Saturday, 20 February 2016

Two Black Holes Converge

Poul Anderson, For Love And Glory (New York, 2003), Chapters XX-XXI.

They look like two comets. Their manes, shading from intense gold to blood red, meet and roil. Their joint gravitation doubles the quantity of interstellar gas pulled in, blazing with radiation. The interacting accretion discs generate visible light, then increasingly hard X-rays.

In the shock front is a diamond pattern with intricate looping strands. Possibly the event horizons are distorted, affecting magnetic fields and charge distributions. The black holes outshine a nearby giant star. Although they graze rather than collide, their masses are expected to fuse.

A spaceship that can jump around through hyperspace near the convergence is able to record data from different angles and distances.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Black holes surely has to be one of the strangest mysteries scientists are trying to study. Most of what I know about black holes came from two books:

BLACK HOLES AND OTHER MARVELS (Fawcett Crest: 1978), edited by Jerry Pournelle

BLACK HOLES AND WARPED SPACE TIME (W.H. Freeman and Company: 1979), by William J. Kaufmann III

The book edited by Pournelle contains both non fiction articles and stories about black holes. Including Poul Anderson's contribution: "Kyrie." Old as these books are I hope they are still good for the basics, at least!