back to article Scientists unravel galactic spaghetti monster

Scientists believe they have deduced what sustains the noodly appendages of a galactic "spaghetti monster" - actually Galaxy NGC 1275 in Perseus - which displays "a mammoth network of spaghetti-like gas filaments around a black hole", as New Scientist puts it. Galaxy NCG 1275 NS explains: "As the black hole sucks in gas from …


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  1. Roy
    Thumb Up

    All hail his noodly appendages...

    ... and praise the bounty which he bestowed upon us mere mortals.

    This is a clear sign of his power and anger, so we must all shed the chains of our mundane lives, and don our pirate outfits, and plunder the unbelievers!

  2. Niall

    Not the spaghetti monster...'s the eye of Sauron! Can the One Ring be destroyed by thrusting it into the ungainly maelstrom of a black hole? Let's find out!

  3. pastamasta

    Scientific vindication of the Pastafarian faith

    Proof at last!! Now all will worship at the Galactic Temple of The Noodly One, may sauce be upon his name. I await with eagerness the discovery of cosmic background radiation from the creation of the first midget.


  4. Sacha TF Padovani


    Now we just have to Hubble out the beer volcano and the stripper factory....

  5. Marc Lawrence

    Many years ago

    At the heart of the galaxy... a set of Cernairians decreed. There there be LHC... and boom the galaxy was form.

  6. Dale Richards

    Well shit the bed...

    Is it really Him? Is He really up there?

    I am born again.

  7. Ian Tresman

    No gas, but plasma

    There is no gas around a black hole, it is a plasma. As a plasma move, the differential movement of its positive and negative charged particles generate electric fields which in turn generates radial magnetic fields that produces filamentation.

    Filamentation is defining characteristic of astrophysical plasmas that have been well-described by people like Nobel-prize winning physicist, Hannes Alfvén. Peer reviewed papers going back decades can be found at

  8. Xander
    Thumb Up

    A Response to the Eye

    Finally, we Pastafarians have an answer to the other religions eye of god!

    Any given our reason is Way more awesome than theirs (an exploded star versus enormous and scientifically astounding black hole) that clearly shows Pastafarians were right all along!

    All hail his noodly goodness!

    (Eye of God:

  9. Anonymous Coward

    @ Ian Tresman

    You mis-spelt pasta as plasma...

    Skull and crossbones because The Noodly One (with extra sauce and meatballs) demands it.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Visions of the Flying Spaghetti Monster ...

    Oh, great FSM, to see your image is divine (well, pretty close, after Jennifer Hawkins, anyway).

    What more evidence of deity do people need - I say burn the unbeliever fundamentalist Kansas School Board at the stake.

  11. Elmer Phud


    Eye of Sauron maybe but it looks more like the eye at the other end of Sauron.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @No gas, but plasma

    You had to go spoil the fun didn't you....

  13. Anonymous Coward

    useless models

    > If so, this could help scientists resolve a cosmology poser: why there are "fewer high-mass galaxies than models predict". Astronomers reckon some massive galaxies are prevented from expanding further by black holes which are "devouring their surroundings and spewing out jets".

    On the contrary I would suggest that (just like the Global Warming chaps) friend cosmologist's model does not include the effects of the galactic pirate population. Comso-pastafarians will of course know that galaxies are prevented from expanding further by pirates which are "stealing their booty and burying it in a far off nebula. Yarrrr."

  14. Nic Brough


    Where are the meatballs?

  15. Karen Alys

    @Elmer, @GameCoder

    > Eye of Sauron maybe but it looks more like the eye at the other end of Sauron.

    which explains where the gas came from. I wondered about that.

    Ian's right, though. The "pasta" look is clear evidence of plasma. But as usual, plasma physicists will be listened to about as seriously as if they were talking about His Noodliness.

  16. Chris Griffiths

    All hail his noodly appendage!

    The good and mighty FSM is truely looking down on us from above, and gives His blessing to take the unbelievers to the plank.

