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Supermassive Black Hole At the Centre of Galaxy May Be Wormhole In Disguise

Unknown Lamer posted about 6 months ago | from the fifth-dimensional-hyper-worm dept.

Space 293

KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "There is growing evidence that the center of the Milky Way contains a mysterious object some 4 million times more massive than the Sun. Many astronomers believe that this object, called Sagittarius A*, is a supermassive black hole that was crucial in the galaxy's birth and formation. The thinking is that about 100 million years after the Big Bang, this supermassive object attracted the gas and dust that eventually became the Milky Way. But there is a problem with this theory--100 million years is not long enough for a black hole to grow so big. The alternative explanation is that Sagittarius A* is a wormhole that connects the Milky Way to another region of the universe or even a another multiverse. Cosmologists have long known that wormholes could have formed in the instants after the Big Bang and that these objects would have been preserved during inflation to appear today as supermassive objects hidden behind an event horizon, like black holes. It's easy to imagine that it would be impossible to tell these objects apart. But astronomers have now worked out that wormholes are smaller than black holes and so bend light from an object orbiting close to them, such as a plasma cloud, in a unique way that reveals their presence. They've even simulated what such a wormhole will look like. No telescope is yet capable of resolving images like these but that is set to change too. An infrared instrument called GRAVITY is currently being prepared for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer in Chile and should be in a position to spot the signature of a wormhole, if it is there, in the next few years."

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It is God. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000239)

This is where He lives.

Re:It is God. (5, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 6 months ago | (#47000283)

I just wish he'd stop asking me for starships.

IT IS THE DEVILIN DIGUISE: WITH A BLUE DRESS ON (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47001007)

Could be. Just saying.

Re:It is God. (5, Funny)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 6 months ago | (#47000293)

But.. what would God need with a Starship?

Re:It is God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000295)

Nah, it's just his vacation home in this galaxy.

Re:It is God. (-1, Troll)

Adam Colley (3026155) | about 6 months ago | (#47000301)

Excellent

Could you and all the other theists kindly jump in and thus move closer to Him?

Re:It is God. (2, Insightful)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 6 months ago | (#47000361)

I see you propose destruction for those who disagree with your view.

Re:It is God. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000421)

Correct. Life is a battle, and it's survival of the fittest. You kill or be killed. This is not new; it's been going on for billions of years on this planet alone.

Re:It is God. (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#47000495)

Which is why many species evolved collaboration. Evolution doesn't always mean killing competitors. Some species(particularly humans) do extremely well by turning competitors into collaborators and developing mutually beneficial relationships.

This naive approach to evolution is pathetic.

Re:It is God. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000659)

Despite all you just said, the killing of competitors still happens on a large scale even if we maintain a veneer of civility. Your naive view that it doesn't is pathetic.

Re:It is God. (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 6 months ago | (#47000903)

Which is why many species evolved collaboration. Evolution doesn't always mean killing competitors. Some species(particularly humans) do extremely well by turning competitors into collaborators and developing mutually beneficial relationships.

Until the last human dies, the pig species will survive, because we like bacon.

RE:It is God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47001025)

What if the last human is a vegetarian?

Checkmate!

Re:It is God. (1)

oracleofbargth (16602) | about 6 months ago | (#47001049)

Pigs are not vegetarian, so pig eats vegetarian human?

Re:It is God. (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 6 months ago | (#47000511)

Well if whether youre killed or not determines whether you win...then the one thing assured is that we all lose.

Re:It is God. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000525)

I see you propose destruction for those who disagree with your view.

Why, yes.

If your stupidity and belief system requires you to attempt to destroy my way of life, then you are a threat to me.

The Christians who want to teach intelligent design, the Muslims who advocate Jihad, and the morons who fight against vaccination based on a discredited report, and those who think tax cuts for the rich and trickle down economics is real and effective ... these people are all dangerous idiots who think their belief system trumps facts, that some how god is on their side, and that we should all adhere to the bullshit rules they believe in.

