Author Topic: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...  (Read 646 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline wright

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1732
  • Darwins +72/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • "Sleep like a log, snore like a chainsaw."
long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« on: July 08, 2013, 07:16:13 PM »
So there's this recently-discovered type of cosmological event called Fast Radio Bursts:http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/07/mysterious-radio-bursts-come-from-outside-our-galaxy/. To sum up, they're different from other radio-producing phenomena mostly in that they're unaccompanied by radiation at other frequencies, unlike supernovae. They also seem to come from a great distance; outside our galaxy entirely seems likely, which would mean they also happened a long time ago.

Now some folks have a theoretical source for FRBs: a neutron star that's above the mass limit where it should collapse into a black hole, but can't because... (and this makes my geek mind light up until I swear I could read in the dark from the glow behind my eyeballs) it's spinning so fast centrifugal force overcomes the pull of gravity.

Son of a gamma-ray burster bitch. Meet the "blitzar":
http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/07/possible-explanation-for-radio-bursts-meet-the-blitzar/

The basic idea is, the intense magnetic fields that neutron stars (themselves the remnants of stars that have gone supernova) are known to generate eventually slow the star's spin. In the (theoretical) case of blitzars, that spin is all that's keeping them from collapsing. So when they slow past a certain point, gravity prevails and the star vanishes from the universe, leaving a black hole.

But most of that incredibly strong magnetic field stays behind, suddenly shorn of the body that was generating it. The forces released by the field assuming a new configuration cause a Fast Radio Burst.


Mind you, these objects are quite theoretical; no one's actually observed one. But modeling shows that they're possible.

Quote
Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.
-J. B. S. Haldane
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline Irish

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3152
  • Darwins +18/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Moraxella catarrhalis on BA
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 10:19:28 PM »
Okay, I think I understand.  But let me just make sure:

Basically the article is stating that these little "blitzar" creatures are neutron stars that are the post-supernovae result of massive stars that have a lot of rotational energy.  The blitzar, due to it's increased density and decreased size, spins incredibly fast and it's rotational forces outward defeat the gravitational forces inward that would normally collapse a neutron star into a black hole.  However, the blitzar inherits the magnetic field from it's mother star that slows the rotation of the neutron star until the point where it crosses a threshold where it's rotational forces can no longer defeat gravity and the star collapses massively and quickly into a black hole.  The release of the energy in the magnetic field is the rapid radio signals.

Is that correct?
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.

Offline wright

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1732
  • Darwins +72/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • "Sleep like a log, snore like a chainsaw."
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 11:26:31 PM »
^^^ That's what I got from the linked articles, yes.

I'm merely an interested layman, but it would seem black holes, or rather the infalling matter (accretion discs) around them can anchor magnetic fields quite well. From another article:http://www.space.com/18494-black-holes-magnetic-fields-spin.html.

Even it turns out these blitzars don't really exist, or are very different from what the models predict, I find the concept alone astounding: an ultradense mass rotating so fast that even its nearly inconceivable gravity- over a billion times that of Earth- is counteracted by centrifugal forces!

My little geek mind boggles... :o
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline magicmiles

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2829
  • Darwins +175/-73
  • Gender: Male
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 11:50:23 PM »
Interesting discovery, the Blitzar.

You have a gift for explanation Wright, because I am scientifically as stupid as they come, but I understood what you posted.
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline ParkingPlaces

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6127
  • Darwins +690/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • Hide and Seek World Champion since 1958!
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 12:26:59 AM »
Well, I'm pretty stupid too, but at least I understood what magic posted.

That's good, right?

 ;D
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline wright

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1732
  • Darwins +72/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • "Sleep like a log, snore like a chainsaw."
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 01:29:16 AM »
Interesting discovery, the Blitzar.

You have a gift for explanation Wright, because I am scientifically as stupid as they come, but I understood what you posted.

