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Imaging the First Black Hole

By Brendan Reed

On April 10th 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) took the very first image of a black hole. The Black hole that was imaged is 6.5 billion times more massive than the sun and it is 55 million light years away. It is called M87 and is in the galaxy messier 87. Using the Event Horizon Telescope, scientists hope to learn more about black holes.

The EHT has multiple telescopes around the earth that work together almost as one giant telescope. Each of the telescopes captures data that is then put together using a complex imaging algorithm that can can fill in the gaps of what the telescopes have missed. Seven telescopes around the world are used to make the image. The algorithm works by finding data that is similar from all of the telescopes and pieces it together to fill in the gaps and get the most accurate image.

All of the telescopes that make up the event horizon telescope.

Black holes are extremely dense objects that at a certain point no light can escape their gravitational pull. The point at which no light can escape the gravity is called the event horizon and because no light can escape the event horizon the black hole is completely black. The only reason that we are able to see the black hole is because there is a disk of superheated material that is glowing around the event horizon. Chair of the EHT science council Hielo Flack of Radboud University in the Netherlands said, “If immersed in a bright region, like a disk of glowing gas, we would expect a black hole to create a dark region similar to shadow-something predicted by Einstein's general relativity that we’ve never seen before.”

The EHT piecing information together to create an image is sort of like piecing together a song with a very few notes. The algorithm is good enough to create a virtual telescope around the world but it is still not perfect. Jim Braatz, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, who is part of the EHT collaboration said “you can put your antenas anywhere on earth that your like. You can put one in California, and put one in West Virginia, with the two antennas your can kind of simulate or mimic a telescope with the diameter of the whole country.”

EA and BioWare Remove A Bug That Players Have Asked To Stay

EA and BioWare have just removed a bug from Anthem in their most recent patch that players actually like that would have fixed the loot system. The game Anthem launched on February 22, 2019 and was in a troubled state at launch. The core game mechanics were buggy and the game was described as some as “Incredibly boring” as well has having an arguably broken loot system.

Anthem Gameplay

Anthem, is a looter game at its heart. This means that the game rewards you with loot for beating the levels of the game of increasing difficulty. However, the loot you would get from completing these missions was arguably bad and many players decided to quit when the completed part of the game. Many Anthem players were telling the broader gaming community that you just would have to play for longer to get the loot that you wanted. Many other players were crying out to Anthem devs to fix this. A bug in the game was found in early March (the exact date is unknown) and it rewarded high end and legendary gear, from activities people would do in the game such as completing the hardest missions called strongholds. The new patch was laid out for Anthem fans and it said that they would remove this bug. Most of the Anthem playerbase cried out to EA and BioWare to keep this bug as it made the game fair for the time that they were playing. People even started signing a petition. Even the diehard player base was agreeing with these people. However, this fell on deaf ears from EA and BioWare who decided to remove the bug anyways as it would hurt the amount of money they made from the in game microtransactions or MTX. On stream a developer was speechless after playing the game on livestream for several hours, he receives a common item for playing for several hours. The developer took to twitter saying that “He is ashamed to make this game for the general gaming community…” Following the intense backlash, BioWare and EA have laid out a roadmap for the updates that will help Anthem reach the potential that they say and the loyal player base says it has. Many players have taken to Reddit and other social media outlets and dubbing this roadmap a map of lies. Other loyal fans have said that they look forward to the roadmap promise. This roadmap was exposed by the community as a lie when the newest patch for Anthem didn’t follow the roadmap that EA and BioWare have let out. At this point in time, Anthem has lost so many players that even the few fans who still remain are questioning if they should be playing the game.

New Strange Matter Was Discovered

By: Uri Netzer

A few weeks ago astronomers discovered something that could destroy anything it comes into contact with or teach us about how the universe began, maybe both. Before we start explaining about what strange matter is, we first need to talk about where strange matter was discovered? Strange matter was discovered in the core of a star, not just any star but a neutron star. Neutron stars similar to black holes are formed when a star collapses at the end of its 10 billion year lifetime, and the star is compressed so much that the electrons and protons come together and form neutrons creating something with 1-3 times the mass of the sun in something about the size of manhattan 25-30 km in every direction.

