Gravitational Wavelengths Could Crack the Black Hole Code

ripples can help us understand gravitational waves and black holes

A paper published in the Science Journal details how a team of researchers is about to crack the mysterious black hole code. The research has been making waves within the science media community, with some claiming that the secret to how they grow has been discovered. Although this is not altogether true, the scientists have said that they are one step closer to figuring out just what exactly makes these black holes, invisible to the naked human eye, tick. The paper pursues new thinking and ideas about the growth and behavior of supermassive black holes with new data that has emerged on this very subject thanks to a special telescope in eastern Australia, the CSIRO’s Parkes radio telescope.

Before continuing, lets understand what a black hole is, and then what a supermassive black hole is.

Simply put, a black hole is an area of space that has an incredibly intense gravitational field, so intense that no matter or radiation can escape. Gravity is pulling so intensely that not even light can be emitted, or “get out”.  What often happens when a star is dying is that the matter gets squeezed and compacted into a tiny space. Since light cannot be emitted, black hole are invisible to the human eye.  A supermassive Black hole is equivalent to a super-size of the black hole. The SMBH is the largest type of black hole, on the order of hundreds and thousands of solar masses. It has been noted that any active galaxy requires a “compact energy source of enormous strength.” The black hole is a likely suspect as the source of this great power for an active galaxy. Most active galaxies, with present research, have at least one of these.

The galaxy our home, the earth, has a black hole. It has a Supermassive Black hole too. These are largely still a massive mystery for the science community and the recent findings from the Parkes radio telescope promise to reveal more about these space enigmas. One question being answered is, how did they get so big, and how do they grow?

So that’s two questions, but essentially they are two ways of answering the same thing.

This is the first time gravitational waves have conveyed information that enables us to study another piece of the universal pie.

Dr. Ramesh Bhat says that where it was previously impossible to directly observe black holes, the new tool now enables scientists and astronomers to discover ground breaking information about black holes.

Okay, but what exactly is a gravitational wave and how could they help us crack the conundrum of the black hole code?

A gravitational wave is akin to a ripple in space-time. Albert Einstein predicted that massive bodies changing speed or direction generate these gravitational waves. Picture bodies like a pair of black holes orbiting each other. This then creates a gravitational wave that ripples outwards, like a disturbance in a still pool of water after a leaf has dropped onto its surface and ripples are sent across the surface. Like star-crossed lovers, the black holes of two merging galaxies are destined to meet. The merging of two black holes create gravitational waves that ripple throughout the universe, like the soft hum of a crowd. It is at the frequency of this soft hum which scientists are now able to detect. As black holes get closer to meeting and converging, they emit gravitational waves that give off a frequency that can be detected.

The Parkes Pulsar Timing array (PPTA), the telescope in east Austrailia mentioned earlier, is providing almost 20 years of what the scientists call “timing data.” Although this is not enough to perceive the gravitational waves entirely, the team admits to being one step closer. Results from the PPTA has revealed that the gravitational waves’ background rate is very low. This is significant because a low strength could mean that either of the following three factors are have and/or are at a limit: how often supermassive black holes merge, how large they are, and how distant they are.

The new data has enabled the researchers to test four different models of a growing black hole. The results proved that emergence of black holes are not the only source of mass gain for a black hole. The other three possibilities are still viable.

Equipped with this new data scientists are starting to discover possible answers to the behavior of black holes, an exciting step towards understanding this universe and cracking the seemingly hidden code of the black hole.

Jessica Rosslee

Science World Report

Press Release

Nature World News


38 Responses to "Gravitational Wavelengths Could Crack the Black Hole Code"

  1. Philip Marks   December 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I am so glad that I’m not the only one who believes that this article is not written well.

  2. Peculiar   October 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    The Black Hole of the author’s mind does not emit enlightenment.

  3. Michael Patrick Monaghan   October 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Journalism is officially dead. Long live the internet

  4. Galactic Cannibal   October 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Why hasn’t the Steve Hawkins dude stepped in here and explain what this journalist has written so poorly

  5. Jim Wheeler   October 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Interesting subject, not well written.

    • futuracast   October 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm


  6. Ernest Owens   October 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm


  7. John   October 20, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    This is great news, maybe I’ll let you use Shaughnessy’s law of gravity expressed as (Amc^2/db=S) when the time comes for a formulae’…….

  8.   October 20, 2013 at 11:40 am

    It’s too bad so many of us wasted time trying to discern if there was actually any newly credible scientific data for inter/intra planetary activity. We could have been reading some nice old drama where the Gravity of a situation changes because of the magnetic appeal of a total stranger in any given setting. I feel like the expended illumination has been the moth drawn too close to the flame…oh wait, that would be analogous to a different play on the same attempted understanding.

