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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dust in the Wind: That's All We Are

"New Galaxy" artwork by Richard Hampson
First, I'm going to apologize for this really cheesy heading. But, the correlation between the song title and the article was just too much for me to (choose to) resist.

According to this article from CNN, scientists have discovered 'dust in the wind' which explains where planets and all of us come from.

Scientists theorized that planets were created from space dust, but no one could explain where there space dust came from until now. This dust was found in winds randomly being emitted from a super-massive black hole, and was first detected in a quasar.

I find this interesting as what I have always heard about black holes is that they are
"A region in space where gravity is so strong that space closes back on itself, allowing nothing, not even light, to escape."
Unsure what exactly the difference is between a regular black hole and a 'supermassive' one, I checked, and a supermassive black hole is defined as
"Black holes that have the mass of 10 to 100 billion Suns. They are found in the centers of galaxies called active galactic nuclei, which are incredibly energetic."

So, to my very unscientific mind, this discovery seems to be a contradiction. I looked up what a quasar was, and discovered it is
"The highly luminous core of a remote galaxy, thought to be powered by a supermassive black hole. Quasars look like stars on an ordinary photograph but have very different spectra."

So, I don't understand how stuff is coming out of a black hole of any type (it could be said this is a black hole passing gas . . .ok sorry for that cheesy reference, too), but I do find this utterly fascinating.

In the dust itself they found many things, including sapphires and rubies. So, there are precious gems floating around in space. Maybe that children's song needs to have some lyrical changes, eh?

"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high
like sapphires and rubies in the sky . . "

What do YOU think about this discovery?


black hole. (accessed October 10, 2007)

quasar. (accessed October 10, 2007)

supermassive black hole. (accessed October 10, 2007)

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