Astronomers may have witnessed a star torn apart by a black hole

By Phil Plait | April 5, 2011 7:00 am

On March 28, 2011, NASA’s Swift satellite caught a flash of high-energy X-rays pouring in from deep space. Swift is designed to do this, and since its launch in 2004 has seen hundreds of such things, usually caused by stars exploding at the ends of their lives.

But this time was hardly "usual". It didn’t see a star exploding as a supernova, it saw a star literally getting torn apart as it fell too close to a black hole!

The event was labeled GRB 110328A –a gamma-ray burst seen in 2011, third month (March) on the 28th day (in other words, last week). Normal gamma-ray bursts are when supermassive stars collapse (or ultra-dense neutron stars merge) to form a black hole. This releases a titanic amount of energy, which can be seen clear across the Universe.

And those last two characteristics are certainly true of GRB 110328A; it’s nearly four billion light years away*, and the ferocity of its final moments is not to be underestimated: it peaked at a solid one trillion times the Sun’s brightness!

Yegads. I’m rather glad this happened so far away. That’s not the kind of thing I’d like to see up close.

Although initially cataloged as a GRB, followup observations indicated this was no usual event. The way the light grew and faded seemed to fit better with a star getting torn apart. And what can do that to an entire star? A black hole. So instead of the star in question forming a black hole, it apparently literally fell victim to one!

The observations indicate the black hole in question may have as much as half a million times the mass of the Sun, meaning it’s very probably a supermassive black hole in the very center of a distant galaxy. Hubble Space Telescope observations (not yet released to the public) also place the event very near the center of a galaxy, which is consistent with this scenario.

So what happened?

We think that at the center of every large galaxy (including our own Milky Way) lies a supermassive black hole, some with millions or even billions of times the Sun’s mass. Some of these, like our own, are sitting there quietly. Without matter falling into them, black holes are pretty calm. But if a gas cloud, say, wanders too close, it forms a disk around the hole called an accretion disk. This disk heats up and can emit tremendous amounts of light (as in this illustration here). Some galaxies are continuously feeding of material like this, and we call them active galaxies.

In the case of GRB 110328A, something else happened. The galaxy is known to be quiet; NASA’s Fermi satellite can see gamma rays over much of the sky, and has reported no emission from this galaxy for the past couple of years. So whatever happened here was a singular event.

What fits all the data is that of a star orbiting the center of the black hole. Perhaps it was on a safe orbit but got flung closer to the black hole after a close encounter with another star or gas cloud, or perhaps it started out close and over millions of years its orbit has brought it closer and closer to that monster at the galaxy’s heart.

Swift X-ray image of GRB 110328A — a 41 hour exposure!
Click to embiggen.

Whatever happened, the star’s life ended suddenly and catastrophically. Black holes have incredibly strong gravity, of course, but that gravity gets weaker with distance. Stars are big, a million or more kilometers across, and that means one side of the star was substantially closer to the black hole than the other, so the near side felt a stronger pull of gravity than the far side of the star. This has the effect of stretching the star in a process called tides.

A star is held together by its own gravity. As the star in question here inched closer to the black hole, the force stretching the star got stronger, and at some point overcame its internal gravity. The star got literally torn apart by the black hole!

The material swirled around the black hole, forming a small and temporary accretion disk. Observations indicate that for a short time, two beams of matter and energy called jets erupted from the doomed star the black hole, and it was the flash of tremendous energy from this that triggered Swift, and a flurry of observations from other telescopes cascaded from that.

It’s not certain that this is actually what happened so far away in the core of that far-flung galaxy, but it does fit what’s seen so far (and at least one other star has been seen to have been eaten by a black hole before). It also predicts that radio emission from the event will be highly variable, and that the visible brightness should brighten again over the next few weeks. Astronomers are eagerly observing this distant event to see if their ideas will still hold true as time goes on, or if more surprises are in store.

