Astrophysicists studying a black hole known as Swift J1357.2-0933 say they have discovered a mysterious structure. It is shaped like a torus spouting out both sides of the doughnut-shaped galaxy’s center. This particular study marked the first ever ‘view’ of a black hole from a 75% inclination, which means this could very well be the rule as opposed to the exception.
Only 5,000 light years away from our own Milky Way galaxy, the Swift J1357.2-binary system 0933 consists of a collapsing star that feeds a black hole. By detecting an above average rate of high energy eclipses, astronomers were able to deduce that something is triggering 30% increases in energy production in just seven second intervals.
That something is a torus-shaped structure that behaves like a wave, starting very near the black hole singularity and then receding outward in waves to the accretion disk at the outer edge of the galaxy’s center.
Some have speculated that the torus, a recurring pattern found in atoms and galaxies alike, is a universal template for equilibrium and sustainability. The Thrive movement is a proponent of the incredible, untapped powers of the torus, claiming that not only is it a wellspring for universal energy, it may very well enable extraterrestrial civilizations to travel between star systems.
The discovery of a torus at the center of a black hole is thus interesting not only on a scientific basis, but as a xenological thought experiment too. A while back we posted about the possibility of advanced civilizations actually living in black holes and harnessing the incomprehensible energy there. Indeed, many prominent scientists, including Stephen Hawking, have speculated that post-singularity alien civilizations may harvest energy from galactic centers that contain black holes, which emit exponentially more energy than single stars.
The bandwidth must be great there, but we’ll save that for a discussion of Charles Stross’ Accelerando.