They are advocating for my destruction, so it's really only rational to advocate for theirs.

Many many Christians are no better than the Taliban in their desire to force the rest of us to follow their rules.

So, yeah, fuck the whole lot of them. Putting ignorance and stupidity on a podium is a sign of lunacy.

Re:It is God. (2, Insightful)

RockClimbingFool (692426) | about 6 months ago | (#47000577)

Dammit Slashdot!! Where are my mod points!!!

Re:It is God. (-1, Troll)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#47000961)

Hopefully, in the hands of someone who DOESN'T mod up trolls.

Re:It is God. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000619)

The Protestants who want to teach intelligent design

FTFY

Re:It is God. (5, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#47000923)

Nice straw man you've built there.

Re:It is God. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000959)

"and those who think tax cuts for the rich and trickle down economics is real and effective"

You see, here's the problem. Forget religeon for the sake of argument. Tax cuts across the board do work, as does trickle down economics. You are free to disagree with that, but we as a society need to come to an agreement and implement a policy; and yet as I believe in productivity, success and fairness for all through good government in a limited constitutional republic, equal rights and equality under the law for all, reducing taxes for all (etc. etc. etc.) you have decided to declare this "tax breaks for the rich" and engage in my destruction, based on your foolish words.

And if you truly seek my destruction, I only say this. Come and make it happen. Please, because I'd really like to see that.

Except as we all know, you are a coward. Fuckwad.

Re:It is God. (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 6 months ago | (#47000979)

They are advocating for my destruction, so it's really only rational to advocate for theirs.

Many many Christians are no better than the Taliban in their desire to force the rest of us to follow their rules.

What's funny is that a lot of thiests probably thing the same thing about you.

Re:It is God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47001119)

You should've stopped while you were ahead... at religion and vaccinations.

Re:It is God. (4, Insightful)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 6 months ago | (#47000623)

Why do you think that having an absurd childish belief is simply disagreeing with his view, rather than seeing it as the deep ignorance that it is?
Religious idiocy wouldn't be a problem, but malicious people are able to use it to get rubes to vote for insane anti-social right-wing loonies.

Re:It is God. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000995)

"insane anti-social right-wing loonies"

Ah Slashdot Socialist central, where logic and reason are replaced by inarticulate "sooper nerds" who are qualified only to call names and pick their nose.

You wouldn't know right-wing if it hit you in the face, which I would actually pay to see.

Fuckwad.

Re:It is God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000447)

How do you propose they jump into a wormhole located tens of thousands lightyears away?

Re:It is God. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000599)

You have to have faith.

Re:It is God. (2, Funny)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 6 months ago | (#47000713)

How do you propose they jump into a wormhole located tens of thousands lightyears away?

Very precisely.

Re:It is God. (4, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | about 6 months ago | (#47000479)

I'm pretty sure that the anonymous coward was referencing Star Trek V http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_V:_The_Final_Frontier [wikipedia.org] where it turns out to be very much not God despite a certain fanatic's belief. This is where the famous line "What does God need with a starship?" comes from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYW_lPlekiQ [youtube.com] .

Re:It is God. (4, Funny)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 6 months ago | (#47000321)

Everybody who's seen Star Trek V knows this. We also know Spock kills God with a phaser, in accordance with the prophecies of the ancients. Then, Kirk will explain to a Romulan and a Klingon how maybe God wasn't out there anywhere at all, maybe he's right here (beats his own chest), "In the Human heart." And the Romulan and Klingon nod, like Kirk has said something wise. Hard to believe NASA gave Shatner a medal.

Re: It is God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000347)

A space craft that possibly collided with God and exists as the proportionate inverse mass in our universe but exists as electrons in a unique wave form structure in an alternate multiverse.

Re: It is God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000373)

So it's God's asshole?

