Floating in the magic of hydrogen
This article Floating in the magic of hydrogen was originally an integral part of the parent article "Why are we here?", but given the fact the parent article was growing extremely huge, I decided for the sake of simplicity to have the section "Floating in the magic of hydrogen" on a separate thread for simplicity and easy reading. See below the summary of the main article "Why are we here?" and the location of Floating in the magic of hydrogen, in section 1 article 4. I recommend and encourage you to read all these articles in order (after all, they follow the chronological order of our creation) so that you get the whole picture of really why are we here
Section 1, our star the Sun, without it nothing will be possible
- The Primeval Atom
- The grapefruit fluctuations at quantum level
- The inflation period
- Floating in the magic of hydrogen
- The Helios nebula
Section 2, the perfect position of planet Earth in the Universe, and the chain of random accidents that caused your existence
- The kiss of planet Theia
- Diving into the origins of Water
- The spark of Life
- Jupiter, the Great Benefactor
- In the wrong side of the Congo
Section 3, the abstract of your thoughts and the illusion of control
- Ancient Civilizations, our roots
- Language and Mathematics, the building blocks of humankind
- Religion and believes, the intangible reality
- Our brains, the biggest mystery
4. Floating in the magic of hydrogen - 3 minutes after big bang to 1 billion years
The great Professor Carl Sagan (his 1980s series "Cosmos" marked my childhood, thank you!) once said that "we are all made of star dust", and Professor Michio Kaku has said that "our destiny is tight to the destiny of the stars". This Universe is not ours, we humans don't have the starring role in this Cosmic theatre... they are! This is a Universe of stars, they're the real protagonist and we're just the spectators in the cosmic display of their birth, evolution and death. And what are stars made of? From the magic element of hydrogen
The first 3 minutes of the Universe, according to Science, was a roller-coaster of activity, with the temperature of the plasma/energetic cloud coming down dramatically and particles being formed and assembled together. These first 3 minutes are called Big Bang Nucleosynthesis -BBN- and this is when all the hydrogen in the Universe was formed (I guess it should have being named differently, to differentiate it from Stellar Nucleosynthesis -SN-). During these first 3 minutes some helium was formed too, so now we have hydrogen (very simple, just one proton) and helium (the second in the scale of complexity, with just 2 protons at its nucleus) plus gravity, and it just happens that hydrogen interacts with itself and with helium, and together with gravity they compact and form... you got it, a nuclear combustion, fusion hydrogen into helium: a star
It is really interesting to see and understand the evolution of any given star, as they are the ones who really rule the Universe, who formed galaxies, spirals, create light and give us all of the elements that form life and the reality as we perceive it. Why its life cycle is so precisely defined? Who design it? Those first 3 minutes of the Universe were absolutely critical. According to Science this is when matter and antimatter (or something similar between these two terms) annihilated, creating in the aftermath of the collisions the by-product of radiation and the particles of matter that we perceive today. In the diagram below, the Chandrasekhar limit, stating that all starts that have 1.4 time the mass of our Sun, is position within boundary of "Low Mass Star" and "Massive Star", basically, white dwarf stars with more than 1.4 the solar masses of our sun cannot exist, they will go supernova and ultimately collapse in either a black hole or a neutron star. Why is that? Why such specific amount of solar mass is needed for a star to go supernova? It is like somebody put a weight on a balance and you need and specific amount of hydrogen-weight on the side of the balance for the it to favour the hydrogen-weight side, causing this to light a light in the middle. The physics of the Universe are really in tuned and the maths are specific. If, let's say, the Chandrasekhar limit was 1.6 solar masses, there would be far less stellar black holes which eventually can collide and form galactic black holes, there probably would be no galaxies is the Chandrasekhar limit was 1.6
Take another look at the picture above. The only thing missing is the time scale that identifies each one of the phases. The sections "death" only last an instant in some occasions, while the "remnant" is for eternity. Life as we know it is ONLY possible during the Main Sequence and around the stars type "Low Mass yellow" (our Sun type) and possible "Brown Draft" too. The other stars are too violent, too unstable and emitting too much gamma rays for life to have a chance to evolve as we perceive it, producing intelligent beings (Gamma rays break down DNA strands). Take another look at the picture above again, and notice that "Black Holes" are a consequence of massive stars containing over 40 times the solar mass... that's truly gigantic. So yes, all the objects we see in the sky are different representations of the transformation of stars
