If Earth Collided with a Black Hole

 

Worlds Collide

A new online tool calculates just how much cosmic destruction a run-in between the Earth and a black hole would cause.
The aptly-named Black Hole Collision Calculator determines how much a black hole would expand and the amount of energy it would release if it absorbed the Earth — or any other object, since the calculator is totally customizable, Space.com reports.
 

Big Kaboom

Particle physicist Álvaro Díez created the tool, which is hosted on the calculator database project Omni Calculator. Based on his calculations, a black hole swallowing the Earth would release some 55 quintillion times the planet’s annual energy consumption.
But even that destructive event would be a light snack for a supermassive black hole — its event horizon would only expand by a hundredth of a trillionth of a percent, per the calculator.
The main flaw with the calculator? The artistic rendering of a black hole obliterating the Earth that pops up next to the results doesn’t change to match any increasingly goofy collisions.
 

READ MORE: See What a Black Hole Would Do to Earth with Online ‘Collision Calculator’ [Space.com]
More on cosmic annihilation:Two Supermassive Black Holes Are on a Devastating Crash Course
 

Aliens: Spy Probe Orbiting The Sun

 

Alien Spies

A physicist who’s on the hunt for extraterrestrial life says there’s a chance that an ancient alien civilization has been spying on Earth for millions of years.

That’s not to say that he’s suggesting they walk among us, but physicist and independent SETI researcher James Benford suggests that aliens could have visited a rock orbiting the Sun in a path similar to that or Earth, according to Live Science. While such an extraterrestrial visit is extremely unlikely, it’s technically within the realm of possibility that alien tech is sitting on one of those so-called co-orbitals, waiting to be uncovered.

The Gist

Every so often — roughly twice every billion years — another star will venture within a light-year of Earth, per Live Science. Since Earth is a couple billion years old, Benford argues in research published this month in The Astronomical Journal that it’s technically possible that an advanced civilization could have come close enough to launch an expedition to our solar system.

“This is essentially extraterrestrial archaeology I’m talking about,” Benford told Live Science.

Long Shot

Of course, that relies on a whole bunch of assumptions — that extraterrestrial life exists, developed advanced technology, lived near one of those nearby stars, and took interest in Earth.

“How likely is it that alien probe would be on one of these co-orbitals, obviously extremely unlikely,” Arizona State University physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies, who didn’t contribute to Benford’s research, told Live Science.

READ MORE: Could E.T. Have Bugged a Space Rock to Listen In on Earthlings? [Live Science]
More on SETI: Scientists Are Terrified of SETI Research

Four Basic Elements

 

 

chaosophia218

In classical thought, the four elements Water, Air, Earth, and Fire frequently occur; sometimes including a fifth element or quintessence (after “quint” meaning “fifth”) called Aether in ancient Greece and India. The concept of the five elements formed a basis of analysis in both Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hinduism, particularly in an esoteric context, the four states-of-matter describe matter, and a fifth element describes that which was beyond the material world. Similar lists existed in ancient China and Japan. In Buddhism the four great elements, to which two others are sometimes added, are not viewed as substances, but as categories of sensory experience.