Re: It is God. (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about 6 months ago | (#47000465)

and we're actually Klingons (cling-ons)

Re:It is God. (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 6 months ago | (#47000803)

Of course, the appropriate slashdot headline should read "It could be God".

Re:It is God. (3)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#47000871)

In the Celestial Temple?

Re:It is God. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000873)

This is where He lives.

So when is he going to get off his obviously fat as and do something?

Re:It is God. (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 6 months ago | (#47001105)

Wrong. It's where our evil goateed counterparts in the evil universe come through.

God help us if evil Eric Cartman and his hippie charitable ways ever comes through.

Lies. (5, Funny)

Adam Colley (3026155) | about 6 months ago | (#47000291)

Lies.

Everyone knows you can only keep a wormhole open for 38 minutes.

Re:Lies. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000377)

Unless you fire enough energy into it... or have a black hole.

Gateways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000391)

You can keep it longer, but it starts needing massive amounts of power, and become less stable.

Re:Lies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000425)

Even in Stargate mythology, there are ways to keep wormholes open for more than 38 minutes... although since it typically takes a black hole to do that, I'm not sure if those mechanics would still work if black holes were actually worm holes.

Really though, there should be no limit on how long a wormhole could stay open except so long as its getting enough negative energy to keep it open and stabilized in the first place.

Re:Lies. (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 6 months ago | (#47000663)

Even in Stargate mythology, there are ways to keep wormholes open for more than 38 minutes...

1) Yes - for a wormhole to stay open longer than 38 minutes, a crucial plot point must require it.

2) No, you're thinking of the opening scene from Stargate Universe - it only seemed to drag on for days.

Re:Lies. (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#47001023)

The limitation in stargate was due to that energy: It accumulated. Pumping energy into the wormhole, it can't go anywhere, so the wormhole structure just gets more high-energy and harder to contain. Beyond 38 minutes the gate can't maintain stability, and even it if were possible the eventually closing of the wormhole would release all the energy accumulated within in a rather large explosion. One of the times the 38 minute rule was broken was through the use of a superweapon designed to do exactly that.

Another wasn't really in violation: The source was in orbit around a black hole. Close orbit. The time dilation just drew it out - while it seemed like more than 38 minutes at the recieving end, it was still far less at the opening end, from where the wormhole is created and stabilised.

Re:Lies. (1)

dfn5 (524972) | about 6 months ago | (#47000555)

Lies.

Everyone knows you can only keep a wormhole open for 38 minutes.

Except when it is connected to a black hole.

Re:Lies. (2)

WhiteZook (3647835) | about 6 months ago | (#47000741)

Can't you just reconfigure the main antenna to emit a reverse tachyon beam ?

Re:Lies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47001055)

only if you reverse the polarity of the Neutron flow at the same time

Re:Lies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000971)

Anubis kept it open longer by firing a particle beam weapon into it.

#watchedlotsofstargate

event horizon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000317)

I don't get why a wormhole would have an event horizon, or huge density, or even gravity for that matter (no pun intended). I thought wormholes are just connections in spacetime, like shortcuts through whatever topology the universe has.. Am I missing something?

Re:event horizon? (2)

Xaedalus (1192463) | about 6 months ago | (#47000375)

Because at some point, you enter the tube. When you do, the light you reflect gets sucked in with you rather than released out.

Re:event horizon? (4, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 6 months ago | (#47000419)

Wormholes involve extreme curvature of space-time. That means a large amount of energy. Energy is equivalent to mass, via E=mc^2, so a wormhole will have a large effective mass. That much mass in a small volume means an event horizon.

Or, if you prefer the geometric argument, extreme space-time curvature IS extremely strong gravity.

I don't really understand why a wormhole would have a smaller event horizon though. Perhaps something to do with the mass distribution. In a wormhole the mass would all be at the centre. In a black hole that grew through accretion it would be distributed throughout the volume.

