back to article A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... a massive black hole spewed out gases that probably helped make stars

US scientists have discovered that black holes can create as well as destroy, as the observed hot gas emitted from such a void in a dwarf galaxy could have contributed to the birth of stars. A paper in the science journal Nature reveals how observations made with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on Hubble revealed the …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge

    Well, the Kessel run can be done in 12 parsecs when you compress space enough. Was the race about timing or finding the best short-cut? A black hole may help the Kessel region compression ratio and this article also refers to a black hole. Han probably found another hole and dragged (it with) his feet to make space seem less vast.

    1. Helcat Bronze badge

      I believe the claim was relating to distance as Han found a shorter, riskier route which ultimately cut down travel time.

      And avoided Imperial patrols.

      And sounded impressive, but was delivered in a way that, at the time, implied he was talking about time, hence velocity of the Falcon, and people latched on to the 'secs' of Parsecs, and thought 'Seconds'...

    2. ThatOne Silver badge

      As much as I enjoyed the initial movie (and to some extent, the initial two sequels), they didn't live up to their promise of a vaguely credible science.

      Remember, back in 1977 "Science Fiction" was mostly still synonymous with "we don't care about reality", some blinking lights on a cardboard box meant "sophisticated futuristic device" and people in space were wearing bronze deep-see diver helmets over leather jackets, jodhpurs and riding boots...

      Star Wars™, first of his name, went the 2001 Space Odyssey™ path and featured what looked like a realistic, or at least believable futuristic world. Except this was just pretense, and the world's workings underneath were as realistic as those of Sesame Street™ (or similar hard science shows)...

      TL;DR - Saying "Hurry up, it's 20 parsecs to 8" is just standard Star Wars™ grade science...

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Star Wars is science fiction only in the softest sense. It's set in space and that's about it. It could be set at any time and place in history and the story wouldn't change.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          > It could be set at any time and place in history and the story wouldn't change.

          That's true of all good stories, isn't it.

          Now it's true Star Wars is "Space Opera", but it wouldn't had costed them much to keep some varnish of verisimilitude. I can accept Tie fighters howling in the vacuum, it's for the dramatic effect. I can accept the improbable physics of light sabers which cut through anything except other light saber "blades", even the proverbial bad aiming of stromtroopers... It's the accumulation of too many of those small things which leaves you (at least me) with a nasty aftertaste. If you want to take yourself seriously you shouldn't display Monty Python physics.

          (Note I nevertheless enjoy those "new" movies (the Jar Jar Binks-less ones), as long as I don't compare them with the very first one, as seen back then. They're good honest high-budget B movies to watch on TV.)

          1. Sanguma

            Those Tie Fighters howling in the wilderness really spun me out of the story. Now, if they'd only yelped, or barked, or maybe even miaowed ...

          2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

            That's true of all good stories, isn't it.

            Perhaps in a broad sense, but IMO the best science fiction explores the impact of the science and technology on the characters making the story much more difficult to separate from the setting.

            1. ThatOne Silver badge

              > explores the impact of the science and technology

              That's true, but don't forget "science and technology" is relative: In the bronze ages, iron was (literally) cutting edge innovation, the invention of agriculture changed our hunter/forager way of life forever, creating settlements and thus villages which grew to towns, in turn triggering work specialization and government. That was huge, the so-called "Industrial Revolution" of the 18/19th century was a joke compared to that.

              So, stories are transposable, unless they hinge on a very specific aspect of something very specific and unique. In every case it's about people having to change and adapt to a new environment.

              Last but not least, don't forget that a lot of "science fiction" was written into a fictitious setting to evade censorship (and retaliation!), being actually just a way to freely criticize the actual situation.

              1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

                Sure you could replace all the science with magic but that feels like cheating! (and yes, I appreciate the irony, Clarke's Third Law and all that...)

                1. ThatOne Silver badge

                  > Sure you could replace all the science with magic

                  Come on, in many so-called SciFi settings "science" does simply replace "magic": You need something impossible/improbable to happen? Science! You need someone who wields that awesome power? Scientist! (Obviously for balancing reasons he's bound to be clumsy, awkward and not in anyway able to compete with the young jock hero). Beard and/or silly hat welcome.

                  In most popular science fiction movies* science is just the local flavor of magic (think Star Wars since we're talking about it), and remains as unhinged as magic would be in a medieval fantasy setting. Which means it's trivial to switch universes, a simple search & replace could do it.

                  * Obviously there is also "hard" science fiction, which is different, but it's rather marginal and mostly ignored by the masses.

    3. Spherical Cow

      This question was answered in the 2018 Solo movie, which includes Han doing the Kessel Run.

    4. Sanguma

      Ah, but at what Warp Factor? How does that song go again, that "Warp Factor Number Nine" ...

  2. KBeee

    After my sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli as part of Sunday lunch yesterday, I know a black hole can produce gas, but it doesn't produce stars, only complaints.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sprouts and Brocoli

      That's a brown hole , not a black hole......

      1. Fred Daggy Silver badge

        Re: Sprouts and Brocoli

        There’s no such thing as brown alert.

        1. b0llchit Silver badge

          Re: Sprouts and Brocoli

          Only the colorblind have a disadvantage.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Hubble for the win. Again.

    Actually, in the spirit of previous comments, it should be Hubble for the wind. And a corkscrew shaped wind at that. Apparently dwarf galaxy black holes have odd farts.

    Hubble Site

  4. Sanguma

    I'm thinking, a black hole in the centre of a gas-rich galaxy would tend to blast the gas out of the way - that's been the definition of a Quasar ever since the eighties iirc. I'm also thinking, a gas jet at nearly lightspeed is going to take a fair long time and distance to slow down. If a moderate-speed gas jet in a dwarf galaxy will fire up star formation in gas clouds, leading to star clusters, what is there to stop a very-high-speed gas jet from a quasar's heart finally slowing down and running into a thin intergalactic gas cloud and making stars in that gas cloud, thus leading to a diffuse galaxy? Makes sense to me.

  5. Cav Bronze badge

    "as the observed hot gas emitted from such a void in a dwarf galaxy"

    Nothing is being emitted from such a void. Nothing escapes once it has crossed the boundary.

    These gas jets are produced by the accretion disk in orbit around the black hole. Far from being in a void, they are generated in an area of dense material.

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