    Load the cannon and hoist the mainsail! :)

  17. Solomon Grundy

    Space Craft

    What's that in the upper left-hand corner? It looks like a space shuttle coming out of some sort of wormhole or rift? It actually looks sort of photoshopped in, but I'm not sure, I just want to know what it is.

  18. Toastan Buttar


    Shun the non-believers ! Shuuuuuuuuuuuuunn !!!

  19. Jeremy Sanders

    Re: Space Craft

    I'm one of the authors of the paper. The object at the top left is actually a star. The image was created by subtracting the diffuse light of the galaxy from the red image to show the filaments. Unfortunately this doesn't work completely for saturated objects like bright nearby stars, so you're left with residual features.

    If you'd like to see some more pretty pictures (or the paper itself), go to

  20. lusuwzhgdfdk

    About the pirates

    Har! Har! You're in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.

  21. David Pollard
    Thumb Up

    @ Ian Tresman - Hannes Alfvén

    I wouldn't want to stem the flow of pasta and pirate jokes, but here's a paper by David Tsiklauri that suggests magnetism may hold galaxies together without the need for dark matter.

    It's not impossible that the pirates of orthodoxy have been plundering the riches of research funding for some years, leading many on flights of fancy in the search for the mythical hidden treasure of dark matter and dark energy,

    Why was Hannes Alfven thrown overboard? That's the the crucial question.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    300,000 Lightyears

    The tentacles are the same as 236,513,210 Trillion london double decker buses parked end to end.

    From that we can work out the weight of each tentacle because the buses weigh about 14.5 tons, so 3,429,441,545 Trillion tons with no passengers.

    It would take 328,490 Trillion days at an average of 30mph to travel from one end to the other. With a ten mile journey costing £1.50 the spaghetti monster earns an amazing £492,735 Trillion every 20 minutes.

  23. Gianni Straniero

    It's not Him

    "He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease".

    Unless, of course, He is "invisible" to the naked eye, and He was just waiting for Sanders & chums to point the requisite kit in His direction.

  24. Alex Cooksey

    Images of deities

    This does rather put finding "the face of Jesus" on your toast to shame somewhat.

    Beat that Abrahamic religions.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    @30,000 light years

    I like your mathsey style!

  26. Michael O'Malley

    Her Pinkness forgives you

    You fools. Bow before your brazen images, for the one true Pink one forgives you.

    The Invisible Pink Unicorn is of course in the extreme top left corner of the picture. Obvious, of course, but none are so blind as those who cannot see.

  27. vincent himpe

    you have to be joking

    We all know the universe was sneezed out of the nose of a giant geen being ...

  28. Chris G


    One phyicist making a serious comment , the rest of you have started friday lunchtime early!

  29. Nebulo

    @Alex Cooksey

    Yep, a god you can point your telescope at definitely beats one you can't.

  30. Jach


    Even more proof of Him. I shall eat spaghetti later on to celebrate. RAmen.

  31. Anonymous Coward


    You wrote this article just to say "galactic spaghetti monster" in an article!

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Love the irony

    You've got to love the irony that, after making up a deity as a protest against intelligent design, science comes around and provides proof of said non-existing deity's existance.

    However nobody can provide evidence of the Christian's diety's existence even though "he exists".

    Mine's the one with the babelfish in the pocket as that seems a plausable explanation for why God doesn't exist.

  33. Steven Swenson

    @Re: Space Craft

    Those pictures on your page look even more startlingly like Him than the one chosen for this article.

    Who woulda thought.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    The Starfish Spincter

    Following on from Elmer's findings that this cosmic entity NGC 1275 looks more like Sauron's other eye, I propose a new name for this magnetic mystery.

    Ironic that it should be belching out massive hot radio bubbles. Tuning into the faint hum that is channel bumhole...

    - aspinctersayswhat?

  35. Elliot


    Does anyone have a higher-res version of the picture? I'd love to have it!

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Confirmed at last, we are not alone...

