OC407: Chaos In Oort
Ben Franklin Centre for Theoretical Research
PO Box 27, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia.
This is Number 7 in a suite of web articles about the Oort Cloud, the volume of space immediately outside our Solar System.
The Oort Cloud, Now and Then
If you have followed this suite of articles through from its start, you may have noticed that your picture of the Oort Cloud is now rather different to what it was at the beginning.
At the beginning, the Oort Cloud was a "theoretical" area of space, believed populated by a number of tiny comets. Now, an image of Oort Space should be coming into focus of a space very widely populated by bodies of Super-Jupiter size and everything smaller, anything below the minimum star mass, about 7.5% of the mass of the Sun. And these bodies include a multitude of cold distant bodies, together making up the elusive Dark Matter, and the source of CMBR (Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation).
That is now. While the enormous complexity of the Oort Cloud may be appreciated, with sub-solar systems and every possible combination of bodies occurring, it could still perhaps be taken as fairly settled and unchanging. In this Segment we will look at the evidence that the reverse is true -- that the Oort Cloud has had a tumultuous past, leading to a very dynamic, seething present.
Density of the Oort Cloud compared to the Heliosphere without the Sun
We have seen earlier that, taking standard figures as a basis for calculation, our Oort Cloud has a billion (109) times the volume of the Heliosphere (which contains the Sun and all the planets and moons etc), and is supposed to include about 9 Sun Masses altogether. We also know that the Sun includes about 99.86% of all the mass of the Heliosphere. So, if the Heliosphere didn't include the Sun, how would its density compare to that of the Oort Cloud?
Calculations based on these figures show that the present density of our Oort Cloud would still be less than a millionth of the density of the Heliosphere without the Sun, 0.126 x 10-6 in fact. So if the Sun really did pick up the planets during a long trip through space, it must have done so efficiently over a long period. Let us see if this somewhat wild proposition is even marginally possible.
Movement of the Sun through Oort Space
As it happens, we do know, and have quite accurate figures for, the rate at which our Heliosphere is currently moving through Oort Space -- and it's surprisingly large, much more than the rate at which the Sun moves in orbit about the Galactic Centre.
We know this from one of the most prominent features of CMBR, called the CMBR Dipole. The CMBR oval often used to represent CMBR, as in Figure F1, is a "wrap-around" of the whole sky around the celestial equator, technically called a Mollweide projection. The light-blue dot in the darker blue section, and the corresponding red dot in the red-yellow section, actually represent opposite points in the sky, 180 degrees apart.
Fig. OC407-F1. The CMBR Dipole: Speeding Through the Universe. From [G1].
The CMBR pattern is artificially coloured to represent small differences in the wavelengths of the CMBR received from different points in the sky. The term "Dipole" is short for saying that if you look forward towards a certain point in the sky (in this case. towards the constellation Crater), the CMBR signal has a small decrease in wavelength (a blue shift), while if you look backwards (in the opposite direction to Crater), the CMBR signal has an exactly equivalent wavelength increase (red shift).
These wavelength shifts are caused by the well-known Doppler Effect, and from their size, the rate of motion of the Solar System through the sources of CMBR can be calculated quite accurately. The existence of the Dipole is proof that the Solar System, as a whole, is moving through our region of the galaxy, in a direction towards the constellation Crater.
The CMBR Dipole thrust is just one of the movements which the Earth undergoes. The Earth moves around the Sun. The Sun orbits the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy. The Milky Way Galaxy orbits in the Local Group of Galaxies. The Local Group falls toward the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies [G3].
But the magnitude of each of these speeds is less than that of the "CMBR Dipole thrust", the speed that the Heliosphere moves relative to the CMBR (cosmic microwave background radiation). NASA's calculations indicate that we are moving at about 370 kilometers per second relative to the sources of the CMBR radiation [G8]. This is a surprisingly large figure, with ramifications which we will look at later.
So we know that our Heliosphere is travelling quite rapidly through Oort Space, at about 370 km/sec, towards the constellation Crater. This motion is not the result of orbits of the Earth, Sun, Galaxy or Local Group, but is an individual movement of our Heliosphere -- our Heliosphere has its own movement vector through the Oort Cloud. This CMBR Dipole thrust is not in dispute, and in fact there is a detail in the picture which confirms it.