The second thing is that there are 6 different types of quarks Up, Down , Strange,Charm,Bottom and Top quark which we’ll come back to later. The third thing is that quarks do not want to separate if you use a lot of energy trying to seperate the quarks than said quarks just use that energy to create more quarks. Another thing is that quarks have only been observed as the building blocks of other particles and have not been observed by themselves. The only quarks found in atoms however are in protons, (two Up quarks and one Down Quark attached by gluons) and neutrons (two Down quarks and one Up Quark attached by gluons),all the other quarks decay quickly. However it is theorized that in the core of a Neutron Star this phenomenon is different.

Phenomena in the core of a neutron star is so extreme that it almost mimics the universe shortly after the Big Bang the some of the Up and Down quarks turn into Strange Quarks, this type of matter is known as Strange Matter which could infect and destroy anything it comes into contact with, or could teach us about how the universe began, maybe both. The Strange Matter theory is that inside a neutron star core protons and neutrons deconfine all the particles cram dissolve and melt into one giant thing made purely of Quark Matter. A star made from this is called a quark star, though it just looks like a normal neutron star. Now here is where it gets strange. You remember the quarks we talked about earlier, well in the cores of a Quark Star some of the Up quarks and Down quarks may be converted into Strange Quarks. And if they turn up they might create Strange Matter. Strange Matter is more perfectly dense ,perfectly stable and more dense than any other matter in the universe, so stable it could exist outside a neutron star meaning anything that touches it might also become Strange Matter. The only way to get rid of it would be to throw it into a black hole. You might be thinking why does it matter if all of it is inside a neutron star it will stay there forever. That is true except for when neutron star collide and spew out tons of their insides. Possibly spewing out some of the Strange Matter in small chunks called Strangelets. These Strangelets will drift through the galaxy for millions or billions of years until they meets a star or planet by chance. Once the Strangelet strikes a star or planet it will immediately convert to Strange Matter. So basically if a Strangelet hit the Earth and everything on it would than all of its atoms would be converted to Strange Matter and Earth would become a hot clump of Strange Matter the size of an asteroid . If a Strangelet strikes the Sun the Sun would collapse into a Strange Star. A Strange star is a star made of only Strange Matter. This would not change the sun's mass but the sun would shrink and be less bright and Earth would freeze to death. These Strangelets could of formed early after the big bang when it was as hot as a neutron star core everywhere.Strangelets might be the Dark Matter that we suspect holds galaxies together.

Not much is certain about Strange Matter other than the fact that Strange Matter is truly strange.


Protons and Neutrons are the particles that make atoms.

Mass is the amount of matter an object contains or the object's weight on Earth.

The Big Bang is how the universe was created.

Decay is disappear.

Decomfine is to be free from quantum confinement

Quark Matter is a giant clump of Quarks

Voyager 2 Goes Beyond the Heliosphere and into Interstellar Space

By Brendan Reed

On November 5, 2018 Voyager 2 entered interstellar space. It is only one of two space crafts to ever enter interstellar space. The Voyager 2 was launched in 1977 on August 20th. Powered by an old nuclear generator, it is gathering information about about interstellar space.

What even is the heliosphere and interstellar space?

The heliosphere is a giant bubble around the sun that has lots of solar particles called solar wind. Interstellar space is the part outside that bubble although the beginning of interstellar space is not the end of our solar system, our solar system continues on much farther. Interstellar space is the space after our heliosphere and reaches much beyond our solar system.

What is Voyager?

There were two Voyager probes: Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. The Voyager’s original mission was to explore the outer solar system and observe the outer planets. The Voyagers were originally designed to gather information about our gas giant planets. Voyager 2 was the one that took the grand tour of our solar system going to all of our outer planets while Voyager 1 was sent to explore the rings of Saturn in more detail. Voyager 1 took a different path that led it out of the heliosphere sooner.

What is it doing now?

The Voyager 2 is helping us learn about interstellar space and how it is different from the heliosphere. There are three very important instruments out of the spacecraft’s 10 instruments that are helping us learn a lot about the difference between the heliosphere and interstellar space. Those three instruments are the magnetometer (MAG), the cosmic ray subsystem (CRS), and the plasma instrument (PLS). Many other instruments on both Voyagers were either damaged or shut down.