And I need to add something to this story. I used to work on Fermi and Swift, writing educational stories and activities based on their observations, but that was many years ago. I don’t keep up with their daily doings so much.

I actually found out about GRB 110328A when I got an email the other day from my friend Adria Updike, who observes GRBs. She told me an amazing thing: a colleague of hers, PhD candidate Alexander Kann, started a thread on the Bad Astronomy/Universe Today Bulletin Board about the GRB. BAUT, as we call the board, was started by my friend Fraser Cain of Universe Today and myself, hence the name of the board.

Another astronomer friend of mine, Bill Keel, is also a BAUT member. He read the thread, and used the SARA 1-meter telescope at Kitt Peak, Arizona, to observe the burst:

On the left is his observation on April 1, and on the right on April 4. The position of GRB 110328A is circled. As you can see, it was pretty faint. It has apparently faded somewhat over the three day interval — which is expected; the initial event (a star getting torn apart! I can’t get over that!) released a huge flash of energy which faded over time. It’s hard to see in the two images because the burst looks about the same brightness, but the second observation had a longer exposure time (you can see fainter stars in it), so the source did fade.

With observations in hand, Adria and Bill sent out a circular, a note to the community about what they saw:

We observed the field of GRB 110328A/Swift J164449.3+573451 (Cummings et
al., GCN 11823) on April 1 at 11:50 UT (3.96 days after the trigger) for
20 minutes in the R band with the SARA North telescope at KPNO. At the
location of the optical counterpart (Cenko et al., GCN 11827; Volnova et
al., GCN 11837) we marginally detect the transient at R = 21.7 +/- 0.3 [...]

This GCN resulted from a collaboration initiated by the BAUTforum.

[Emphasis mine.]

Note the credit they give to BAUT. Awesome. Never underestimate the power of social media, especially in the sciences. You never know how far they reach… and in this case, that reach was 3.872 billion light years.

Artist’s illustration of star and black hole: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss. Illustration of accretion disk: A. Hobart, CXC. Images from SARA telescopes used by permission of Bill Keel; Swift image: UK Swift Science Data Centre


* Or, to be pedantic, it took nearly four billion years for the light from the explosion to get here.


Related posts:

- Cosmic X-ray blast temporarily blinded NASA satellite
- Anniversary of a cosmic blast
- No, a nearby supernova won’t wipe us out
- New burst vaporizes cosmic distance record

Comments (81)

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  1. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE

    The title of your post should be: A Wandering Star Embiggens a Black Hole! ;-)

  2. Daniel Snyder

    Congrats, Phil! Who’d have thought that bringing people together is a productive thing? ;)

    Question: How long did the collapse take? I presume that when you say, “the visible brightness should brighten again over the next few weeks,” that from our perspective it’s still going on. But these jets of matter and radiation, how long did they last?

  3. This is really cool and it’s fantastic that we got direct observations of it.

    What, exactly is the time scale we’re talking about? The observations took place over several days but how long did the core event last, days, hours, minutes?

  4. Practice

    I’m curious about the very first picture. Does depiction of black hole (or, rather, its event horizon) as a pitch black spheroid have any scientific ground? Wouldn’t it be invisible?

  5. You sure this wasn’t an advanced alien technology harvesting stars for energy? :)

  6. Chris

    I’d have to disagree Phil. A star getting torn apart by a black hole, now that is something I’d like to see up close. But I’d also like to have a ship with warp drive so I could get the heck out of there before the gamma ray burst hit.

  7. Messier Tidy Upper

    @^ Chris – but by the time you saw it , it would be too late! :-o

    Photons of visual light and Gamma rays arrive at the same time.

    A telescope just far enough away to be out of the danger zone – that’d be the way to go methinks.

    As for this post’s news – WOW!!! [Jaw meets floor.] :-o

    A star got sphaghettified!
    Sphaghettified and ripped apart into explosive shreds and jets of plasma flame.
    Swallowed into a supermassive black hole.