If our Heliosphere is under consideration, then the movement of the Earth round the Sun takes place within it. As the Earth's orbit is approximately in the same plane as the Heliosphere's movement towards Crater, then the CMBR dipole should show a small six-monthly variation (of about 30 km/sec) in the Doppler Shift, as the Earth viewer is moving towards Crater or away from it, on opposite sides of its orbit.
In fact, just such a six-monthly variation is observed. In [G3] it says "The COBE DMR observations clearly show the change in velocity at 30 kilometers per second due to the motion of the Earth around the Sun. One can see a clear sinusoidal pattern in the amplitude and direction of the dipole with a one year period in the four years of COBE DMR data. Differencing maps taken six months apart produces the familiar dipole pattern with the amplitude and direction of the Earth's motion".
There is a more detailed explanation of the CMBR Dipole in P4: The Greater Averaged Universe (GAU): How the Solar System cannibalizes the Oort Cloud [G2].
Only about 70,000 years ago, there was a relatively close approach to Earth by a small binary star called Scholz's Star.
Scholz's Star is believed to have passed by the Earth only about four-fifths of a light-year away, well within the Oort Cloud . By comparison, the currently closest-known star, Proxima Centauri, is about 4.24 light-years away.
Fig. OC407-F2. Scholz's Star passing through our Oort Cloud. From [G4].
Scholz's star is a small Red Dwarf star, with a M9 spectral classification, just 15% of the mass of our Sun [G5]. It is a binary star system, with the secondary being a brown dwarf of class T5. Brown Dwarfs are believed to be plentiful in the Universe, but due to their very low intrinsic brightness, they are very difficult to discover, except, as in this case, as companions to brighter stars. The pair is now about 20 light years away.
At the time that Scholz's star and its companion were passing, humans were active upon the Earth. The time is classed in human history as the Mesolithic Period of the Stone Age. Many famous cave paintings date from the Mesolithic Period, when Neanderthals were advancing their skills.
Fig. OC407-F2a. Cave paintings -- Mesolithic art. From [G6].
It is interesting to calculate the rate at which Scholz's Star appears to be moving. If it has moved 20 light-years in 70,000 years, then it is taking about 3500 years to move 1 light-year, and so is moving at about 1/3500 of the speed of light. As the speed of light is about 300,000 km/sec, it means that Scholz's Star is moving through the Oort Cloud at about 85 km/sec.
Looking back now at the CMBR Dipole thrust speed of 370 km/sec [G8], this is far more than that of Scholz's Star. As the speed of light is about 300,000 km/sec, this means that we appear to be moving through the Oort Cloud at 0.12% of light-speed. In other words, we travel a light-year in about 815 years -- so we would travel 4 light-years, the entire diameter of the Oort Cloud, in only 3260 years, well within recorded human history.
There is another star close to our Sun which is known to have quite a high rate of motion. Barnard's star, second nearest star to the Sun (after the triple system of Proxima Centauri and Alpha Centauri's A and B components considered together), is at a distance of 5.95 light-years.
Barnard's star has the largest proper motion of any known star [G12]. Because of its high velocity of approach, 110 km per second, Barnard's star is gradually coming nearer the solar system, and by the year AD 11,800 will reach its closest point in distance -- namely, 3.85 light-years. In 2018, a planet was detected around Barnard's star. That planet has a mass at least 3.2 times that of Earth, and orbits the star with a period of 233 days, at a distance of about 60 million kilometres.
Other stars near to Earth
Of all the stars closer than 15 light-years, only two are spectral type G, similar to our sun: Alpha Centauri A and Tau Ceti. The majority are M-type red dwarf stars [G9]. Only nine of the stars in this area are bright enough to be seen by the naked human eye from Earth. These brightest stars include Alpha Centauri A and B, Sirius A, Epsilon Eridani, Procyon, 61 Cygni A and B, Epsilon Indi A, and Tau Ceti.
Fig. OC407-F3. The nearest stars to Earth. From [G9].
Sirius A is the brightest star in Earth's night sky, due to its intrinsic brightness and its proximity to us. Sirius B, a White Dwarf star, is smaller than Earth, but has a mass 98 percent that of our sun. In late 2012, astronomers discovered that Tau Ceti may host five planets, between two and six times the mass of Earth, including one within the star's habitable zone. Tau Ceti is the nearest single G-type star like our sun.