Re:event horizon? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000725)

Intuitively, the event horizon of a black hole is larger because it represents the entire mass and only has one "end". A wormhole would have 2 (or more?) event horizons, effectively splitting it's mass between them, right? The mass-energy, when applied to a multiply-connected region of space-time, should result in locally diluted curvature because it has more space-time connected to it to bend and absorb said energy.

Re:event horizon? (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 6 months ago | (#47001013)

I don't really understand why a wormhole would have a smaller event horizon though.

Wormhole theories I've seen require exotic matter (that with a negative mass) to keep them open. Perhaps the mass and the negative mass cancel each other out to create a smaller event horizon.

(that's only half a joke. I have no idea what the properties of a negative mass would be)

Re:event horizon? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#47000807)

Seconded, in part. Can anyone offer insight?

So it makes sense to me that a wormhole would have a massive gravitational field - as I understand it a wormhole is theorized to be a place where the fabric of spacetime gets "stretched into the 'distance'", not unlike what matter does, except that instead of having a giant mass at the center its linked to a similar spot somewhere else, so that the "tension" between the two interconnected regions of spacetime maintain the distortion rather than a large concentration of mass-energy.

But why would a wormhole be expected to have an event horizon? Or does the term mean something fundamentally different in relation to a wormhole than a black hole? And if it means the same thing (the point at which light can't escape) why would the event horizon be smaller for the same effective mass? If it has the same effective gravitational profile as a particular mass of black hole at range, then a naive assumption that gravity falls off as 1/r^2 would imply its event horizon should have the same radius.

It seems to me that a wormhole would actually be less likely to have an event horizon than a black hole of similar gravitational intensity - a black hole is theorized to be created when the gravitational force gets so large that it exceeds even the strong nuclear force, and the matter collapses completely. But a wormhole has no matter to collapse - it seems like a spacetime "tunnel" could potentially exist at truly staggering gravitational gradients without triggering a catastrophic collapse.

Is wormhole a prediction or a writers dream? (1)

See Attached (1269764) | about 6 months ago | (#47000329)

Is there any real evidence that a wormhole would actually pass anything to a remote location, or is that just a writers fantasy? Usually travel does not include being disassembled to your constituent parts midway. OK. Call me a doubter!

Re:Is wormhole a prediction or a writers dream? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000499)

Is there any real evidence that a wormhole would actually pass anything to a remote location, or is that just a writers fantasy?

Wormholes doesn't exist and it isn't originally a writers fantasy but the mad ravings of a mathematician who didn't read the fine print for the black hole model.
It is theoretically possible to model the inverse of a black hole, a white hole that emits matter instead of swallow it. That matter has to come from somewhere so the idea of white holes emitting the mater black holes swallowed was born.

It is just retardedness through and through.

Re:Is wormhole a prediction or a writers dream? (4, Funny)

Rob Riggs (6418) | about 6 months ago | (#47000567)

Is there any real evidence that a wormhole would actually pass anything to a remote location, or is that just a writers fantasy? Usually travel does not include being disassembled to your constituent parts midway. OK. Call me a doubter!

Evidence? Umm... there is no evidence that wormholes exist at all. But, by definition, if they exist, they would move matter/energy from one point in the universe to another. Otherwise the phenomenon being observed is not a wormhole. The matter that makes up your body is universally fungible as energy. The universe does not care which form you take.

Re:Is wormhole a prediction or a writers dream? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#47000919)

As Rob said, there's as yet no evidence that wormholes actually exist, but we've managed to mathematically describe several variations in the context of the General Relativity model of gravity, so to the best of our knowledge they *could* exist (also warp drives and time machines - just to keep things in perspective)

But if they did exist, then the second problem is that yes, pretty much everything would be torn apart while approaching due to the extreme tidal forces. It could still be useful for communication though - light and radio should be able to traverse it undamaged, or you could maybe throw rocks at it to send atomized "smoke signals" out the other end - crude, but effective. For actual transportation though you'd likely need either a teleporter capable of transporting you without needing to maintain that pesky physical structure while in transit, or some sort of gravitational shield around your vessel - maybe on variation on the warp drive.