    If it had any planets I wonder what might’ve happened to them?
    Death from the skies indeed!

    That the BAUT forum played such a role in such a superluminous finding. Love it! <3 8)

    PS. Do we know what the (l)ate stars spectral & luminosity class was?

  8. Severus

    Now, you’ll have to excuse me, Captain. I have an appointment with eternity and I don’t want to be late.

    Sev.

  9. Great article, Phil. This is the kind of thing that keeps drawing me back to your blog. Visual astronomy is great, but I love this kind of “wrap your head around this” astronomy.

  10. Tim Stiffler-Dean

    @Practice – I was going to ask ‘How else would you envision something that is invisible when it is surrounded by objects of mass?’ But your statement makes sense – why can’t we see the objects behind it?

    In which case, if a black whole has enough gravity to stop even light from emitting, perhaps this is the best way to show that the light-emitting objects on the opposite side of the BH are in fact emitting light, but that light is being pulled into, or curved around, the BH by it’s intense gravitational pull. That would give the illusion of it being black, when it is actually just killing light.

  11. MarkW

    March 28 was (is) my birthday. Thanks for the present, cosmos!

  12. Tom (H. Type)

    “4. Practice Says” I would imagine that even a “quiet” non feeding super-massive black hole would always have some matter interacting with it, even in the depths of intergalactic space there is matter, its just not very dense. Therefore, I would imagine this relative minor interaction with surround particles would make a Black Hole a glowing ball.
    Also If Professor Hawkins is correct a rotating Black Hole would always emit Hawking radiation. The Hawking radiation process reduces the mass and the energy of the black hole and is therefore also known as black hole evaporation. So it could be dim “visibly” but I would think, never invisible.

    Messier Tidy Upper what say you?

  13. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ Tom (H. Type) :

    Well, there’s the event horizon and then there’s the actual singularity inside it for starters.. Not sure how bright Hawking radiation is but I suspect not very.

    Dust and gas particles that aren’t dense enough to form an accretion disk would most likely just disapperear with very little trace I suspect – but am not certain of this.

    Wikipedia :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole

    has a good illustration or two.

    One supermassive black hole that has (sort of) been imaged is at the core of Messier 51 :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:M51_whirlpool_galaxy_black_hole.jpg

    Where “X”: marks the spot. ;-)

    Then there’s this black hole :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ou3TukauccM

    animatedly eating a star on Youtube. Although it looks more like a stellar mass variety than the supermassive Galactic core type ones.

    Hope that helps some. :-)

  14. Nigel Depledge
  15. This is one of those events that makes your head spin.

  16. A whole star destroyed in a black hole?

    Oh, won’t someone please think of the children?!

  17. Messier Tidy Upper

    This link :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leZdJmUF4lM&feature=related

    via a BBC panel of experts is more focused on the supermassive Black Hole variety.

    & this :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNpa6z2YXXE&feature=related

    is the Sixty Symbols series take on Black Holes.

    Whilst this early depiction :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDj6XtZrxvw&NR=1

    Of the Black Hole may be rather more dubious scientifically – although they did get one constellation reference right in a tangential fashion. ;-)

  18. Dan

    @ Practice

    You seem to be getting “invisible” and “black” confused. Invisible means light is passing through, so you can see what’s on the other side. Black means there’s no light appearing to come from that source at all, so you see nothing. Aside from the very minimal Hawking radiation emitted by a black hole of this size, there is no light at all emanating from the event horizon, and the light from anything behind it will get swallowed up by it. Thus, it appears black and not invisible. Of course if the picture were more accurate, the light near the event horizon would be distorted by the gravity, but the event horizon itself would indeed be black.

  19. And people say that scientists take the awe and wonder away from things. I submit this as exhibit A for a firm refutation of that. Simply amazing!

  20. Chris

    @ Messier Tidy Upper #7
    Duh, watching too much Star Trek when they have plenty of time to outrun the supernova :-) Probably would be better to have a probe send back some pictures, although what a way to go.