More like an interesting theory, albeit one that matches the information we have so far. As the article readily admits, we haven't directly observed the cause of Fast Radio Bursts, so the specialists are doing some informed speculation. But that's what good science is about, after all.

And thanks, magic.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline Irish

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3152
  • Darwins +18/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Moraxella catarrhalis on BA
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 04:54:34 PM »
Great, I'm glad my summary was correct.  I'm fairly knowledgeable about biological subjects but physics and cosmology are completely over my head.  I'm dumb to that field.

It would be interesting to know how fast a neutron star (blitzar) has to spin to counteract the pull of gravity within itself.  Maybe in revolutions per minute/second or actual speed measured as from the surface.  I imagine the number would be absolutely tremendous beyond comprehension.
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.

Offline wright

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1732
  • Darwins +72/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • "Sleep like a log, snore like a chainsaw."
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 06:23:21 PM »
^^^Well, if we could somehow observe conditions on the surface of a neutron star, we'd see some amazing things. For one, the astounding gravity actually bends light so that parts of the star over the curve of the horizon would be visible from a given point.

Quote
The gravitational field at the star's surface is about 2×10 to the 11th times stronger than on Earth. Such a strong gravitational field acts as a gravitational lens and bends the radiation emitted by the star such that parts of the normally invisible rear surface become visible.

From:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_star

Given how fast a blitzar would have to spin to keep from collapsing, I wouldn't be surprised if points on its surface experienced significant relativistic effects. The wiki article says most newborn neutron stars spin several times per second, and the fastest confirmed spins 716 times a second.

I feel a little wobbly, just contemplating that.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11680
  • Darwins +290/-80
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2013, 06:29:53 PM »
I read an article on this the other day. I only found it interesting for a second and then I got bored with it. Perhaps I was expecting more; who knows?

-Nam
This is my signature "Nam", don't I have nice typing skills?

Offline magicmiles

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2829
  • Darwins +175/-73
  • Gender: Male
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2013, 06:44:55 PM »
I read an article on this the other day.
-Nam

Which article? Were you googling "rare space phenomena", or did you stumble across it randomly?
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline Irish

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3152
  • Darwins +18/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Moraxella catarrhalis on BA
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2013, 09:40:47 PM »
Quote from: wright
...the fastest confirmed spins 716 times a second.

Jesus tits!  I did the math:

From the Wikipedia page that article gives an average neutron star radius of 12km.  Given that and the revolutions you can get a ballpark estimate of ground speed.

Assume a point on the surface of the star.  With a radius of 12km that makes the circumference equal to 75km.  Then it's just converting the revolutions per second into kilometers per hour to find speed that point travels.

716 revolutions/second X 75km/revolution X 3600seconds/hour = 1.9 X 108km/hr.  And in mph it's 1.1X108

*That's just simple physics.  If there's any weird relativistic effects or quantum weirdness (which I bet there are) from that speed then I'm completely unaware of them.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 09:42:34 PM by Irish »
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.

Offline wright

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1732
  • Darwins +72/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • "Sleep like a log, snore like a chainsaw."
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2013, 10:16:43 PM »
^^^So a point at, say, that example star's equator would be moving at over 100 million mph?

Now I definitely feel dizzy  :o
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline Irish

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3152
  • Darwins +18/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Moraxella catarrhalis on BA
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2013, 10:20:57 PM »
Yep.  An equatorial point on a neutron star with a radius of 12km revolving at approximately 716Hz has a revolution speed in the neighborhood of 100 million miles per hour.

Simply amazing.  I can't even begin to fathom that speed.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 10:43:19 PM by Irish »
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.

Offline DVZ3

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1335
  • Darwins +40/-7
  • Gender: Male
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2013, 10:30:51 PM »

What I think is the same article in 'Science Daily' a few days ago.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130705102031.htm
Hguols: "Its easier for me to believe that a God created everything...."