Re:Is wormhole a prediction or a writers dream? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#47001031)

Both ends are still behind an event horizon. Whatever goes in does come out - eventually, as Hawking radiation.

What is the new imaging expected to reveal? (1)

fredrated (639554) | about 6 months ago | (#47000357)

Worms crawling in and out?

whatever is there... (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 6 months ago | (#47000405)

has a lot of mass... so... this might a difference without distinction.

Re:whatever is there... (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 6 months ago | (#47000691)

Not "mass", but a lot of "curvature of spacetime", the causes of which are (under current theory) completely different for black holes and wormholes.

Why it matters (4, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | about 6 months ago | (#47000435)

Given the intense environment around Sag A*, even if it turns out to be a wormhole it will be utterly non-traversable. However, there are hypotheses that wormholes to be stabilized require using negative matter http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_mass [wikipedia.org] . At least, that's the most plausible mechanism suggested- so this would be inadvertent evidence that negative matter exists, which would be a really big deal. There's also speculation that a cosmic string could do something similar- note that a cosmic string is topological defect in space time http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_string [wikipedia.org] - these are not the strings from string theory although many forms of string theory would predict that such objects would exist. And of course, if wormholes exist in nature there's some small chance we can either make our own o find much smaller ones and put them to use. Unfortunately, there's a lot of dust and other debris between where we are and Sag A*, so even GRAVITY may have trouble getting enough resolution to figure this out.

Re:Why it matters (3, Interesting)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about 6 months ago | (#47000723)

However, there are hypotheses that wormholes to be stabilized require using negative matter

If Sag A* is a wormhole, and required stabilizing, then it would have destabilized long long time ago, since it has been constantly gobbling up regular matter (albeit infrequently lately).

I doubt anything could pass through a wormhole, since that would probably break causality or the laws of thermodynamics. Also, we should have detected stuff coming out of the other side (maybe not of this one, but there should be "exits" all over the universe).

If wormholes exist, my guess is they will be more like a pair of entangled black holes. They would look like normal black holes, until you did a careful statistical analysis of Hawking radiation of both.

Re:Why it matters (2)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 6 months ago | (#47001107)

there should be "exits" all over the universe

Why should there be exits? What if they go to another universe? Or alternately, who says there aren't exits all over the universe?

we should have detected stuff coming out of the other side

Why? Is there one nearby that we can observe with our extremely primitive and limited technology? Would we know it if we saw it?

Re:Why it matters (5, Interesting)

Pausanias (681077) | about 6 months ago | (#47001051)

In general relativity, wormholes *do* require negative mass (or energy density), for sure. Outside the context of the Casimir effect [wikipedia.org] , negative mass in wormholes and warp drives can yield causality violations [wikipedia.org] . Causality is the last thing you'll pry from a physicist's cold, dead hands. Therefore, while it may be fun to speculate about such things, they lie squarely within the realm of science fiction for now.

To post on a news site that the galactic black hole "may be a wormhole" is like posting a headline saying that extraterrestrial aliens "may currently be among us." Both ideas are exciting. Both ideas are remotely within the realm of possibility. And both are so unlikely that they would readily be dismissed by all except those who are credulous or who like to drum up sensationalism for its own sake.

It's sensationalism for nerds.

Re:Why it matters (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#47001179)

Why do you assume the environment is extreme? From TFA Sagitarius A* is estimated to have an effective mass of 4 million times larger than the sun, in a volume not much larger than the solar system. Which is a bit vague, but if we call it the radius of Neptune's orbit that makes for 4e9 solar masses within 34e9 solar volumes. Since stars are estimated at ~1.4g.cm^3 that whole space could be filled with pseudo-matter only 16% as dense as water. We assume it's actually much denser, with the associated far more extreme gravitational gradients, simply because if it were normal matter it would collapse under its own mass. If it were instead a superdense(relatively speaking) cloud of dark matter it might have no such limits - you can't crush something that can pass through itself - like an ideal pendulum each particle would go racing down the gravitational gradient and then up the other side, oscillating forever without electromagnetic, etc forces robbing it of kinetic energy so that it can collapse further.