  21. Regner Trampedach

    Black holes cannot be transparant, i.e., let light through them, since they absorb ALL light coming their way – they are indeed black. The temperature, T, of the Hawking radiation is inversely proportional to the mass, M, of the black hole. A stellar mass black hole has a Hawking temperature (T=0.06 micro-Kelvin) far, far below that of the cosmic microwave background (T=2.725+/-0.001K). That means that even if a stellar mass black hole is not actively feeding, it will gobble up more photons than it emits – and hence it will (slowly) grow. A million solar mass black hole will have a temperature million times lower than that and will indeed be VERY black.
    Light will bend around the black hole, so that on the limb of the black hole you actually see light from behind it. Light that has passed close to the black hole will also be greatly red-shifted by its gravity. The black hole will still appear as a black disk, showing the event horizon.
    Cheers, Regner

  22. Bob Jones

    Uber cool.

    Cosmos, you rock.

  23. @5, if they did, they did it with much suckitude.

    All the energy seems to have escaped rather than being captured. Maybe it was an industrial accident.

  24. Simon Green

    I’m interested in the two photos: in the left hand one there is a star on the left, roughly vertical centre. Above it and slightly to the right there’s a small bright dot which is gone in the right hand one.

    Any ideas what it was? Could be noise I guess, but it looks much brighter than the noise, generally.

  25. EddyKilowatt

    Cool story, and all… but since this is a science blog, could you quantify at least a little bit when you say things like “for a short time, two beams of matter and energy called jets erupted”? Milliseconds, hours, days… ? My earthly intuition doesn’t scale too well to these astrophysical size and energy scales (though I could make some reasoned guesses if I had to).

    Keep up the great work!

  26. Don Alexander

    Whoa, I’m ON THE INTERNETZ!!! :O

    Concerning the general “How long did this event last?” question.

    Actually, the destruction of the star (IF this is the correct model) took place several days before Swift triggered, both Swift and MAXI on the ISS registered very faint emission predating the trigger by several DAYS. If the destruction was accompanied by a momentous energy eruption, that was missed.

    The radiation we are seeing being emitted now derives from the shredded star being fed into the BH in form of a massive accretion disk. This process is ongoing, and should be visible for weeks, even months.

    The source is still highly active in X-rays, as seen by Swift:

    http://www.swift.ac.uk/xrt_curves/00450158/

    @Simon Green: Cosmic ray hit. The first image was made of only two frames, cosmics can’t be removed like that.

  27. dcsohl

    One quality of light is that its path “makes sense” both forwards and backwards. That is, if a beam of light comes to you, and everything is static, you should be able to beam light right back where you saw that light come from, and have your light arrive at the original light’s origin.

    So, let’s run things backwards… if you fire light at the apparent disc of the event horizon of a black hole, it’s gonna fall right in. So you will see the event horizon as black… since any light you saw from it would have to come *from* the black hole. Hawking radiation is the only thing that you could see coming “from” the disc of the black hole, and that’s going to be fairly minimal for a black hole of any reasonable size.

    Immediately around the edge of the black hole’s disc is a different story. Beam light right at the edge of the disc you perceive, and it will bend around the black hole by 45 degrees, 90 degrees, even 180 degrees. Aim just right and that light will come back to you from the other side of the disc, having done a sling-shot around the black hole.

    Running this “backwards” implies that the edge of the black hole will be bright, as light from everything near the black hole warps around it and (some part of it) comes to you. So my expectation of a black hole’s appearance would be a (very narrow) ring of light around a pitch-black disc.

  28. dave cortesi

    “jets erupted from the doomed star” — would the jets erupt from the distorted star, or would they pop out from the axis of the black hole as the accretion disk is suddenly fattened with infalling star material? (Which has the stronger magnetic field, the star or the hole?)

