Black Holes

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Black Holes

Postby Klestecyca » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:22 pm

Hello.

I am working on creating a long-term science project.
I am very interested in astronomy, especially black holes. I was curious to know if you think it is realistic for me, a high school student, to measure the effects black holes have on the behavior of neighboring stars. Does this sound plausible?

Thanks.
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Re: Black Holes

Postby wendellwiggins » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:42 am

Hello Klestecyca,

"...measure the effects black holes have on the behavior of neighboring stars" is a very ambitious project. I don't think you could measure any such effects with a hobbyist telescope.

An alternative might be to learn about current research projects being done with the largest state-of-the-art telescopes, see if you could obtain any data and then do some interesting calculations.

Start out by browsing this link: http://tdc-www.harvard.edu/astro.data.html.

Good luck, WW
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Re: Black Holes

Postby Klestecyca » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:48 pm

WW,

Thank you for your response. I have a few follow-up questions...
You say this seems unlikely with a hobbyist telescope, but what if I go to the local observatory in my town? Are those still considered hobbyist telescopes?
Also, this sounds like a bit of a crazy question, but is it possible to detect the a black hole on Earth, or must it be detected by and orbiting satellite, etc.?

-Klestecyca
Klestecyca
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:59 am
Occupation: Student, 10th grade
Project Question: Astrophysics (e.g. black holes)
Project Due Date: ~ 5 months from now (maybe a bit more)
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: Black Holes

Postby wendellwiggins » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:33 pm

Klestecyca,

Yes, it might be possible to detect a black hole on earth. I suggest that you do some reading on the web or in books. The LHC particle accelerator is one possible tool for producing a small black hole and detecting it. I did a quick web search for "black hole detector" and it turned up a bonanza of information. I'm no expert on black holes and don't have time to write a book, so good luck searching.

You'll see in the various articles what kind of instruments are useful.

By the way, very few professional astronomers actually operate the telescopes nowadays. For one thing the scopes are in Hawaii or Chile or some other out-of-the-way places. And also, with the internet, it's so easy to get the data from anywhere.

WW
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Re: Black Holes

Postby Jacobie09 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:06 pm

If I'm not mistaken, no black holes have actually been seen. They have only been monitored as what would happen if there was one. I could be mistaken and probably am.

Jacobie
The subject I hate is the subject I love: Math
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Re: Black Holes

Postby John Dreher » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:27 am

Jacobie09 wrote:If I'm not mistaken, no black holes have actually been seen. They have only been monitored as what would happen if there was one. I could be mistaken and probably am.

Jacobie


If by seen you mean literally seen you are correct; however Einstein rings, the characteristic direct optical signature have been seen. Further the phrase "what would happen if there was one" could be construed as meaning that they have only been suggested in a purely theoretical sense, whereas direct physical effects of several kinds have been detected -- black holes are not just theoretical. The best way of course would be creation of a black hole in the laboratory. As WW noted, this just might be possible.
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Re: Black Holes

Postby Jacobie09 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:03 pm

Thanks for clearing that up even with me!
The subject I hate is the subject I love: Math
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