And if it's a wormhole - well without attempting the math I would think that larger might be better when it comes to traversing it with structured matter such as ourselves. After all, it's not the gravity that kills you, it's the gradient - experiencing a million Gs in freefall is a non-issue, provided your feet aren't experiencing *two* million Gs. If the mouth of the wormhole were large enough the gradients might be survivable. And this could potentially be a wormhole mouth a bit larger than the solar system.

The Point is Proof (4, Insightful)

gpronger (1142181) | about 6 months ago | (#47000441)

The point here is that the concept of a worm-hole has been theoretical and the domain of Sci-Fi. It is a huge event if we are able to verify. My guess is that the verification will have ramifications in the theoretical physics, simply because so much has been strictly theory.

Re:The Point is Proof (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47000817)

I think this is more pie in the sky theory than anything. Based on what we do know already, worm holes likely do exist but they're sub-atomic and exists very very briefly. A wormhole the size of Sagittarius A* would require an entirely new form of physics to exist. Everything we think is true would have to be wrong. Which isn't impossible, just pretty unlikely. Blackholes that size do, however, fit within our models.

Re:The Point is Proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000951)

I think this is more pie in the sky theory than anything.

Hush. Just look how much effort has been put into that thing called String Theory. /me looks at a shelf with a book about it

oh boy (2)

iggymanz (596061) | about 6 months ago | (#47000491)

of course, we don't even know that black holes exist, quantum gravity might preclude it, or dense enough matter instead forms quark stars, q stars, preon star, etc. instead of black hole. Care should be taken to see if one of these alternatives to black holes can be detected by GRAVITY findings

we don't know wormholes exist, certain solutions to General Relativity have them but again we don't know if physically possible to form.

Re:oh boy (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#47000901)

Care should be taken to see if one of these alternatives to black holes can be detected by GRAVITY findings

Sigh. Naming this thing GRAVITY is going to cause confusion for people trying to search for research for decades if not centuries to come.

Event Horizon Telescope? (3, Informative)

mbone (558574) | about 6 months ago | (#47000501)

I am surprised they don't mention the Event Horizon Telescope [eventhoriz...escope.org] , which could resolve this.

There are too many pseudo-science stories (4, Insightful)

Bryan Ischo (893) | about 6 months ago | (#47000505)

There are too many pseudo-science stories on Slashdot these days. Are you listening, editors? It's like reading Scientific American (which was almost as bad as Omni last time I read it).

Here we have a whole huge paragraph full of fantasized bullshit whose only supporting documents are a speculative paper submitted to arXiv, and a brief regurgitation thereof on some arXiv blog.

Please stop wasting my time. I want to read NEWS for Nerds (where "news" means "as factually verifiable as possible") and stuff that MATTERS (and pseudo science speculation does not matter to me).

Thank you.

Re:There are too many pseudo-science stories (3, Interesting)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 6 months ago | (#47000597)

But it's testable fantasized bullshit-- which means that it's scientifically interesting.

Re:There are too many pseudo-science stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000667)

you completely fail to understand the fundamental pillars of this demographic.

Re:There are too many pseudo-science stories (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 6 months ago | (#47000745)

Here we have a whole huge paragraph full of fantasized bullshit whose only supporting documents are a speculative paper submitted to arXiv, and a brief regurgitation thereof on some arXiv blog.

You've just detailed why Slashdot submissions - unlike links posted as part of the discussions - don't display the name of the site any included link directs to. If it did, there would likely be 99% fewer clickthroughs.

Re:There are too many pseudo-science stories (5, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | about 6 months ago | (#47000789)

There are too many pseudo-science stories on Slashdot these days

While I largely agree with the sentiment, this story is not one of them.