    Either way, if jets are involved, that accounts for the brevity of the bright event: we had the luck of being temporarily on the axis of the beam. But surely an event involving the smooshing of a million-kilometer sphere can’t start and finish in just a day or two. There had to be a longish time of the star getting progressively more distorted into a flattened and probably assymetrical spheroid, trailing an ever longer, ever thicker cometary train of material. Wow, I hope somebody runs a simulation of such an event, I’d love to see the video.

  29. Don Alexander

    @dave cortesi: It’s definitely the BH which is launching the jets, but the magnetic fields come from the accreted material and thus, in essence, from the star.

    Campana et al. argue that the BH here has M_BH < 5 x 10^5 M_sol, such a BH has (assuming, for simplicity, a Schwartzschild spacetime) a circumfrence of its event horizon of 15 light seconds. The disruption probably occurs outside the ISCO (since that typically marks the inner edge of an accretion disc), but I still image it all happened in just minutes, hours max. In such huge gravitational fields, stuff tends to rush. ;)

  30. Dean Martelle

    Hey MarkW. 3/28 is Lady Gagas’ birthday too. A birthday present with a 4 billion year delivery time that everyone can share. She would geek out over this almost as much as the scientists. Fortunately unlike stars the brightest people are the ones with longevity.

  31. Ant

    Wouldn’t the edge of the star closest to the blackhole start to experience time at a different rate to other side of the star sitting millions of km’s away?

    If you could watch it wouldn’t that just make it even more amazing…

  32. Georg

    Yegads. I’m rather glad this happened so far away. That’s not the kind of thing I’d like to see up close.

    What about “chance” that something like this might happen in the center
    of our own galaxy?
    Georg

  33. alex lehar

    that’s really great! I like your lucid descriptions of these magnificent events. Thanks!

  34. Wingsy

    Your artist’s conception of the event doesn’t make sense. The star is being stretched along its path, not in the direction of the black hole.

  35. Ben

    Just curious, but if this event had happened at the center of our own galaxy, would it be bright enough to turn night to day?

  36. @Ben I think it would be more than that, A trillion suns sure is a BIG thing!

    How much time did it take to devour the star? I hope somebody makes a simulation.

  37. Credit to the idea of what you’re seeing here goes to the chaps in Berkeley, California it seems:
    http://gcn.gsfc.nasa.gov/gcn3/11847.gcn3
    Might be worth mentioning in this nice blog post!

  38. Thisguyiknow

    Terrific article. I guess my black holes seem a lot different, though. Their gravitational power is so great that by the time we were as close as the artist’s rendering above, we would actually see the warping of the fabric of space around them: as we moved in relation to them, they would be great, shifting spheres surrounded by the light they had gathered and transformed by their gravitational lensing, and focused in strange and beautiful ways. There would be halos encircling them, and many-colored lenticular shapes hovering about them in nearby space, moving as we moved, and there would be virtual stars, refracted through unthinkable angles, with each one’s spectral character retouched – this one by a lick, that one by the scruff of its neck – according to the path it had taken farther from or nearer to the event horizon….

    They’re very beautiful, and only eat stars that volunteer to make the sacrifice.

  39. Don Alexander

    @Wingy:

    You know something about orbital mechanics.
    [ ] Yes
    [x] No

    @Ben:
    No, because there is a huge amount of dust in the way. In gamma- and X-rays though, this would be quite extreme. It would probably be a bit dangerous to life on the planet… IF the radiation was beamed our way. Which is unlikely.

    X-ray and radio structures near Sgr A* indicate that similar events occur maybe every 10000 years or so (don’t quote me on the exact number).

  40. Wingsy

    Don,

    Enlighten me, oh snarky one.

  41. George

    Are we sure it wasn’t the work of …. the Death Star?

  42. Just a couple on important elements about gamma ray detection:

    1.- When gamma-rays originated by this events arrive to the earth atmosphere , they collide with it and trasnform themselves in ultraviolet rays.

