Milky Way From Paranal
This photo was taken July 21 from Paranal mountain in Chile, home of the Very Large Telescope. The two bright objects at the centre are Antares and Jupiter (right). Alpha Centauri is visible at middle left. The laser from Unit Telescope 4 is aimed at the galactic centre. Astronomers were using the SINFONI instrument to study the massive Black Hole at our galaxy's core. The laser is an aid to adaptive optics. Just last week X-ray astronomers announced a new class of hidden Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). Every galaxy yet found contains at its centre a massive Black Hole.
Gregory Benford is a physicist and a fine science fiction author. Benford and Raymond Protheroe of University of Adelaide have proposed that Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays are the result of ancient AGN's. They suggest that even after an AGN fades from view, the invisible magnetic field could remain. Powerful cosmic rays, whose source has been a mystery, could be the result of these fields. Apparently empty Space could be filled with powerful magnetic fields.
The Big Bang created countless billions of singularities from quantum fluctuations. Once it was thought that all primordial Black Holes were tiny. Size of a PBH is limited by a "horizon distance" that light could have travelled. Since the speed of light near the Big Bang was much higher, singularities could have formed in almost any size. Black Holes formed the seeds of clusters, galaxies and even smaller structures. Stars like Antares and giant planets like Jupiter could be markers for Black Holes. Their products are truly beautiful to behold.