Madame Aligots' Extraordinary Concoctions of Science and Magic



Bonjour  Humans!

Did you know there are black holes in the universe?

I am not talking about red holes or green holes or even butterscotch coloured holes...

And not just in our universe.  In many other universes far away in galactic space.

In dark huge universes where I, Madame Aligot, have no extra powers.

I am interested in science, as you know.  More to the point,  science would be very interested to know about me.

But I am a secret no one and no science can understand yet.

However, I return to the subject which interests me at present.  It should interest you as well.

Do you know about Black Holes?  Mon Dieu!  They are someplace you never want to travel to.  And why you may ask?

Allow me to inform you, Humans.  Black holes were once huge, massive, enormous stars which collapsed inwards because of the sheer brute force of their own gravity!  Tenez!  

You cannot even imagine for a flicker of a moment how big these mighty stars once were.  And then, VOILA!  They turned into black holes!  And now they are terrible, fightening places in space where the gravity (the force in nature which makes things fall down instead of up) is so intense, is so powerful, is so strong, that EVEN a thin, well-meaning sliver of light gets trapped and cannot escape.  Ever.  

And everything around a black hole which doesn't have enough mass and gravity to withstand its monsterous jaws, gets sucked up or down or in and winds up gone, vanished, disappeared;  swirling miserably around inside forever and ever, never to be seen or heard of again!

But believe this. Black holes are hungry.  They love to swallow up things and feed on stars and gases and other things innocently floating about.  When they have a feeding frenzy, they give off pulses of energy called quasars like a cosmic soda fountain!!

Did I mention they are enormous?  You have to stretch your brain like a rubber band to even begin to imagine their sheer size and volume!  Some black holes are larger than 10 times the size of our Solar System.  One of them weighs as much as 3 billion suns!  Incroyable!  And do you know how these monster black holes are weighed?  How in the world would one measure a black hole?  Certainly not on a scale like you stand on in the bathroom or the doctor's surgery.

Imaginez, millions...of stars racing hither and thither around these holes.  Zooming through space.  Flying through space.  Streaking.  Hurtling.  Bolting.  Careering.  Careening.  Whizzing.  Zipping.  Whirling.  Blasting.  And then, voila!  The human scientists, looking through a giant telescope called a Hubble Telescope MEASURE how fast the stars are speeding.  And how do they do this, you might ask?

Here my friends is the brilliant science part.  The faster the stars are going, the more gravity and mass they have (otherwise they would fall into the hole and presto...would disappear).  And that is how they figure it out.  Bien sûr, it is more complicated than that, naturellement.  But that gives you a flavour of

The vast mysteries 

The extraordinary cosmic puzzles

The incredible galactic upheavals

which exist at the same time as you do human things in your Milky Way Universe - like brushing your teeth, reading a book, and eating pizza for dinner.

Pensez -y, humans!  Think about that.

A la prochaine!  Till we meet again.