There are peculiar solutions to the field equations of GR, including wormholes and black holes. Whether any of these solutions can be physically realized has been one of the most interesting questions in both observational and theoretical cosmology for decades. The possibility of detecting the difference between a supermassive black hole and a wormhole at the centre of the galaxy is definitely nerd-worthy, although I agree the hype is, uh, over-hyped.

Furthermore, these stories give lay-people a bit of insight into how science--which is the discipline of publicly testing ideas by systematic observation, controlled experiment and Bayesian inference--actually works.

Remember when the existence of black holes was still hotly debated, back in the '70's? Observations on an very small object with a mass of more than 1.4 solar masses (the theoretical upper limit for neutron stars) resulted in a general acceptance that it was a black hole, which likely therefore exist. But that conclusion was contingent on a lack of other plausible alternatives, and so is subject to modification as other alternatives become more plausible...

This is part of that ongoing story.

Re:There are too many pseudo-science stories (2)

starless (60879) | about 6 months ago | (#47001153)

Remember when the existence of black holes was still hotly debated, back in the '70's? Observations on an very small object with a mass of more than 1.4 solar masses (the theoretical upper limit for neutron stars) resulted in a general acceptance that it was a black hole,

1.4 Msun is the maximum mass of a white dwarf not a neutron star.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]
It's therefore basically the _minimum_ mass of a neutron star.

To show that something is a black hole you have to show that it's more than
the theoretical maximum mass of a neutron star which is higher. That's not very well determined but is something like 3 Msun.
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/d... [nasa.gov]

Re:There are too many pseudo-science stories (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#47000831)

Agreed. It's a cool, idea, but that's all. We'd have to upend the whole of astrophysics for it to be true.

Well said (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000975)

Well said, but reason doesn't pay the bills.
BICEP 2 lunacy? Come on in!

i just hope this is provable. (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 6 months ago | (#47000519)

let me preface that i have loved astronomy and space my entire life, so no hate here...

my first wall poster when i was 8 was a map of the local group that i got out of a natgeo...this was 40 years ago and at the time i remember my mind utterly being blown by that map and the realization of how tiny i was.

my problem with modern cosmology is, however, the new trend that propose theories with no testable means of proving them. i understand that with cutting edge theory sometimes there may be a lag between the idea and the ability to test, but at some point theories that are non-testable should be dropped from the scientific canon.

personally, i like to limit theory proposals to those that can somehow be proved by the scientific method, and keep others in scifi.

let me add... (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 6 months ago | (#47000557)

...that i am excited that this theory seems to fall into the "testable" catagory and that makes it quite exciting to me.

sorry i hit Submit before adding that thought...

Picture (1)

sysbot (238421) | about 6 months ago | (#47000537)

Picture or it doesn't exist!

Or we just got the dark ages wrong (2)

mbone (558574) | about 6 months ago | (#47000573)

This is really a problem of the "dark ages" - roughly, red shifts between 1400 and 14 (i.e., the period between just after the cosmic microwave background up to the earliest quasars and galaxies). At one end, there are no black holes, at the other, there are supermassive ones, what happens in between, we don't really know. My own personal guess is that this is a consequence of dark matter [pku.edu.cn] , and thus wouldn't require worm-holes but, if we can test the wormhole hypothesis, we should. We know so little about the dark ages that IMHO no possibility should be ignored.

Let's go! (4, Funny)

mjperson (160131) | about 6 months ago | (#47000595)

Finally a stable wormhole for our FTL travel needs. Now, since Sagitarius A is 26,000 lightyears away, all we need to do is build some sort of wormhole network to get us there, and then FTL travel will be ours!

Re:Let's go! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#47000685)

Yo, Dawg ... I hear you like wormholes ...

Re:Let's go! (1)

bulletman (254401) | about 6 months ago | (#47000937)

That's what the Pluto Relay a.k.a. Charon is for.

