Could a super black hole produce enough energy

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bearack

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A serious noob question I know because if I recall correctly, the closer in on the galatic arm to the black hole, the more stress or gravitation pull resides but I'll give it a go anyhow.

Could a black hole provide enough heat and UV energy to a planet further in on the galatic arm to sustain life if the planet was out of the goldilocks zone i.e. not enough heat and UV radiation from the local sun but compensated by the energy coming from a super black hole?
 
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MeteorWayne

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Almost no energy comes from the black hole itself, so technically, the answer is no.

As far as the energy from the accretion disk and jets, that's mostly not light and heay, but bad energy like UV and X-rays.

So overall, I think the answer is still no :)
 
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bearack

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MeteorWayne":1bdzyv6k said:
Almost no energy comes from the black hole itself, so technically, the answer is no.

As far as the energy from the accretion disk and jets, that's mostly not light and heay, but bad energy like UV and X-rays.

So overall, I think the answer is still no :)
Thanks Wayne. What prompted the question was a show on the science channel I'm pretty sure everyone here has seen regarding black holes and super black holes and how they first identified them and the techniques used. It was said that we could not physically see the black holes due to the super heated gas that surrounds the hole.

Some of these black holes have been estimated to be in the realm of 18 billion solar masses so I was thinking that if the hole is that large, how large is the surrounding super heated gas?

It was also referenced that the surrounding super heated gas could be as hot as 1000X's our sun. I just thought that some of that heat would be able to escape the gravity well of the black hole and create it's own variance of a habitable goldilocks zone
 
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MeteorWayne

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Well, some heat does escape as infrared radiation, but due to the super high energies and temperatures involved, much more is emitted at higher energy (shorter wavelength) emissions like UV, X-Rays, etc.

Of course, since the interstallar space as a vacuum, there is no conduction or convection except in the immediate vicinity of the bh.
 
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bearack

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Thanks again Wayne. I wish I had taken the initiative as a lad to make a career out of science but chose and alternate path of booze and women. Every night I look up and the sky and tell myself "Only if".
 
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darkmatter4brains

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You might want to check out Kip Thorne's book - I think it was called Black holes and time warps, Einstein's outrageous legacy.

In there he talks about a few very futuristic scenarios. In one, he does talk about how an advanced civilization could get large amounts of energy from a black hole. I seem to remember a space station/power plant of sorts being located near the Black Hole.

Not exactly what you were asking, but the closest thing I could think of that might be possible.
 
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darkmatter4brains

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bearack":5km1i5sa said:
Thanks again Wayne. I wish I had taken the initiative as a lad to make a career out of science but chose and alternate path of booze and women. Every night I look up and the sky and tell myself "Only if".
How old are you? It's never too late to go back to school if you have the energy. You may not be able to be the next Einstein with a late start, or even get into research, but there's a lot of engineering/science jobs for folks with just a Bachelors.

Heck, by the time you're done, maybe the economy will improve and there will even be a job waiting ;)
 
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bearack

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darkmatter4brains":3gpdb973 said:
bearack":3gpdb973 said:
Thanks again Wayne. I wish I had taken the initiative as a lad to make a career out of science but chose and alternate path of booze and women. Every night I look up and the sky and tell myself "Only if".
How old are you? It's never too late to go back to school if you have the energy. You may not be able to be the next Einstein with a late start, or even get into research, but there's a lot of engineering/science jobs for folks with just a Bachelors.

Heck, by the time you're done, maybe the economy will improve and there will even be a job waiting ;)
I'm actually young enough to probably take this path (37), it's the amount of time I have available with two kids and and my current career that takes a large chunk of my free time....but alas, that is also an excuse....

I think maybe I'll take your advice and look at reeducating myself.

Thanks! Oh, and I will be looking for that book.
 
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neilsox

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As wayne suggested very little light and infrared, but deadly amounts of x-rays. A very advanced civilization might be able to convert this energy to a usable form, and keep their planet from disintigrating inside the Roache limit. Small and mid size black holes are even less likely than supermassive as they produce gamma rays instead of x rays and have extreme gravity gradients.
You can likely self learn. Just keep posting and try to answer the questions others ask. It has worked for me, and only took 70 years. :roll: Neil
 
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SpaceTas

Guest
Here is a schematic diagram (current best guess) of the central region around a super massive black hole at the center of a galaxy.


What astronomers observe depends upon the viewing angle, hence the terminology (types of galaxy) around the diagram. The scale here is smaller than a light year.

To answer your question about the size of the super-hot gas. X-rays emitted by the accretion disk heat up the gas for light years perpendicular to the disk.

As meteor wayne said, most of the energy radiated by the disk (from the energy released by falling toward the black hole), is released as X-rays and UV rays, with light and IR coming from farther out (the torus). It is possible life forms could evolve to use this energy but ....

Black holes are a very efficient energy source. If you could create a mini black hole (say implode a pellet of material with high power lasers) , put a charge on it so you could control it with a electric field, and then feed it. The x-rays etc emitted could be captured by surrounding water and run a power standard power station. Energy from garbage with no greenhouse gasses ! :D

If the black hole is spinning, you can extract energy from the spin, using an interaction with a magnetic field.
 
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neilsox

Guest
Both super massive black holes and several solar mass black holes have potential as energy sources, but how to do so profitably is the big question? At a safe distance for humans, the energy per square meter is low and not easily converted to electricity. Worse the closest suspected black holes are thousands of light years away, so it may take a million years to get there at sub light speeds. If we build a Dyson sphere around our own sun, we can possibly extract more energy than most black hole accretion disks radiate, total. The super massive black hole at the center of our galaxy likely delivers less energy to a big moon such as Titan than the brightest star Sirius, so no, we can't significantly power an outpost on Titan with energy from our super massive black hole. Neil
 
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Saiph

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There's a book you might be interested in that deals with this question, sorta. Integral Trees by Larry Niven. While it's fiction, and takes some liberties with the science, it's still pretty well grounded. He poses an unusual stellar system where a ring of gas about a neutron star is dense enough to support life...with no solid ground.

He does a good job investigating all the ramifications and trying to set up how such a system might actually work, if it could. Fun read, I highly recommend it.
 
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