Apart from stars, there are quite a number of smaller objects nearby. There are about 52 stellar systems within 16.3 light-years of the Solar System [G10], which contain a total of 63 stars, of which 50 are red dwarfs, by far the most common type of star in the Milky Way. More massive stars, such as our own, make up the remaining 13.
In addition to these "true" stars, scientists have identified 11 Brown Dwarfs ("objects not quite massive enough to fuse hydrogen"), and four White Dwarfs ("extremely dense collapsed cores that remain after stars such as our Sun have exhausted all fusable hydrogen in their core and have shed slowly their outer layers"). Despite the relative proximity of these 78 objects to Earth, only nine are bright enough to be visible to the naked eye from Earth [G10].
An estimated 694 stars will possibly approach the Solar System to less than 16.3 light-years in the next 15 million years [G10]. Of these, 26 have a good probability to come within 3.3 light-years, and another 7 within 1.6 light-years. The closest encounter to the Sun so far predicted is the low-mass orange dwarf star Gliese 710, with roughly 60% the mass of the Sun. It is currently predicted to pass 0.305 light-years from the Sun in 1.28 million years from the present, "close enough to significantly disturb our Solar System's Oort cloud".
Chaos in Oort
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that Oort Space is not a stable collection of a few large stars, but instead is an active, milling crowd of objects of all sorts of sizes, interacting something like Brownian Motion, the random motion of particles suspended in a fluid. It's quite hard to reconcile the scale of some of these motions with the apparent motion of the Heliosphere within the Oort Cloud.
As mentioned above, the CMBR Dipole thrust speed of 370 km/sec is about 0.12% of the speed of light. This rate of travel equals a light-year in about 815 years, equivalent to 4 light-years (close to the distance of the nearest stars) in only 3260 years. If independent movement of the Sun and Heliosphere through space was taking place at such a rate, it would be expected to cause changes in the constellations of our night skies during recent human history. No such changes have been observed. It is apparent that while changes in the separations of stars are observed and measurable, as a whole the star framework maintains its approximate shape.
The Fishing Net Model
There is a possible scenario which could give an acceptable answer to these discrepancies. In this scenario, the larger bodies are treated as the knots of a fishing net, held together by the gravitational forces between them. Relative movement of individual stars will stretch or slacken the connections of this net, but it still have some general retention of shape over time.
Fig. OC407-F4. Fishing net as concept of stars in space. From [G11].
This net is then treated as suspended across a flowing river. All the smaller matter of space, including the small, cold, and distant bodies which are the source of CMBR, would be part of the fluid flow, mostly not interacting with the gravitational net. Or, if Space was an ocean, these CMBR flows might be ocean currents, local movements of Oort Soup travelling independently of the star network -- the Sol Oort-Soup Stream.
In this interpretation, the Heliosphere would not be a sphere travelling through interstellar space toward the constellation Crater. Instead, it would be a sphere hanging in the interstellar void which was currently being impacted by an "ocean current" made up of the smaller stuff of Space.
The Butterfly Net Model
It may be more accurate to treat the movement of the Heliosphere through Oort Space rather like a butterfly net being swished through the air over some bushes, the haunts of butterflies. Successful swishes will add some new butterflies to the net.
In this analogy, the Heliosphere is like a butterfly net, moving relative to the Oort Soup. It's not important whether the net is being moved, or a current in the soup is moving stuff through the net. The opening of the net is the width of the Heliosphere, some 200 AU wide.
Fig. OC407-F5. Butterfly net analogy for the Heliosphere. From [G26].
Smaller stuff in the Oort Soup will pass right through the net, depending on how wide is the mesh size. Many bigger objects will be retained in the net, while some agile butterflies might enter the net entrance, but have enough energy to fight their way out again.
Let's make a rough calculation of how much of the Oort Soup is strained through the net. We've seen that the swish rate (the CMBR Dipole thrust rate) is 370 km/sec. That equates to about 4 light-years, the nominal width of our Oort Cloud, in about 3260 years.
