simply could not watch the documentary and had to give up.

13 years ago

How can there NOT be a black hole at the center of each and every galaxy? Do astronomers not understand "mass" and "gravity", and understand the implications of mass and gravity? Am I the only one who understands the Universe? I am in awe.