    This second kid of rediation is detected by means of Cherenkov telescopes that works at night.

    One of the is in the spanish palma iland. Many information on the burst are got by it, specially when it points to previous gammay ray sources.

  43. The ultraviolet radiation produce from the gamma-ray as a secondary effects, partly cross the earth atmosphere, partly bounce back to the space after collision.

    This secondary photons are detected by telescopes place in space station.

  44. Whe earth Cherenkovtelescopes are used from earth and are directed at night to a source with black holes, you can have at least 5 hours of continuos information of what is happening there.

    The problem, better said the difficulty, it is that it is difficult to detect single photons , becasue traditional telescope were design to detct acumulated set of photons.

    Another difficulty it is that sometimes the sources are completedly black, it is meant that the observation is different from that made on stars that emit light an by it are located to point the telescopes.

    Sources are identified by geografical coordinates once they are discovered, but until this moment, you are looking at night a black needle in a black barn.

  45. Don Alexander

    @Wingsy: I shall! ;)

    The first point is that the star is extremely unlikely to plunge toward the black hole absolutely head on. The event horizon is roughly the size of the star itself, this would be like hitting a marble with a marble from thousands of miles. The fact alone that the star came close enough to be torn apart is very unlikely, hence why these events are so rare.

    Secondly, since the tidal forces near the black hole are so strong, this means the orbital speed of a “Keplerian test particle” (a free particle upon which no external forces act) is very different on the side of the star facing the hole than on the side of the star facing away from it. Imagine Mercury and Earth being connected by a fixed bar – Mercury moves much faster around the sun, which would rapidly stretch – and probably break – the bar. In the same way, the star gets torn apart… along the orbital direction!!

  46. Titan

    So is this like a short lived quasar?

  47. The Star Death was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

  48. @Bob Jones: actually, that specific bit of the cosmos sucks… Big time!

  49. MIK

    The article said it happened last week— I beg to differ , It happened a million years ago… — I dont think I feel any signs of its affects here on earth>>???? DO YOU

  50. Dave B

    Hey Phil,
    I’m reading Death From the Skies now, and I have a couple of questions.

    For an event this huge, how far away is a “safe” distance? Obviously, we’re safe from this one, but can we tell if there are galaxies closer to this event that could have taken enough of a hit to wipe out civilizations? Since we saw it, we must be in line with the jets, so can we tell if there was anything between here and there?

    If the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way ate a big star, can I assume we’d be safe because the jets would be perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy, or would the angle of the accretion disk and jets depend on the star’s angle of approach?

  51. Ben

    ” And what can do that to an entire star?”

    Do not underestimate power of the Dark Side!

  52. I read some new comments about whether or not the star has been attractted into the black hole.Discussion reasoning holds on gravitational forces and cosmological geomatry.

    There is an experimental way to know or at least stablish fact to reasoning further.

    If the stars has been attracted and collapsed into the black hole, gamma activity of the black hole should increase.

    That is why it is so important to have continuios observation of gamma radiation on black holes by means of cherenkov telescopes .

  53. Jon

    Eh, who cares? This news is almost four billion years old.

  54. What is the white object in the left image that does not appear in the right image. I took the liberty of circling the area of interest and hosting it on my website:
    http://www.viatrack.ca/Misc/sara_keel_grb110328a_Mod.jpg

    If this is not ok I will take it down but I am curious.

  55. ismael

    I was out in the desert in California when I observed a big flash in the sky. I knew it was not a falling star since Ive seen many but it appeared to get very bright in a about half the size of the moon. I just new it was probably a sun exploding. They said the light increased and faded in about 1 to 2 seconds. That would be a great description of what i saw so I can see how a black hole probably tore it apart. I’m glad to hear about this research and that it confirms what I saw.