So we can think of our Cosmic Hoop as moving through a cylinder 200 AU in diameter and 200,000 AU long in 3260 years. Just for fun, let's work out how long it would take the Cosmic Hoop to strain the whole of the Oort Cloud at this rate. The answer is, about 217 million years (if I worked it out right).
As the Earth is about 4700 million years old, this does mean that the Heliosphere (that is, the Sun) would have had ample time to pick up the present set of planets, moon, asteroids, and the like, just from its past travels through the Oort Soup. Of course, there are so many untested assumptions in these calculations, that the actual figures are merely indicative. But it does at least allow the possibility that our Solar System is made up a random selection of nomads who have jumped on the Sun's bandwagon in the past, and weren't necessarily with the Sun from the beginning.
Black holes and their origins
The various entities known as Black Holes play a major part in our understanding of the Universe. Smaller Black Holes, of mass similar to that of the Sun (Stellar Black Holes) are accepted as being left behind when some normal stars (Fusion Stars) complete the first part of their development and go through an expansion/explosion phase (see Figure F5 in OC404).
We have classed together the bodies left behind after the blowup phase of Fusion Stars of any size as "Vortex Stars". The thrown-off masses, the Explosion Fronts of Fusion Stars, are vaguely spherical objects which can be called "Transition Stars". Essentially just expanding loose shells, they have no ongoing energy processes, and are classed as Red Giants and Red Supergiants, or, after enough expansion, as Planetary Nebulas and Supernovas.
Because Transition Stars have no internal fuelling of their own, they inevitably fade as their intrinsic energy is spread over an increasingly large sphere. However, the shell we perceive as a Transition Star still contains within it an incipient Vortex Star, which is generating energy. Rapid change in Transition Stars is normal -- supernovas are notorious for suddenly appearing, and then fading away, sometimes over a few weeks.
Around the beginning of 2020, observers noticed a considerable reduction in the light from the star Betelgeuse. It used to be one of the brightest objects in our night sky. In fact, it was easily discernible to the naked eye, gleaming brightly from the shoulder of the constellation Orion [G13]. In a few months, it became at least 25% less luminous than its former brilliant self -- going from the ninth brightest object in the sky to the 21st.
Fig. OC407-F6. Red supergiant Betelgeuse and other stars. From [G13].
It is commonly suggested that Betelgeuse is quite likely to "Go Supernova" at some time in the near future. As its mass is 15 to 25 times that of the sun, this will almost certainly happen -- in fact, Betelgeuse is already in the early stages of going supernova. Betelgeuse is reasonably close, about 630 light-years away, and so is a brilliant object in the sky.
Delving back towards the start of this book, it will be remembered that the intensity of (thermal or black-body) radiation from an object is proportional to its surface area. That is why Betelgeuse is so bright -- as a Transition Star, what we see is the Explosion Front of a Fusion Star which is completing its blowup phase, and that Front has expanded to enormous size. When it goes supernova, it will remain brilliant as long as there are enough fragmented bits of the Explosion Front which stay hot enough in the right orientation.
Betelgeuse will leave behind a stellar black hole, a Black Hole Vortex Star. Whether or not that will be visible to us will depend on the angle of orientation of its spin axis.
AGNs or Supermassive Black Holes
The top of the range of Vortex Stars is occupied by the AGNs (Active Galactic Nuclei or Supermassive Black Holes) which lie at the centres of all galaxies, large and small. As with all Vortex Stars, they are emitting along their spin axes, and they are rotating extremely rapidly.
According to [G7], "Supermassive black holes sit at the centres of most large galaxies, and how they got there is a mystery; which came first, the black hole or the galaxy, is one of the big questions in cosmology. What we do know is that they are really huge, as in millions or billions of times the mass of the Sun; that they can control star formation; that when they wake up and start feeding, they can become the brightest objects in the Universe". Reference [G7] contains a nice animated simulation -- an artist's concept of a live Black Hole.
The evidence presented earlier shows, not only that AGNs do exist at the centres of all galaxies, but that they are responsible for the form and evolution of these galaxies. Spin Gravity manipulates the orbits of stars in a galaxy to more closely follow the plane and direction of rotation of its AGN.