What do they do?

The MAG originally measured the interaction of solar wind and the magnetic fields of planets but now it measures the magnetic field of the heliosphere. The CRS measures the amount of high energy particles (that are usually interstellar) and the amount of low energy particles (that usually come from our sun). The PLS measures how fast plasma and ionized particles are moving, in what direction they are moving, and their density. It originally measured solar winds and their influence on other planets but now it finds how fast plasma is moving across the heliosphere compared to interstellar space.

Why is this new?

The Voyager 1 did not have it’s PLS when it entered interstellar space because it got damaged when it went by Saturn so there was no PLS data on Voyager 1. But there is PLS data on Voyager 2. John Richardson, principal investigator of the PLS instrument and principal research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge said, “Even thought Voyager 1 crossed the heliosphere in 2012 it did so at a different time, and without the PLS data, so we're still seeing things that no one has ever seen before.”

What has Voyager discovered?

On the day that Voyager 2 left the heliosphere it’s instruments recorded a dramatic decrease in heliospheric particles and a dramatic increase in galactic cosmic rays. The Voyager 1 had also found very similar results as it passed into interstellar space. But on the same day that Voyager 2 left the heliosphere the PLS (which was damaged on the Voyager 1) found that there was a steep decline in solar wind. This was the most compelling evidence that Voyager 2 had left the heliosphere. But most importantly the Voyager missions have found that interstellar space is mostly made up of gas, plasma, and particles from stars not originally from our solar system.

Were Voyager II is now

Why is this so important?

The Voyager’s missions are important because they help us understand what each part of our our solar system is made of and how it all works together. Using the information that the Voyager missions have given us someday people might go to interstellar space. But Ed Stone, a Voyager project scientist based at Caltech in Pasadena, California said, “There is still a lot to learn about the region of interstellar space immediately beyond the heliosphere”.

Blue Lotus A Blooming Build With A Fungus

By: Benjamin Witkov

The Blue Lotus is a computer build that is for budget gamers who don’t have much money but would like to indulge in the activity of gaming. The Blue Lotus was built first on Sept 23, 2019 and was a huge hit. Many people were dubbing it as a great computer build, and it is. But there is one critical flaw. The processor for the computer is terrible. All computers are made up of a storage device, a motherboard, a processor, a graphical processor (sometimes not included), Random Access Memory or R.A.M for memory, an operating system, a case and a power supply. When you are gaming, you need to have a strong graphical processor which processes the lights on the screen to work when you are playing a video game. You also need a good processor so your computer can process the calculations that you need in order to play the game. The Blue Lotus uses and Intel Core I3 as it’s processor so it stays budget friendly. However, through my own knowledge, an Intel I3 is a terrible processor for gaming. It is not a bad processor for work, and for other activities, but it isn’t a good processor for gaming. Most gaming computers include a processor that is very powerful as it is very important for you to be able to process all the algorithms that the computer needs. However, in the build of a Blue Lotus, you cannot swap the processors because then it would go over the budget which would go over the budget line. However, if you swap a part you can build a better bc build than the Blue Lotus. If you swap the Intel I3 with an Intel I5 you will go over the budget line. However, if you swap out the operating system for a free one, you will be able to use an Intel I5 which would make gaming a smooth and awesome activity for those who need a budget gaming build. The operating system you should swap Windows 10 for is Linux. Linux is an operating system generally for server maintenance for websites and companies but it is perfectly fine for everyday use. Linux is open source which means that anyone can modify the code for their use. So if you wanted the pointer to be green you could change that. Linux developers say that “‘Kernel’ basically refers to that core component of the computer operating system that provides basic services for the other parts as well as interacts with user commands. When it comes to ‘Linux Kernel’, it is referred as low-level system software providing an interface for user-level interactions.” - Linux Q And A. This quote means that you should use linux instead of windows for an operating system. The best thing about it is you will learn about computers if your operating system is linux. Linux is barebones, meaning there are few bells and whistles, and you need to use a program called Wine to run programs that only computers that use Windows would be able to use. The same source also had Linux devs and experts say