  56. Carolynne Masters

    I know this probably will not be enterred into the blog, but I have been contemplating how to pass on the knowledge of what happened, which has been publisized as the “accidental witnessing of a star being sucked into a black hole” Science and faith in God have fought against each other for so long, that I was deeply saddened by this. After watching Stephen Hawking explain how there was no need for a God to create a universe from nothing, I was deely saddened at the thought of losing so many great minds who constsantly try to disprove God, instead of search for evidence both in the heavens, and the earth. I prayed earnestly and without intent of fame or glory, only to have a testimony to the scientific community that could be tested with modern truth detection if I was lying or telling the truth. What was that prayer? That God would allow scientists to capture as star being “eaten” by a black whole, so that they would have a human being to test on the trutthfulness of the prayer, and the evidence of God’s response, so that all of the grest minds (and great souls) in the science community could end the debate, over the exixtence of God. When I saw the report that my prayer had been answered in just a few days, I was awestruck, and fearful, about how I was to approach a community of people who would just push aside the testimony I was giving, instead of investigating it to see if it were true or false. Then to read that it happened several days before it was seen, actually sets up the timing for it to have occurred almost instantly after I prayed for it to happen. I need to make this clear. I am not trying to prove anything about myself. I am offering my story to every scientific test to prove truth in it, because I know that I prayed for it, and it happened. God does exist, and science is being given an earthly measure of testing something that happened far away in the cosmos to give proof of his existence. Calculate the possibility of praying for a black hole to appear “eating” a star to prove God exists,occuuring spontaneously when it had never been seen before. God answers prayers, and still has the ability to bring about universal change, whether creative or destructive. If you would like to know whether or not I am telling the truth, I am open to any scientific form of testing, for the sake of the souls lost to current scientific theory, and to the glory of God!

  57. Herazod

    @ Carolynn Masters -

    Keep drinking the kool aid that religion feeds you… amazing how a method of population control (which is what religion is) can still be followed after all the HUMANS have put their words in the mix. How can you possibly trust something that had every King and Pope through the ages changing rules to keep people in line.

    Religion was invented to explain things that we could not explain. all you have to do is look at all the different religions to see that. Feel free to feel how you want to, but this goes more to DISPROVE god more than prove it.

    So if you need that crutch in your life to make sense of things that you can’t understand, please don’t try to push that off on people that ARE interested in finding the whys in the universe.. pretty much guaranteed to find the answer eventually, and it’s not going to be “because of god’s will”

    this is what it is….. and it has nothing to do with God.. only mass and gravity with some nuclear action mixed in…. :)

  58. Wzrd1

    @Carolynn Masters, I pray that God teaches you some common sense, gives you a small measure of intelligence and a heavy does of humility.
    For in truth, your prayer was for your God to show his mercy in teaching scientists some lesson by destroying a star, a star that may have had inhabited planets orbiting it. In short, you prayed for murder and random destruction.
    AND you have the idiocy of thinking that God answered your prayer 4 billion years in the past. When the Earth was still molten.
    And I will further pray to God that you never reproduce and further contaminate the gene pool of whatever species of equine you are, though I have a reasonable suspicion of which species you are. One that Jesus was said to ride into Jerusalem on…

  59. Carolynne Masters

    How closed minded do you have to be to say I am pushing something on people trying to discover the ways of the universe. Not one person has accepted my offer to face scientific, and not verbal, scrutiny. Nor has anyone calculated the probability mathamatically for the sequence of events I have described occurring. Keep drinking that kool aid that will give you diabetes. I drink water, and keep watching that black hole, it’s going to disprove many of the scientific THEORIES. Then write back when you have an answer other than a put down. Oh, and as a matter of speaking, scientific rules state that if we travelled at the speed of light, time slows down. So maybe, just maybe, an eternal God knew my prayer was coming, and His timing is better than yours. When you prove life was there, I’ll take your comments to heart. Luckily I prayed for it to be a distant star. Would you like me to pray for the black hole in the center of the milky way to become active, and begin swallowing our galaxy?

  60. very sad poor star :(

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