Known Black Holes do seem to fall very largely in one of two mass ranges. In [G14] it says "Stellar-mass black holes are typically in the range of 10 to 100 solar masses, while the supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies can be millions or billions of solar masses. The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A*, is 4.3 million solar masses. This is the only black hole whose mass has been measured directly by observing the full orbit of a circling star. Black holes grow by accreting surrounding matter and by merging with other black holes".
We cannot directly see the Vortex Beams emitted from our Milky Way's AGN, because they are thin beams emitted along the axes, at right angles to the Galactic Plane. In the rendering of an AGN in Figure F7 following, the white emissions would be better represented as a thin beam.
Fig. OC407-F7. Artist's rendering of an AGN. From [G14].
The same source has a useful representation of the regions of a Black Hole (Figure F8). The familiar Vortex shape is very obvious. An even better representation might be had by mirroring the original image in the plane of the "singularity" and adding that to give a "double trumpet" shape.
Fig. OC407-F8. Anatomy of a black hole. From [G14].
For those bold enough to venture into some of the deeper theoretical reaches of science, there is a concept called Loop Quantum Gravity, a theory that "extends general relativity by quantizing spacetime", which predicts that black holes evolve into white holes [G15]. A white hole is "the time-reversed image of a black hole: in it, matter can only move outwards".
Fig. OC407-F9. Artist rendering of the black-to-white-hole transition. From [G15].
While this area of expertise is above my head, it does appear that it might contain theoretical support for the existence of the Vortex Beams which come out along the axes of Vortex Stars.
Merging of Black Holes
One of the triumphs of modern astrophysics has been the detection of Black Holes merging. The detection was done from the gravitational "shock" caused by such a merger.
In December 2018, observation of the merging of two Black Holes was reported. Part of the report [G16] said "Billions of light years away, two black holes have collided to create a larger one -- the biggest black hole merger yet detected. It has a mass more than 80 times that of the sun. The resulting energy injected into the fabric of spacetime was also record breaking, with five sun's worth of mass released in the form of gravitational waves as the two holes spiralled in towards each other. Such titanic amounts of energy meant that the signal was still detectable by the time it reached gravitational wave detectors on Earth. It produced a record-breaking result -- the most distant collision detected so far, nine billion light years away".
Fig. OC407-F10. An artist's impression of two black holes about to collide and merge. From [G16].
The event was one of the detections by ALIGO (Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) in the US and the Advanced Virgo facility in Italy [G16]. The ALIGO installation is in fact two detectors, on either side of the continental US, essentially hyper-accurate rulers. All three gravitational wave detectors send laser beams back and forth along long arms in perfect antiphase, meaning they cancel one another out.
However, if one arm length increases slightly relative to the other, say in the stretching of spacetime by passing gravitational waves, then they don't perfectly cancel and a tiny spot of light remains. This light flickers in time with the passing gravitational wave creating the characteristic “chirp” signal that arises as black holes spiral inwards ever more rapidly towards impact.
The 2018 Black Hole merger event deserves a couple of comments. First, if it originated nine billion light-years away, it happened nine billion years ago -- around two-thirds of the time some have claimed is the age of the Universe. If improved ALIGO observations eventually detect such mergers twice as far away, as seems quite possible, that will destroy the Big Bang idea that the Universe was created about 13.7 billion years ago.
Second, nine billion light-years away is a very large distance, The nearest large galaxy to us, the Andromeda Galaxy, is about 2.5 million light-years distant. The 2018 Black Hole merger event was around 3,500 times further away than Andromeda.
Third, in the artist's impression of two merging black holes shown in Figure F9, the two holes are shown almost in the same plane, and with the same direction of rotation. That is quite likely to be what happens in reality, as two close black holes undergo Spin Gravity interaction and increasingly match their spin vectors.
Merging of Black Holes is to be expected as part of their nature -- Vortexes Suck. Like all Vortex Stars, they do not have a specific lifetime -- they will continue in existence as long as they can harvest sufficient material from their surroundings to balance the energy and mass they are putting out along their Vortex Beams. This harvested material might include everything from fine interstellar substance -- the "Cosmic Smog" -- up through planets, Fusion Stars, and smaller Vortex Stars -- true cannibalism. Notably, among the stuff harvested will be rotational energy (also called angular momentum).
