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Pass the stars, please – burp

What do black holes like to eat? Stars, apparently, and whatever else passes by.

“When a star passes within a certain distance of a black hole – close enough to be swallowed up – the stellar material gets stretched and compressed as it is pulled in. A black hole’s destruction of a star, called ‘stellar tidal disruption,’ releases an enormous amount of energy, brightening the surroundings in an event called a flare,” NASA explains. “In recent years, a few dozen such flares have been discovered, but they are not well understood.”

Understanding something is difficult when getting close enough to observe it could render one eaten and subsequently digested in a tidal disruption. And charting the aftermath of an episode doesn’t always give insight to what goes on prior to or during the event.

Where do those digested stars go anyway? Is there another dimension on the back end of a black hole? Is there simply annihilation? Theories abound. But the universe is full of anomalies, right? Unknown aspects that will be discovered as mankind boldly goes where no man (that’s “mankind,” ladies) has gone before. Star Trek, anyone?

But unlike a syndicated sci-fi show, real life holds real risk. And these undercover giants are apparently more common than one may think.

“Most galaxies have super massive black holes, containing millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun, at their cores. In a black hole, the mass is so concentrated that its gravitational pull is so strong that not even light can escape,” Phys Org reports.

Interesting, right? And a little off-putting (like an inactive undercover volcano), considering pin-pointing the location of theses mega-sized menaces isn’t an exact science. Our own Milky Way is believed to host a supersized black hole. Not the most comforting thought. But no more disconcerting than more recent studies that would indicate our voracious star-eater has a few thousand buddies that enjoy the same appetite.

Check out the video below to get the lowdown on these hefty recluses we call neighbor:

But rest easy. “Much of the time, however, super massive black holes are not actively devouring anything, so they are in a quiet state,” Miguel Perez-Torres, of the Astrophysical Institute of Andalusia in Granada, Spain explained.

And, “For the first time, astronomers have directly imaged the formation and expansion of a fast-moving jet of material ejected when the powerful gravity of a super massive black hole ripped apart a star that wandered too close to the cosmic monster.” Translated, that means scientists are now able to get the skinny sooner on what’s going on with black holes and how it may affect our galaxy.

Like identifying a “hidden” population close to home. Not the most appetizing thing on the menu.



Hand (Pexels copyright-free image)

You are what you eat – lady fingers anyone?

Police in Louisiana have been tasked by a local alligator snapping turtle to discover what happened to the rest of his meal. Snagged from the Tchefuncte River via trotline – a multi-hooked apparatus used to increase a fisherman’s chances of a good haul – the deceased animal, being prepped for consumption itself, was found to contain human remains.

“He (the unnamed fisherman) was cleaning for a meal, at which time he found it (a human finger, male or female unknown) inside of the turtle and we were contacted,” St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Captain Scott Lee told HuffPost.

Eww.

The following clip gives the details on this gruesome discovery:

Is there a dead body involved on the other end of this mystery? The turtle itself is a “blob of nastiness” according to Lee who has determined not to release photographs. But what about a human body?

Who knows?

Authorities have combed the location where the turtle was caught. This species of snapper doesn’t wander far when dining. Finding no indication of suspicious activity, however, the sheriff’s department halted the search for a human body, although foul play has not been entirely eliminated from the list of possibilities in solving this riddle.

Inquiries at local medical facilities have turned up nothing. No one in the area has sought treatment for a gnawed-off finger. Not definitive in itself, as some folks – as unwise and hard-to-fathom as that may be – might not seek medical attention. And while the finger is intact, a useable fingerprint has proved impossible to obtain. The coroner’s office is awaiting the revelation of potential clues prior to ordering costly DNA testing.

In the meantime, before eating, one may want to check out what their meal has chowed down on. The truth might quell your appetite.



James Bond (YouTube screencapture)

Feed your fantasy – new James Bond museum

Imagine you’re in the Austrian Alps, suited up for skiing and high octane super-spy action as you ride a sky-high suspended mountain gondola toward Blofeld’s wicked evil lair. Objective: save the world! (And typically one drop-dead gorgeous – if not super-smart – Bond girl.) If fantasy is what you feed on and James Bond is your seasoning of choice, look no further.

007 Elements is an immersive installation celebrating Bond’s cinematic outings past and present,” CNN Travel reports. “The museum neighbors the glacial ice Q restaurant featured in ‘Spectre’ – both buildings are on Gaislachkogl mountain in Sölden.”

You will not have long to wait either.

“The museum, opening July 12, will be reached via the Gaislachkoglbahn cable car.”The video clip below gives us the details:

Designed to attract tourists who might otherwise not like to ski, 007 Elements is sure to be a draw for Bond fans – at least those who can afford a trip to the Alps!

But one can dream.

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