  9. SKIIMT   October 20, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Spinning objects in space create an electro magnetic field and objects spinning faster than the speed of light but slower than the speed of electricity can not be seen by the eye of humans who’s eye’s detect light. The object acts just like and planetary body and attracts matter (not absorbs) once the matter is in the field of the object it’s movement rate is increased by the objects movement and field attraction, at that point you cant see it either, so sick of lame black hole Theory BS!

    • V   October 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Horrible article, but not quite as incomprehensible as SKIIMT’s response.

  10. Jeremy B Walls   October 20, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I liked it very much, nice clear and descriptive article….I don’t see what is wrong with it !!! So, they can like the same way Sonars do, try to detect the whereabouts for the black hole !!!!

  11. William F. Hagen   October 20, 2013 at 10:35 am

    correction: we have not and are not yet able to directly detect a gravity wave.

  12. truthseeker99   October 20, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Why not actually give the reference citation to the original articles, and background articles? This appears to be missing from 95% of all science articles by “science writers” on the web. They are sort of saying, “Someone wrote an article about something, but I was too dumb to understand it, so I interviewed one of the authors, or one of their grad students, or someone remotely in their same specialty who knows nothing about their research, or someone who went to a meeting where they presented their data on something totally different, but I asked them anyway to explain it to me, and tell me how they feel, and this is what I think i got out of it.”

    • k konzak   October 20, 2013 at 11:53 am

      well said. what I think I got out of your comment is that scientific literacy in the general population is barely detectable

  13. Name   October 20, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Merging two black holes would mean that angular momentum is not conserved and getting something else to write about.

  14. Murrow Cougar   October 20, 2013 at 10:20 am

    This publication should be ashamed! Where are the editors? This author needs to complete a journalism program, get a Strunk and White grammar book, or be fired – or all three! Absolutely terrible.

  15. ah   October 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Not very impressive to read.

  16. Johnny Rotten   October 20, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I read this article, or at least part of it. It was bad. Then I read the comments. They were hilarious!

  17. David Welsh   October 20, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Interested parties should examine the theory of matter known as the wave structure of matter, first set forth by William Clifford and augmented by Schrodinger and Einstein, and currently by Dr. Milo Wilff and others. An electron, e.g. is not a particle, e.g., but a scalar in and out wave that appears like a particle in accelerator detectors.

  18. mel   October 20, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Typical science reporter garbage. If there is any substance to the claims of the headline, it wasn’t presented by this writer. She should be fired.

  19. nopenoperton   October 20, 2013 at 9:35 am

    my god… just, wow.

  20. steve kitezh   October 20, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Black Holes are anything but “holes.” They are dense concentrations of energy/matter. A more accurate name for them are: “Black Densities.” These types of formations absorb energy and matter which inhibit getting data from them with current technology. But according to Stephen Hawking, they leak gamma rays. This and the belief that they emit gravity waves may provide a way to extract information about these difficult to observe structures.

    • bob   October 20, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Gee thanks for the obvious.

  21. Beaverton CivilRights   October 20, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Fix all the linguistic anomalies in the article and re-post. No problem.

    • Calimore Callierionde   October 20, 2013 at 11:49 am

      I second B.CR – good effort. This is highly disputed subject matter and any article written about discoveries within this field will get criticism, regardless of how well it is presented. This article DOES, however, cry out for a decent editor. Please find one for it.

  22. Htos1   October 20, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I didn’t realize the world looks down on our work as done by girls in a patriarchal society.

    • Counsel Dew   October 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      It looks down on poorly-edited works regardless of the author’s gender…

  23. aardvark   October 20, 2013 at 9:25 am

    I agree — the article is terrible. This site should employ an editor to prevent garbage from going live.

  24. DarPot   October 20, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Aren’t humans responsible for creation and growth of Black Holes as result of excessive Carbon emissions?

    • Dmitry   October 20, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      what? wrong article bro

  25. tedopon   October 20, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I wrote higher quality work than this in grammar school.

  26. Keeper   October 20, 2013 at 8:42 am

    This reads like a 5th grade essay. “The galaxy our home, the earth, has a black hole.” Gosh, is it a star-crossed lover too?

  27. Tyler   October 20, 2013 at 8:41 am

    This is one of the worst science articles I have ever read. Badly written, and also misleading. This article has diminished my knowledge of the subject rather than adding to it!

    Here is the main idea, which did not come across at all: The researchers haven’t seen gravitational waves. This tells them that models predicting strong gravitational waves cannot be right (because then they would have seen them). This means that black holes cannot grow exclusively by merging.

  28. gar   October 20, 2013 at 8:20 am

    This is a terribly written article. I hope this is not written by someone who specializes in science.

  29. harry   October 20, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Do the black holes continue to consolidate until everything is consumed and then tear apart in a cyclical big bang?

  30. Steve Denso   October 20, 2013 at 8:04 am

    A lot of exposition and little explanation in this story.


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