Why is there an apparent population gap between Stellar Black Holes and AGNs? It may be just that intermediate-mass black holes can't easily find a stable position in the Vortex Star distribution -- they will be liable to fairly rapid absorption by their closest AGN. So while they may exist as a class, their lifetime will be short.
Rotation of Vortex stars
In 2006, astronomers measured the spin of a black hole in our galaxy called GRS 1915+105, which lies about 36,000 light years away [G17]. They found that the black hole must be spinning at nearly 1000 times per second -- the fastest ever recorded.
A neutron star has been found which rotates a little over 700 times a second.
An interesting class of Vortex Stars, called MSPs (Millisecond Pulsars), has been studied to give some valuable results, including the first claimed detection of an exoplanet [G18]. About 200 MSPs are known, with rotational speeds of about 100 to 750 times per second. Current theories of neutron star structure and evolution predict that pulsars would break apart if they spun at a rate above about 1500 rotations per second, and that at a rate of above about 1000 rotations per second they would lose energy by "gravitational radiation" faster than the accretion process would speed them up [G18].
At the other end of the mass scale, scientists have created a microscopic sphere and "set it awhirl at a blistering 10 million rotations per second" [G19], the fastest-spinning object ever made. They made a miniature sphere of calcium with a diameter of 4 micrometers (a strand of hair has a diameter of about 40 micrometers), and then levitated the tiny object in a beam of laser light inside a vacuum. By changing the polarization of the light wave, the team was able to exert a tiny twist on the ball. Without any air friction to slow down the ball, the team was able to accelerate the object to incredibly high rates, reaching 600 million rotations per minute before it broke apart.
Knowing about this experiment might cause reverberations with earlier topics -- the Spindle Vortex Model of the atom, and the Kilogram Power Torus for energy storage, both of which were mentioned in OC406.
The rates at which objects can rotate is subject to a rule called Conservation of Angular Momentum. In one definition, the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum states that the angular momentum of a body (that is, the product of its moment of inertia about the axis of rotation and its angular velocity about the same axis), cannot change unless an external torque acts on the system. This is another way of saying that the rotation energy of an object stays the same, however much its shape is altered.
A common illustration of this is what happens when a spinning ice skater, who has built up her rate of spin with outstretched arms, pulls her arms in towards her body. This increases the rate at which she rotates.
Fig. OC407-F11. A spinning ice skater. From [G20].
In the detail from [G20], it notes: "(a) An ice skater is spinning on the tip of her skate with her arms extended. Her angular momentum is conserved because the net torque on her is negligibly small. (b) Her rate of spin increases greatly when she pulls in her arms, decreasing her moment of inertia. The work she does to pull in her arms results in an increase in rotational kinetic energy".
Conservation of angular momentum is the main way that Vortex Stars build up their high rates of spin. Energy of rotation of a body varies as the square of its radius, so a planet orbiting a long way out from a star will add a lot of angular momentum if it is eventually sucked into the star.
We saw in OC406 that if the Earth was compressed right down to the density of Black-Hole material, its diameter would be reduced from about 12,700 km to about 3 cm. If its rotational energy (angular momentum) was preserved in this operation, the tiny Earth would end up rotating at about 200 times per second (if I calculated it right). This would put it in the normal rotation range of Vortex Stars such as Millisecond Pulsars, showing that their high spin rates can be a normal effect of shrinking (radius reduction).
Spin Gravity and Frame-Dragging
According to [G21], one of the predictions of Einstein's general theory of relativity is that any spinning body drags the very fabric of space-time in its vicinity around with it. This is known as “frame-dragging”. In everyday life, frame-dragging is both undetectable and inconsequential, as the effect is so ridiculously tiny.
The concepts of Spin Gravity and Equatorial Forcing were developed empirically, and quite independently, to explain observations of the real world. Frame-Dragging emerged from theory, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. It now appears evident that Spin Gravity and Frame-Dragging are the same thing -- theory and observation match.
A situation where there are two rapidly-spinning and very dense, massive bodies in close proximity would be a good one to study Frame-Dragging, although this situation is quite rare. But around the year 2000, CSIRO's 64-metre Parkes Radio Telescope, just outside the central-west New South Wales town of Parkes, did discover such a pair.