Scientists believe that, 20 minutes after the inflation finished, the Big Bang step 2 started, when the Universe was "cold" enough for hydrogen clouds to compact by the force of gravity, igniting their core and creating massive protostars of enormous sizes. So this is when the first black holes must have been created, right? Incredibly huge stars that exploded when the hydrogen at their centers was exhausted, and the left over were ashes, floating in the magic of hydrogen, that had been previously created (layers of helium, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, etc) inside the star and did not allow the outer hydrogen of the star to come and rescue the center, supplying hydrogen to it. Without the hydrogen, without the energy to fusion, gravity crashed all of the elements and a black hole is formed. The gargantuan shock-waves of its creation causes the star to explode. This all looks very cool, with the only problem that this theory cannot create stars as big as for example Betelgeuse ('only' 15 to 25 mass bigger than our sun), which if it were to replace our sun in the solar system its circumference will reach all the way up to Jupiter's orbit. How such big and bigger stars like that can formed when the minute the gas is compacted it ignites, and pushes all other gases away? Stars with such magnitudes should not exist, and been long gone in a Universe that is 13.8 billion years old. Something is still missing in the understanding of star formation, in particular of the Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), where the black hole at the center of every galaxy interacts with the stars around it, but whatever the process is, it definitely seems to be pretty close to what scientist believe it is now. Perhaps the Universe is not 13.8 billion years old and there was more than one Big Bang that happened at the same time
- Okay, you start with a cloud of hydrogen which then compacts by gravity until it ignites into a star, meaning that it has began to fuse hydrogen into helium. The pressure at the nucleus of the star is so gigantic that new materials are created, depositing layers of dirty material around the nucleus that prevent the star from burning hydrogen to helium efficiently, and thus eventually the star explodes in a supernova
- Go and repeat the above process millions, literately millions of times
- You need to have millions, literately millions of years for this process of star-life-cycle to be repeated millions of times
- Eventually, a black hole will gather enough matter around it
- Eventually, the matter around the black hole will form spirals, as it orbits it
- Eventually, thermonuclear self-annihilation of stars (en event commonly known as supernova) will continue popping up, disruption these spirals and blasting materials at random directions
- Eventually, this material again will be attracted by the force of gravity, and through millions of years will fall to form spiral arms around the black hole
- Eventually, a galaxy will form, our galaxy
How long for this process to occur, so that a galaxy is formed? Well, approximately for the shape of our galaxy it must have taken just under a 1 billion years since the creation of the Universe, give or take a couple of centuries. After that time the structured of the Milky Way was pretty much defined by the hydrogen that accumulated around the accretion disk... but the formation of our Solar System was still very far away. Many more supernovas and supernovae (a type of 'dirty' supernova, e.g. with dust around it) needed to spark before even the random nebula of what it would be our sun started to form
Sagittarius A*, the black hole that sustains our galaxy, must have formed pretty early in the history of the Universe, for it to held our galaxy at the tender age of just below 1 billion years. According to scientists, the first massive stars began to shine as soon at the temperature of the Universe dropped, and the space in between the atoms, the 'fog' of the early Universe, allowed for the hydrogen to collapse and the formation of stars to occur. That was as soon as 200 million years after the Big Bang, pretty much as soon as possible for Universe's standards
If we compare the magnificent explanation of Dr Brian Cox (video below) about the creation of elements in the stars with the pressure that a black hole suffers, we can determine that the pressure at the 'singularity' elements have just a few miles down the surface of a black hole is nowhere as close as the intense pressure that the core endures. Yet, black holes don't explode, they have reached a level of stability by which no new elements are formed, "process zero" takes places at the center of black holes, obviously no fusion no nothing: zero change of evolution at the center of a black hole, that's is the end of matter and energy, no further transformation will ever occur of the matter absorbed by a black hole..... right? Below, one of the many, many amazing videos of Manchester University Professor Brian Cox:
And here two simulations floating in the magic of hydrogen, of how our Milky Way Galaxy must have formed. Be my guest and pick your choice! Both simulations are understood to start at 1 billion years old Universe and finished at 9.1 billions years old, just on time for our Sun to ignite, meaning that both videos comprise a 8.1 billions years of gravity pulling, stars forming and dying and hydrogen dancing. Be brave and play these two videos at the same time, it's so cool!