    There are other carbonara-based life forms in the universe. I, for one, will welcome our new pasta-like overlords if they ever care to visit.

    Mine's the one with the Al Dente designer label.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK - now what?

    Are astronomers going to look for the Great Celestial Teapot?

  38. dodge

    And I, for one, welcome our new tentacley overlord

    Love the tentacle!

  39. Anonymous Coward


    "The result of this influence is to prevent the gas, weighing in at a modest few hundred degrees Celsius, from "evaporating away into the 40 million °C sauna of surrounding cluster gas"."

    That's it, this resident Finn is off to that place with a stash of beer and sausages, since it mentions sauna. Who's with me?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ian tresman

    Well ill be damned, one of the universes mysteries finally solved, but a reg readed knew it all along. What are the chances of that?

    I wonder how many other keys to science the reg readership are sitting on? I expect the proof of the smooth four dimensional poincaré conjecture and the value of the next mersenne prime will be here by lunchtime.

  41. Anonymous John

    Re:.Not the spaghetti monster.

    Yes it is.

    It's the eye of Sauroni. Definitely pasta.

  42. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    @vincent himpe

    The being was the Great Green Arklseizure, you blasphemer. All of you unbelievers bow down and wait for the coming of the Great White Handkerchief!

  43. Mrs. Kathy Martin, District 6

    Response from a member of the Kansas School Board

    “It is a serious offense to mock God.”

  44. Stef

    Bobby Henderson was right all along

    So the FSM does exist (may sauce be upon him)...

    Now we need to breed more pirates to combat global warming and earthquakes...

    I'll see you all by the beer volcano and stripper factory.

  45. Tim Blair



    someone pass the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the grater... GODTASTIC!!!

  46. Anonymous Coward

    @Mrs. Kathy Martin, District 6

    “It is a serious offense to mock God.”

    But we aren't - we are praising him.

    All hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

    I am born again having been touched by his noodly appendage!

    Sauce be upon his name!

    Down with the angry god who requires that we slaughter/sacrifice his son/lamb in order to make him like us!

  47. Chris

    @ Not the spaghetti monster... By Niall

    "'s the eye of Sauron! Can the One Ring be destroyed by thrusting it into the ungainly maelstrom of a black hole? Let's find out!"

    Fine... fine... So - who's ring is going to be thrust into the black hole then?

    Is that even topologically possible?

    Gahhh, it IS Friday.

    And mine's the one with "Got to work all weekend" on the back and pockets full of Modifinal...

  48. Basil Baxter
    Dead Vulture

    There is but one One True Friend(tm)

    Dear Vulture fans,

    Basil Baxter Loves You.

    It saddens Basil Baxter to witness this display, akin to Roman Catholics insisting they see the alleged ‘virgin’ Mary[1] in a loaf of bread, a washbasin or even the sky, or Americans claiming to have met Elvis in a public washroom where he was chatting up Boy George. It saddens Basil Baxter because it is evidently a symptom of the growing, possibly pathological, need humans feel to have a One True Friend (TM). Blinded by their passion for a noodle-creature, invisible pink horsies, dessert-dwelling pederasts and Golgotha-hill streakers they overlook the One True Friend (TM) who is always ready to lend a hand in need [2]; Basil Baxter.

    It saddens Basil Baxter even further because while pederasts and streakers might actually exist or have existed in the past, the noodle-creature is most definitely no more. He was quite tasty, Basil Baxter should add.

    In any case, Basil Baxter Loves You.

    And remember: Vultures make great playmates for toddlers, and Black Mamba’s make great retirement gifts.

    1] Basil Baxter fondly recalls the good times when she was still known as ‘Hot Tamale’ Mary. 2] Or two, or three. How many do you need?

  49. Michael

    Sheep in clouds?

    "You've got to love the irony that, after making up a deity as a protest against intelligent design, science comes around and provides proof of said non-existing deity's existance."

    I suppose you see sheep in clouds? This is a fascinating object to be sure, but hardly proof of the Flying Spaghetti Monster whose existence is still speculative.

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