The Great Annihilator

October 1

Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, that you may take it to its territory, that you may know the paths to its home? – Job 38:19-20 NKJV

No one has ever seen a black hole. In fact, you can’t see one because it’s so powerful that it sucks up everything nearby. The black hole’s attraction is so strong that not even X-rays and gamma rays can escape its grasp. According to theory, black holes con­sume everything in their neighborhood. We don’t know for sure, of course, but black holes may represent the Creator’s conservation-of­-energy system. Perhaps He compresses used materials in a black hole and uses them to build another island universe somewhere else.

But wait! What makes us think that such a thing as a black hole even exists if we can’t see it and if we can’t even detect any radiation from it? Good question! And one asked by many skeptics. But there doesn’t appear to be any other explanation for some incredibly powerful sources of radiation that we do see. The expla­nation is that just before materials such as space dust or clouds of gas get sucked into a black hole, the process excites their atoms to a point where they emit powerful surges of radi­ation. Between surges occur periods of quiet when the black hole has no material to con­sume. Each time new material gets close enough to vanish into the black hole, that ma­terial issues a massive display of fireworks just before being “recycled” in the black hole.

Some time ago, a French satellite focused its gamma ra­diation sensor on one suspected black hole called IE 1740.7-2942. Most of the time only a slight amount of radiation comes from the area. But scientists measured gamma radiation at the awesome energy level of 511,000 electron volts. (The amount of energy released by visible light is only two electron volts!) This information led one astronomer to nickname IE 1740.7-2942 the Great Annihilator Apparently the black hole had sucked in a cloud of gaseous material that emitted the gamma radiation as it disappeared.

The question that God asked Job thousands of years ago is still a good one. Where does darkness dwell, and how does it get there?

Nature Quest – James & Priscilla Tucker