Offline magicmiles

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2829
  • Darwins +175/-73
  • Gender: Male
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2013, 10:36:19 PM »
moving at over 100 million mph?


At that speed you'd travel from LA to Sydney in just over half a second. But the in-flight service would be terrible.
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline Astreja

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2932
  • Darwins +237/-1
  • Gender: Female
  • Agnostic goddess with Clue-by-Four™
    • The Springy Goddess
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2013, 10:44:49 PM »
100 million mph is between 1/7 and 1/6 light speed!   :o In light of the Theory of Relativity, what kinds of interactions would there be between the mass at the equator of the neutron star in comparison to other areas of the star?
Reality Checkroom — Not Responsible for Lost Articles

Offline Irish

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3152
  • Darwins +18/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Moraxella catarrhalis on BA
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2013, 11:09:14 PM »
I went a bit farther:

The fastest rotating neutron star, cited in the Wiki by wright, revolves at 716Hz.  From the Wiki on that particular star[1] you will find that the star has a radius above my average of 12km I used in the calculation.  That star's radius is 16km and if you plug that back into my math you'll find that star is rotating (at the equator where the radius is 16km) at a speed of 2.5 X 108km/hr or 1.5X108mph.

I calculate that as 23% the speed of light.  :o
 1. PSR J1748-2446ad
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 11:16:51 PM by Irish »
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.

Offline wright

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1732
  • Darwins +72/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • "Sleep like a log, snore like a chainsaw."
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2013, 12:52:25 AM »
I gotta stop coming back to this thread, because I just keep getting dizzier trying to wrap my mind around the velocities and energies being talked about  :blank:

Yet somehow, I can't stay away.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline DVZ3

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1335
  • Darwins +40/-7
  • Gender: Male
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2013, 01:07:21 AM »
I went a bit farther:

The fastest rotating neutron star, cited in the Wiki by wright, revolves at 716Hz.  From the Wiki on that particular star[1] you will find that the star has a radius above my average of 12km I used in the calculation.  That star's radius is 16km and if you plug that back into my math you'll find that star is rotating (at the equator where the radius is 16km) at a speed of 2.5 X 108km/hr or 1.5X108mph.

I calculate that as 23% the speed of light.  :o
 1. PSR J1748-2446ad

Talk abount inertia! People talk about not being able to turn a moving ship suddenly <insert titanic ship reference here> because of all the inertia of the mass of the ship.

A teaspoon of material of neutron star probably has the same mass as all the steel of a ship the size of the Titanic. But yet as the Titanic mass moved only at a few knots, a neutron star can rotate a fantastic rotational velocites.

Inertia and momentum on a unimaginable cosmic scale...
Hguols: "Its easier for me to believe that a God created everything...."

Offline Nam

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11680
  • Darwins +290/-80
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2013, 12:49:27 PM »
I read an article on this the other day.
-Nam

Which article? Were you googling "rare space phenomena", or did you stumble across it randomly?

I was reading Google News, and it was one of the articles listed in the Science section.

-Nam
This is my signature "Nam", don't I have nice typing skills?

Offline Irish

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3152
  • Darwins +18/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Moraxella catarrhalis on BA
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2013, 08:43:15 PM »
A teaspoon of material of neutron star probably has the same mass as all the steel of a ship the size of the Titanic.

Now that would be an interesting calculation to take up...

Quote
Inertia and momentum on a unimaginable cosmic scale...

Oh yes.  While it's in a numerical format the human brain simply cannot comprehend those kinds of speeds and forces.  It's just too great for us to visualize.
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.

Offline Irish

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3152
  • Darwins +18/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Moraxella catarrhalis on BA
Re: long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2013, 08:50:22 PM »
what kinds of interactions would there be between the mass at the equator of the neutron star in comparison to other areas of the star?

I have no idea.  I'd have to defer to someone with WAY more physics knowledge than my limited scope.
La scienze non ha nemici ma gli ignoranti.