This unique pair, officially called PSR J1141-6545, consists of a White Dwarf (about the size of Earth but about 300,000 times heavier) and a Radio Pulsar (just the size of a city but 400,000 times heavier). A report issued in January 2020 [G21] describes how it reveals the effects of Frame-Dragging.
Fig. OC407-F12. Space-Time Frame-Dragging. From [G21].
Figure F12 depicts the white dwarf-pulsar binary system "PSR J1141-6545" discovered by the CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope. The pulsar orbits its white dwarf companion every 4.8 hours. The white dwarf's rapid rotation drags space-time around it, causing the entire orbit to tumble in space.
When pairs of stars are born, the most massive one dies first, often creating a white dwarf. Before the second star dies it transfers matter to its white dwarf companion. This material falls towards the white dwarf, and over the course of tens of thousands of years it revs up the white dwarf, until it rotates every few minutes.
Fig. OC407-F13. Artist's impression of a white dwarf being spun-up by the transfer of matter from its companion. From [G21].
The report says "Mapping the evolution of orbits is not for the impatient, but our measurements are ridiculously precise. Although PSR J1141-6545 is several hundred quadrillion kilometres away, we know the pulsar rotates 2.5387230404 times per second, and that its orbit is tumbling in space. This means the plane of its orbit is not fixed, but instead is slowly rotating.
In rare cases such as this one, the second star can then detonate in a supernova, leaving behind a pulsar. The rapidly spinning white dwarf drags space-time around with it, making the pulsar's orbital plane tilt as it is dragged along. This tilting is what we observed through our patient mapping of the pulsar's orbit".
Spectra of Fusion and Vortex stars
The spectrum of a star is the range of wavelengths over which it emits. The visible-range part of its spectrum (wavelengths seen by the human eye) is usually represented by the colours themselves, as in a rainbow.
Looking at the spectrum of a Fusion Star, such as the Sun, the spectrum is always seen to contain a number of dark lines -- these are wavelengths which are absorbed by particular elements, normally at the star's surface. Each of these lines is characteristic of a particular element.
Fig. OC407-F14. Lines in the Solar Spectrum. From [G22].
In [G22], it says "The spectrum of sunlight viewed from Earth is continuous except for many very thin dark lines. These result from gases near the surface of the Sun or in Earth's atmosphere absorbing light of particular wavelengths. These were first described by William Wollaston in 1802, but Joseph von Fraunhofer started studying them carefully in 1814, so they are now called Fraunhofer lines.
Each line is caused by an element absorbing a very narrow band of wavelengths, and together provide solid information about the chemical composition of the Sun. Fraunhofer didn't know that the absorption was caused by different elements, and named the lines with arbitrary letters and numbers".
So these lines tell us which chemical elements are present in the Sun, or another Fusion Star, enabling their chemical composition to be worked out. Our Sun, and other similar-class stars, have Hydrogen, Sodium, Magnesium, Calcium and other lighter elements up to as far as Iron in them -- these allow us to work out what atomic-fusion reactions are taking place.
Figure F15 compares the spectra of the Sun, a White Dwarf, and a Blue Giant. It can be seen that that the White Dwarf spectrum is much simpler than that for the Sun, in fact it contains only lines due to Hydrogen. This is because it is a Vortex Star, not a Fusion Star, and does not have atomic-fusion actions going on within it. The Hydrogen is present in the Vortex Beam it generates within itself.
Fig. OC407-F15. Spectra of the Sun, a White Dwarf, and Blue Giant compared. From [G23].
As noted previously, Red Supergiants are just Transition Stars, the hot envelopes thrown off by Fusion Stars when they have evolved to the blowup phase. They produce normal thermal-emission (blackbody) spectra, without much line structure.
The Blue Giant is also a Transition Star, but an especially massive one. The fact that it still has a blue colour indicates that its radiation surface is still at a high temperature -- it should turn redder as its expansion continues, though it should remain bright, as this radiation surface expands.
The light from White Dwarf vortex stars may be highly circularly-polarized [G24], attributed to strong magnetic fields (10 million to 100 million Gauss).
The Vortex Beams from distant AGNs such as Blazars contain complex mixes of radiation and particles, with particular mixes varying depending on the masses of these Vortex Stars. Gamma rays, X-rays, certain radio frequencies, and infrared frequencies may all be produced, as well as visible wavelengths. Instead of a spectrum, these products may be classed by their SED (Spectral Energy Distribution) [G25]. In addition, because of their enormous masses and vast distances, emissions received are subject to both Gravitational and Zwicky Red-Shifts.
