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  Black holes & princesses & haircuts, oh my!May 25, 2010 8:13 AM PDT | url | discuss | + share
Added 5 new A* pages:Hey, it's the very first (okay I guess this is a minor *SPOILER* if you haven't read today's page 63 yet) black hole to appear in Supermassive Black Hole A*! Took me a while to approximate the gravitational lensing effect I wanted on it; in the end it was just a careful application (actually 4) of Photoshop's good ol' "Spherize" filter.
And actually Vero's using some poetic license there, because black holes aren't entire "black": in theory they emit tiny, tiny amounts of radiation called Hawking radiation, after Stephen Hawking who figured that if a "virtual" particle/anti-particle pair pops into existence--as they are doing constantly throughout the universe via quantum tunneling or something I don't much understand--right on the edge of a black hole's event horizon, then instead of annihilating each other instantly as they usually do, one could get sucked into the hole while the other drifts away, and it's those that escape that might form this radiation.
While I'm on the topic, I may as well mention that to me the most interesting part of Hawking's recent Into the Universe "documentary," which was otherwise mostly surprisingly awful, was a bit where he mentioned that smaller black holes should emit more of that radiation than large ones, to the point that really, really tiny quantum-sized black holes might be white rather than black, due to all the Hawking radiation they would emit. Huh! (Actually that puzzled me at the time, since emission will be increased with surface area of the hole's Schwarzchild radius, which means bigger holes should emit now that I re-read the Wikipedia article to confirm that, I think it was something of a misstatement, as were many things in the show, and what he meant was that smaller holes could be larger *net* emitters, because larger holes will be absorbing more in cosmic background radiation energy than they emit as Hawking radiation.)
This weekend was the first anniversary of my weekly fairy tale comic, The Princess and the Giant, and I sorta celebrated with a special gray-scale edition that actually turned out surprisingly Disneyesque, if Disney had ever produced a b&w cel-shaded movie--which I don't think they did? Anyway, you can check it out by clicking this handy-dandy icon:
And it ended up being a coincidence that a planned right-looking profile image of Selenis was due today (A* episode 9, page 65), and it kind of fit with the Princess profile (and I learned some stuff drawing that Princess profile that helped with the Selenis one), so I couldn't resist doing a mash-up versions, with my sci-fi and fantasy universes colliding! :o
Maybe we can call this one "The Princess and the Bounty Hunter" (which reminds me that I still haven't seen Disney's recent "Princess and the Frog"--P&tBH sounds like it would be a cooler movie, though :p). It resides in the episode 9 gallery should you ever wish to track it down at a later date, or order a print of it :p, etc.
Oh yeah, and you may notice that Selenis' hair just got longer since they showed up in "the black system." Can anyone guess why that is (and why it hadn't gotten much longer between, say, the last time we saw her near Lode, and when she found Vero just a little while ago off Tempus)? (And no it isn't because the black hole is pulling it out of her scalp faster. :P)
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