“LINUX is used widely because it is completely different from other operating systems where every aspect comes with something extra i.e. some additional features. Some of the major reasons to use LINUX are listed below

It is an open source operating system where programmers get the advantage of designing their own custom OS

Software and the server licensing required to install Linux is completely free and can be installed on many computers as required”

It has low or minimum but controllable issues with viruses, malware, etc

It is highly secured and supports multiple file systems”

This shows the value of using Linux instead of windows. Another thing that Linux is great at is it is very resistant to malware because most viruses are designed for Windows and mac systems. This gives you an edge without spending a lot of money on antimalware which will save you more money. The Blue Lotus is a great PC build with a flaw that can easily be overcome without wasting money. This is an amazing build for anyone who is gaming under a budget. The link for the pc build is https://pcpartpicker.com/list/CHfGQZ

Black Hole Image

By Uri Netzer

April 10 2017 Event Horizon Telescope or EHT’s Messier 87 (M87) caught an image of a black hole devouring (consuming) a star. The name of this black hole is Powehi 54 million light years away one light year is the distance light can travel in a vacuum in one year. This black hole is 6.5 billion times the mass of the sun and is 39 billion kilometers in diameter.Stars are enormous spheres of gas made mostly of hydrogen(first element) that is fused into helium (2nd element) and produces a tremendous amount of energy. As long as there is fusion in the core the star is stable. But with stars with way more mass than our own sun the heat and pressure in there core allows them to fuse heavier elements until they reach iron. Unlike all that elements that came before iron the fusion process that creates iron does not generate any energy. Iron builds up in the star until it breaks the balance between radiation and gravity and the core collapses. Within a fraction of a second the star implodes moving at about a quarter the speed of light (75 thousand kilometers a second) feeding all of its mass into the core. This produces either a neutron star if the star is 1-2 times the mass of the sun(1.9891*10^30-2.765*10^30 kilograms) or if the star exceeds the Chandrasekhar limit (2.765*10^30 kilograms or about 2 solar masses) it becomes a black hole. The way someone determines the mass of a black hole is that a black hole is six kilometers across for every solar mass(mass of the sun) so if a black hole was 18 kilometers across is three solar masses.

If you you looked at a black hole you wouldn’t see anything cause the gravity of a black hole pulls things faster than the speed of light (299,792,458 meters per second) and to escape a black hole you’d need to be traveling faster than the speed of light which is impossible, What your seeing in this image is matter falling into a black hole which is why you can’t see anything inside the orange ring.

For a viewer If you were to approach a black hole time would go by slower for you, you would eventually seem to freeze in time slowly turn red and disappear. While from your perspective everything is moving by faster and faster as you approach the black hole.

All The Parts Of A Black Hole Labled

The mass of a black hole is so concentrated that distances of just a few centimeters would mean that gravity is possibly millions of times stronger on different parts of your body therefore your body gets spaghettified which is were your body become longer and you get stretched out like a piece of spaghetti intense the name spaghettification.

Black holes come in different sizes with stellar mass black holes 3-35 times the mass of the sun and 18-210 km wide to supermassive black holes that are millions to billions of solar masses (scientific term for mass of the sun/1.9891*10^30 kilograms.) which are found at the center of every galaxy.

The largest known black hole is TON 618 which is 66 million solar masses and 396 billion kilometers across

As big and powerful as black holes are they will eventually evaporate through a process called hawking radiation. To understand what hawking radiation is we need to look at Empty space. Empty space is not really empty but filled with virtual particles popping into existence then disappearing. When this happens at the edge of a black hole. One particle will be drawn into the black hole while the other will be drawn away from the black hole and become a real particle. So the black hole to lose energy. This phenomena starts out slow but speeds up as the black hole gets smaller. When the black hole is the size of a asteroid It’s radiating at room temperature (20 degrees celsius)when it has the mass of a mountain it radiates at the temperature of the surface of the sun. (6000 degrees celsius) And in the last second of its life the black hole radiates with the force of billions of nuclear bombs. But this process is incredibly slow. The biggest black holes we know will take up to a googol(10^100) years to decay.

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