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Thursday, July 1, 2004

Richard Chlopan who writes Sysrick shows an image of galaxy NGC 7331 which should be clearing the trees or buildings about midnignt in the north eastern sky.

Supposedly our own galaxy looks like that (but since nobody's ever seen it from outside, we really don't know, now do we?) See that blue-white ball in the middle? It's a big ball of stars that are all being crushed together by their incredible gravity. In fact, most likely, at the center of that ball, the gravity gets so strong that the escape velocity - the speed you'd need to go in order to leave the gravity well - would need to be faster than the speed of light.

Since nothing can go faster than light, you literally can't get here from there. It is a black hole, and it's soaking up all the stars and gasses of that galaxy. If that were our galaxy, our sun, and thus Earth, would be well out from the black hole in the center, somewhere in the outer third of one of the 'arms'. The sun would be tiny, not even visible in this picture. Earth would be about a billionth (or less) of a single pixel.

As a galaxy ages, the central ball becomes bigger and the arms smaller. Look at the smaller (because it's much further away) galaxy right below it, NGC 7335. It seems to have no arms, because most of the stars have gathered around and falling into the black hole, and are revolving around it at extreme speed. All this gravitation and kinetic energy mean the chemistry of the region would be very different that it is in our part of the galaxy. Bio-chemicals, would not exist, since they rely on weak hydrogen bonding that would not take place in a higher energy environment.

Very close to the black hole, the gravitation would become so strong, that it would overcome the electrical repulsion one atom feels for another, and super heavy atoms would exist in a stable equilibrium, meaning the periodic table could be many times larger. We have no idea what kind of chemistry could take place with these new atoms, with valence electrons in the g, h and k blocks. These orbitals are far more complex than the simple s, p and a few d orbitals that all of our earthly chemistry takes place in. The molecular structures could be many orders of magnitude more complex than the molecules we are familiar with, but reaction rates would also be that much faster.

What sorts of self-organizing structures could exist with those complex but quickly changing molecules, on the surface of a black hole? Could they think about their predicament? What would they call it when another self organized structure went beyond the surface? Where would they go?

We are headed toward that future - eventually our galaxy will be eaten by it's black hole. As well organized structures (that is, beings) we need to look forward to our last existance as matter on this side of the singularity. I wonder if there is research grant money available to study the black hole cosmological consequences on the social, psychological and political activities of possible beings under high energy, high speed environs.

Looking at galaxies always makes me wonder ...

Everybody, it seems, who reviews Michael Moore's film, Fahrenheit 9/11 does so without actually watching the movie. I'd suggest that you go to see it - it's a well made flick. You may be trying to protect yourself from propaganda, lest you become brainwashed, but do it anyway, you'll be surprised. I didn't see anything in there that wasn't true.

He handles the actual event with sensitivity, but spares no one's feelings when showing just how terrible war is for soldiers, families and bystanders. He does show how good it is for certain businesses. And folks, you're buying this one (or rather your children are), so you might as well see the parts they don't show on the news.

All of the connections between the Binladen and the Bush families (that continue to this day) are clearly traced. Even to the identity of the person (now redacted) that President Bush skipped out with when he forgot to show up for his National Guard service during the Vietnam War. I'm starting to think that my story wasn't so fictional.

One more thing, for the conservatives: you get to hear John Ashcroft sing When the Eagle Soars Again, his own composition.

I made some carbon dioxide by combining sodium hydrogen carbonate (baking soda) and three molar (1/4 strength) hydrochloric acid in a flask fitted with a stopper and a hose. The gas came out of the end of the hose into a 2 liter beaker, where it remained, because it is almost twice as heavy as air.

I placed a candle into a 1 liter beaker and slowly poured the carbon dioxide from the larger beaker down the side, filling the smaller beaker from the bottom. Here are photographs of the candle as the level of carbon dioxide rises to cover the wick:


© Copyright 2004 by Chris Heilman.