It's a Mass Relay! (1)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | about 6 months ago | (#47000617)

One of the big ones, like the one that was used to travel to the Collectors' homeworld.

really? (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 6 months ago | (#47000651)

"There is growing evidence that the center of the Milky Way contains a mysterious object some 4 million times more massive than the Sun"
No, that's a proven and well known fact actually.

I recommend... (2, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 6 months ago | (#47000681)

I recommend that we gather up all the world's warrior mentality politicians who are always dragging people into wars and bullshit, put them in uniforms, and send them on a mission through the event horizon to determine if there's another world on the other side of the wormhole, or if they just get squished like bugs.

Somebody has to do it: solve the Schroedinger question. Is it a wormhole or a black hole? Or is it a quantum object that changes between the two randomly as you observe it?

The politicians have a need to know. Send them soon. :P

Re:I recommend... (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 6 months ago | (#47001047)

But what if they don't get squished? Think about the intelligient alien species that might be on the other side! Do you really want to curse another intelligent species with such a disease?

Another multiverse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000719)

Slow down, please!
It took me a while to get to the multiverse thing.
Now you say there are multiple multiverses?
Two levels of multiplicity? WTH!!!
I'll drop with SlashDot, then. Back to Lego!

may be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000813)

In related news another group of scientists speculate that the supper massive black hole at the center of the galaxy may be a jelly doughnut in disguise.

Haha, sorry but I can't help laughing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000837)

I'd be willing to bet any amount of money on 1) that black holes are not a portal but simply high gravity mass, 2) that there is no such thing as a wormhole, 3) that there are other options than what this post suggests. If one is locked into thinking that speed of light is the fastest anything can travel, then of course it makes it hard to reach anywhere, and ideas such as wormholes becomes the straws...

"Cosmologists" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000845)

No, random idiots posting on arXiv are not "cosmologists". There will always be crackpots around theoretical physics, and it seems these are trying to make themselves famous. Sadly, it's just not in the theory - a wormhole requires a matter with an equation of state never seen before. What's being proposed here is basically akin to saying "Traveling faster than light causes temporal paradoxes, so if we can travel faster than light we can make time machines" then reinterpreted as "Time machines possible". The authors in question seem to have a history of making such dubious claims and failing to get them published in serious journals.

Nonsense (4, Interesting)

PhuCknuT (1703) | about 6 months ago | (#47000989)

"The thinking is that about 100 million years after the Big Bang, this supermassive object attracted the gas and dust that eventually became the Milky Way. But there is a problem with this theory--100 million years is not long enough for a black hole to grow so big. The alternative explanation is that Sagittarius A* is a wormhole..."

No, the widely accepted alternative (aka, the actual mainstream consensus) is that the supermassive black hole and the galaxy grew together, not that the black hole came first and was supermassive before the galaxy existed. This wormhole theory is an answer to a question no one is asking.

Already knew that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47000991)

So Spore was non-fiction?

You lost me at Cosmologists have long known (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47001043)

"Cosmologists have long known that wormholes could have formed in the instants after the Big Bang ."

extraterrestrial intelligence is there (1)

Soleen (925936) | about 6 months ago | (#47001057)

Just a random thought: Your civilization figured out how to travel FTL, or very close to speed of light. You are also advanced enough to easily avoid obstacles such as asteroid collisions, high radiation etc. Where would you go to search for other intelligent species from outskirt of the galaxy where you evolved? I think going to downtown (to the center of the galaxy) makes the perfect sense. Suns are closer, other species come to this place to study about the galaxy. So, basically this is the perfect place to meet other civilizations. Unlike searching in the boonies (what we are doing at the moment).

Easy. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 6 months ago | (#47001069)

Just send Beowulf Schaeffer with the Long Shot already.

I bet (2)

NotFamous (827147) | about 6 months ago | (#47001131)

I bet it's full of mismatched socks.
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