“Who’s afraid of a big black hole?”

A wondrous Horizon broadcast tonight, a real return to form – “Who’s afraid of a big black hole?” Astro-physicists apparently. Well, not really. But not a mention of the string hypothesis. Nor of the Large Hadron Collider. And that’s a good thing! You can catch the program again via the iPlayer – since the BBC don’t like me editing won’t let me edit clips. A taster, not the one I would have chosen and not embeddable, here. Alternative, not my choice and not embeddable again, clip here. And as I mentioned, as Robert Hooke said in 1665

‘Tis not unlikely, but that there may be yet invented several other helps for the eye, as much exceeding those already found, as those do the bare eye, such as we may perhaps be able to discover living Creatures in the Moon, or other Planets, the figures of the compounding Particles of matter, and the particular Schematisms and Textures of Bodies.

Indeed. Adds For what it’s worth, the second clip mentioned above is below the fold.

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  • susan

    Pete, I couldn’t access any of the clips, but it does look wonderful.

  • Pete Baker

    Yeah, the iPlayer is region blocked susan.

    If it pops up on YouTube I’ll add a link.

  • Dev

    I loved at the start of the show when a string of emminent scientists look completely flummuxed at the question ‘what are black holes made of?’

    Like you say Pete, good to see Horizon is getting back to the quality of the good old days, some of the recent output has been far too tabloid-esque

  • Brit

    I watched most of it and enjoyed it. But a little more science and a little less “arty” shots would have been a better balance.

  • Driftwood

    Brit
    That’s what i thought ….about the waterfall shots and some other padding. Though i loved the German professors’ old Merc.

    A definite return to form after some popular psychology stuff in recent weeks that wasn’t really science.

  • loki

    Yep, I’d have to agree- it was a good ‘un. However, I do find it curious that scientific theorem are always presented as fact- up until the practicalities intrude and then they all run like headless chickens! every bit as irrational as mad religious mullahs

  • Greenflag

    ‘up until the practicalities intrude and then they all run like headless chickens! every bit as irrational as mad religious mullahs ‘

    Astronomers estimate from Hubble Deep Field photographs that there are more than 50 billion galaxies out there . 50 billion no less . One galaxy for every dollar that Bernie Madoff looted in his personal wealth enhancement quest 😉

    Fifty billion plus galaxies is the ‘known ‘ macroverse ( macro universe). The microverse is another story . The French film ‘microcosmos’ shows it all , sex , violence , beauty . Sounds like the usual film fare these days but the stars of the film are ‘insects’ . Eat and be eaten is the law of the microverse . The film gives a close up view of a day in the life of the vast majority of ahem ‘God’s ‘creatures on Earth those who survived the flood anyway 😉
    The book of of said fil shows pics of the microscopic mites that live on our faces and infest our beds. These mites as per Dean Swifts old adage have even more microscopic mites on them and their staple diet is human skin. Many are right now crawling around on your nose .

    Lord Haldane the famous one time British scientist and eccentric made the point that the universe is not only more fantastic than we can ever imagine but probably more than we can ever imagine .

    Can a drop of salt water ever see the ocean ?

    The philosophies , cosmologies and Gods of man’s creation are way too small and insular for both macroverse and microverse.

    And Joe Canuck if you are still out there and haven’t come out from other your bed or haven’t been vaporised by Pete’s last cosmic ray instantaneous death enhancing revelations -my advice is there is no escape . Bacteria and microorganisms have been around for 4 billion years and they’ll be around when homo sapiens is no longer around to stick his finger in his mite infested nose;)

    In the name of the Father and of the Sun and into the hole he goes;)

  • Greenflag

    “Who’s afraid of a big black hole?”,

    Brian Lenihan and Gordon Brown for starters 😉

  • Brit

    “Many are right now crawling around on your nose.”

    Why do you have to go and tell us that!

  • Greenflag

    ‘Why do you have to go and tell us that!’

    I was nosing around and it seemed to bring both micro and macroverses together 😉 My apologies if it spoiled your lunch .

  • Bah humbug

    Am I the only one who finds Horizon programmes maddeningly formulaic and drawn-out? Most of them could be fitted into 30 minute slots if only they’d cut out the footage of scientists driving/jogging to their workplace or being interviewed through crazy camera angles (with long loving close-ups of their wrists, eyebrows or other random body parts). The attempts to add tension are so cack-handed: ‘What they discovered shook the scientific establishment to it’s very foundations…’ and then you have to wait five minutes to find out what.

  • Pete Baker

    Susan, for what it’s worth, the second clip mentioned above has been added below the fold.

  • susan

    You’re very kind, Pete, thank you.

    Did you see any of these stories on the galactic graveyard? Forgive me if you blogged it and I missed it, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed.

    http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2009/11/04/largest-known-galactic-congregation-a-graveyard.html

  • greagoir o frainclin

    Black Holes – all only hypothetical theories so far – nothing sold and liable to change too.

    A bad pixelated photo is not good evidence either!

  • Pete Baker

    Thanks susan,

    I hadn’t seen that. Interesting stuff.