back to article 50m-year-old mystery space object doesn't look a day over 30

NASA and a crew of international boffins have electrified the world of astronomy by announcing that they have discovered a '30 year old' black hole, the youngest known. The black hole actually came into existence around 50 million years ago, but as it is located in the galaxy M100 we are currently seeing events just decades …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "If our interpretation is correct, "

    Did I read that right? A boffin actually showing some humility and not presenting everything he says as fact. Kudos.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      And thus

      ...the Simpsonian PHP programmer turns back to his blue-collar work.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      You appear to be confusing scientists

      With religious leaders, politicians, lobby groups and campaigners with vested interests.

      Please go and read the dictionary definitions of the word 'theory' and the phrase 'scientific method'. If you can't afford a dictionary, try here:*

      Pay particular attention to the third paragraph, if the big difficult words in the first two paragraphs haven't made your brain bleed by this point.

      *<<Insert standard Wikipedia disclaimer here>>

      1. Goat Jam


        I believe he is referring to those religious true believers masquerading as scientists in the Global Warming Industry

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          (title for replies should be derived from parent post, with a prefix "re:")

          ...and lets not forget those ninnies passing-off functionalist ideology as both "independent" and "scientific"

          Gives actual science a bad name.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wow!

      You know, scientists are usually pretty diligent. When you see daft claims it's often because they were embellished or simplified by journalists.

      Expect the Daily Mail version of the story to be something like:


      Confirms 50m year old prophesy -- house prices set to crash

  2. John Hughes

    Policemen were bad enough...

    ... but when even the black holes are younger than I am I give up.

    1. Annihilator Silver badge

      It's great!

      I'm roughly the same age as it. Maybe this means that it went supernova and first appeared in the night sky on the day of my birth and I am, in fact, Jesus!

      1. Joe H.


        /soapbox on

        Look here matey, it's already been done by one man who was called Jesus, and look what they did to him. You really up for that then, think about it man! There was only one Jesus, and I have yet to meet anyone who would have wanted to take his place and role he played for the inevitable fate of mankind, whatever that may be.

        /soapbox off

        On a more serious note, why does it seem to me that everyone is on about Jesus and the fate of our lives these days? Are we about to be bitch slapped by the many arms of Vishnu at any moment? Will wall street collapse? Is a giant meteor headed our way? Will tectonic forces split the Earth and gobble us up? Can we afford 500 plus dollar a barrel oil? Can raising chickens and maintaining our own vegetable gardens release us from dependence on big corporations to feed us? I don't know, and if this computer I am typing this missive upon suddenly goes dark before I can elucidate my inane ramblings then I can ###########..........NO CARRIER...........

      2. Anonymous Coward

        @Annihilator "... I am, in fact, Jesus!"

        Ah, there you are. I think we have a date in a year or two, then.


        P Pilate

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        Sorry. I can only consider you Jesus (or greater) if you had jump started the second big bang with jump leads from Star Bug.'s all in the captains message. The message contained in the microfilm hidden in the dot of the 'i' on Rimmer's swimming certificate?

        Don't tell me you didn't find the captains message!

  3. serviceWithASmile

    very cool

    +1 for SCIENCE

    but what we *really* want to know is, is it full of stars?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Actually, no

      It's full of 1 singularity.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Prove it!

        What's that? Information can't cross back over the Schwarzschild Limit* so you can't?

        In that case, I say it's full of noodles. Spaghetti to be precise.

        *Technically this only applies to non-rotating black holes, for ratating ones the situation is more complex, and instead of a singularity, they are theorised to contain a 2-dimensional, rather than zero-dimensional object. This still has infinite density however, as it has no thickness...

      2. Brutus


        It's empty of one singularity :)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have I said before....

    ....that this kind of stuff facinates me.

    I read this as "Scientists discover youngest ever "Black Hole" / Or maybe even the youngest ever "Pulsar Wind Nebula"

    In either case I'll probably be dead before the final verdict comes in.

    *Babylon 5 put the universe into perspective for me!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should I be worried?

    I assume that the the hole's gravity has been sucking on us for the last 30 years. Is 50M light years far enough away that it won't matter? Just wondering, that's all.

    All right, I know it is negligible. Perhaps a more useful question is : how close would it have to be to have a noticeable effect on the solar system?

    1. Black Betty

      It would fry us long before direct tidal forces were an issue.

      Radiation effects from infalling gasses would sterilise the planet long before gravity could cause harm by its effects alone.

      A naked (gas free) black hole would have to approach within a smallish fraction of a light year to disrupt the outer solar system and closer still to affect Jupiter and the larger bodies inside its orbit. Not that we wouldn't have a sufficient plenitude of smaller rocks in abundance raining on our heads to deal with.

      For it to have a directly tangible effect on human senses we'd have to come within a few hundred miles of the event horizon.

    2. hplasm

      Don't worry.

      Black holes don't suck.

      Not any more than they did before they became black holes, that is.

      If the sun became one right now, (not that it can- not massy enough) then you would not notice- until it got dark, but everything else would carry on pretty much as normal.

      No magic at a distance going on here; move along.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge


    ..religious scholars continue to pour over ancient texts written in the iron-age....

    Go Science !!!

  7. Mark Hartman

    Black hole radiation

    "Black holes themselves don't emit radiation..."

    I thought that was the whole idea behind Hawking radiation -- that black holes in fact radiate equivalent to black body spectrum, and given enough time eventually evaporate (we're talking 10 to the 100th power years).

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      But they dont emit radiation

      the radiation is emitted from just outside the black hole, the black hole absorbs 'negative' radiation.................eventually ish in just a moment, no wait any second now.. can I get back to you on this?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Wonder if they're looking back at us

    and saying...

    "Hey, look at that! Doh! They're doing the same stupid thing we did... creating a miniature black hole in a laboratory using a massive particle accelerator... It is going to make a great screensaver!"

  9. illiad


    listen to yourself... even if that hole has been sucking on us, at light speed, it would take 50,000,000 (-30 :P) years for anything to happen... do you think you will live that long???????

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      'Ang on : I was only being half-serious. But more to the point I was posting having realised that the effects on us, whatever they are, have been happening for the 30 years since the thing was detected - assuming gravitational effects occur at the speed of light - and that the 50M years up to that point are irrelevant. If any shit was to come of it, it would be in my near future, bacause it has already been travelling for around 50M years.

  10. illiad

    do the research!!!

  11. D. M

    but background radiation is stronger

    I seem to remember I read somewhere that stated Cosmic background is stronger than the possible black hole "Hawking radiation". Which means even there is nothing been sucked into black hole, it will not evaporate as it will gain more than it will emit. I remember this is also the reason why it is not possible (at least yet) to detect any black hole emitted radiation.

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