- Why is it that the simplest elements ever contain so much energy? For example liquid hydrogen is use for rocket fuel, and its atom is very simplistic, just one proton, one neutron and one electron, the simplest form of matter yet the closest to pure energy that we know. Compare this atom with the the uranium atom in the opposite side of the scale. Uranium has 92 protons and 92 electrons... if with one-proton-atom we can create hydrogen fuel that allow us to go to space, how far can we go with a ninety-two-proton-atom? Are fusion and fission so incompatible? Why cannot we get an energy source that cycle in between the two methods? hydrogen and uranium?
- Based on the Stellar Life Cycle... black holes are the result of hydrogen being transformed and compressed. If everything come from hydrogen fusion, that means that the black holes somehow are the ultimate result of fusion hydrogen. It is not gravity what sucks all the material into a black hole, it is the strong nuclear force of the material that the black hole is made of what attracts the falling atoms. Could that be true? Black hole do have space, because they have a mass and therefore must have a space for this mass to exist...right?
- The massive black hole of galaxy Holmberg 15A is 3 times bigger than our solar system: https://www.sciencealert.com/an-absolutely-gargantuan-black-hole-has-been-found-as-massive-as-40-billion-suns Undoubtedly, the strength of such gravitational field projected by this gigantic black hole must cause an effect and influence in the space of the galaxy where the black hole is, and therefore the Universe. Could the formation of black holes act as 'breaks' to slow down the expansion of the Universe? Or is the Universe actually accelerating because of a decreasing rate of black hole formation?
- Sagittarius A* is estimated to be 6 millions as massive as the Sun. No way such massive black hole could have been created from a single star, the supernova shock-waves capable of generated a 6 millions mass black hole would probably have shred the whole galaxy apart! Therefore our local black hole must have been the merging result of more than one black holes. Is that phenomena so recurring? Are we living in an Universe where really black holes are the ruling guys and not the shiny stars? Given the fact we can't see/detect them directly, there could possible be millions of these guys circling the spiral arms of the galaxy, slowly moving inwards through the bulge in collision course to Sag A*
- In about 4 billions years, if you are still around, get your shades and prepare for the collision of Andromeda vs 'Via Lactea' galaxies. Are their respective massive black holes attracting to one another? What has originated this collision path, and why hasn't it occurred in the last 13.7 billions years? Without giving much thought to that, it is obvious that both galaxies are been attracted to each other because of the pull of their respective black holes, the only guys with enough strength to move galaxies across empty space. Are we talking here about a new gravity force specifically bounded to black holes? If normal gravity causes the Earth to rotate around the Sun by "falling" into the space-time fabric, could these two black holes of Andromeda and The Milky Way by pulling one another by "eating" the space in between the galaxies?
- Science is represented as the stereotype of an old man, in theory wise, but unfortunately the tend to lose the spark of curiosity in the process of becoming wise, and don't tend to ask to themselves questions like for example a child like will ask: why do supernova explode? What is the actual technicality that cause it to explode? In particular when they are so huge and are destined to become a black hole, they should really never explode. If we analyse the last few seconds of life of a star, when gravity is having the upper hand and the matter is compacted at incredibly temperatures inside the star. In this analysis we have already passed the frontier of iron, and the start just got milliseconds to live, during this instant the heavy materials are created like gold, silver, led, etc, of course I take it that Uranium, the heaviest natural element, is also created, but why the start actually explode? Gravity was having the upper hand, and all the sudden looks like gravity not just only gave up on pushing, and is being knock off by the incredible force of the explosion, where does the energy of the explosion actually come from? Is it gravity changing bands? Is this explosion caused by anti-gravity and the core of the star reaches the maximum limit of atoms on a material and create a black hole?