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References and Links
[G1]. CMB Fluctuations. http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/21st_century_science/lectures/lec27.html .
[G2]. David Noel. P4: The Greater Averaged Universe (GAU): How the Solar System cannibalizes the Oort Cloud. http://www.aoi.com.au/GAU/index.htm .
[G3]. CMB Dipole: Speeding Through the Universe. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140615.html .
[G4]. How a Passing Star 70,000 Years Ago Changed the Solar System. https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/solar-system/a19574767/passing-star-nudged-solar-system-70000-years-ago-may-have-sent-comets-flying-in/ .
[G5]. A Star Passed Through the Solar System Just 70,000 Years Ago. https://www.universetoday.com/119038/a-star-passed-through-the-solar-system-just-70000-years-ago/ .
[G6]. Mesolithic Social life and Art. https://www.shorthistory.org/prehistory/mesolithic-social-life-and-art/ .
[G7]. Michelle Starr. This NASA Visualisation of a Black Hole Is So Beautiful, We Could Cry. https://www.sciencealert.com/this-nasa-visualisation-of-a-black-hole-is-absolutely-beautiful .
[G8]. Cosmic microwave background. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_microwave_background#CMBR_dipole_anisotropy .
[G9] Karl Tate. The Nearest Stars to Earth (Infographic). https://www.space.com/18964-the-nearest-stars-to-earth-infographic.html .
[G10] List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nearest_stars_and_brown_dwarfs .
[G11] Fishing Nets Rope Cargo net. https://www.pngguru.com/free-transparent-background-png-clipart-nujmh .
[G12]. Barnard's star. https://www.britannica.com/place/Barnards-star .
[G13]. Christian Cotroneo. What's eating Betelgeuse? The supergiant star is fading fast from the night sky.. https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/space/stories/betelgeuse-star-dimming-supernova .
[G14]. Maria Temming. Sizes of Black Holes: How Big is a Black Hole?. https://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-resources/how-big-is-a-black-hole/ .
[G15]. Carlo Rovelli. Viewpoint: Black Hole Evolution Traced Out with Loop Quantum Gravity. https://physics.aps.org/articles/v11/127 .
[G16]. Alan Duffy. Gravitational waves: biggest black hole merger ever detected revealed. https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/gravitational-waves-biggest-black-hole-merger-ever-detected-revealed .
[G17]. David Shiga. Spinning black hole is fastest on record. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10611-spinning-black-hole-is-fastest-on-record/ .
[G18]. Millisecond pulsar. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millisecond_pulsar .
[G19] Tia Ghose. Fastest-Spinning Man-Made Object Created. https://www.livescience.com/39275-fastest-manmade-spinning-object-made.html .
[G20] Conservation of Angular Momentum. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-osuniversityphysics/chapter/11-2-conservation-of-angular-momentum/ .
[G21] Warp factor: we've observed a spinning star that drags the very fabric of space and time. https://theconversation.com/warp-factor-weve-observed-a-spinning-star-that-drags-the-very-fabric-of-space-and-time-130201 .
[G22]. cfastie. Fraunhofer. https://publiclab.org/notes/cfastie/3-2-2013/fraunhofer .
[G23]. Signature of a White Dwarf. https://hubblesite.org/image/3052/news/115-spectra .
[G24]. Gloria B. Lubkin. Polarized light from white‐dwarf star. https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.3022507 .
[G25]. Gabriele Ghisellini. The Blazar Sequence 2.0. https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4434/4/4/36/htm .
[G26]. Telescopic Butterfly Net Extendable Handle Fishing Bug Insect Fishing Toys Kids https://www.ebay.ie/itm/Telescopic-Butterfly-Net-Extendable-Handle-Fishing-Bug-Insect-Fishing-Toys-Kids-/182951250365 .
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Version 1.0 published November 2019 as Segment G of the book "The Oort Cloud: Almost all the Universe". AOI Press, ISBN 9798614884314.
Version 2.0 conversion started 2022 Jun 28, placed on web at "AOI.com.au", 2022 Jun 29.