The Star Trek crew and the Enterprise via NASA

enterprise

Via Knowmore:

NASA posted the photo above on Friday, following news that Leonard Nimoy passed away in Los Angeles at age 83. The photo shows NASA officials and “Star Trek” cast members standing together in 1976 in front of NASA’s space shuttle Enterprise, named for show’s iconic spacecraft.

As Star Trek’s Vulcan science officer Mr. Spock, Nimoy was an inspiration for many at NASA. He often joined other cast members in at NASA special events and promoting NASA missions, as in the photo above.

From left to right are NASA Administrator James D. Fletcher; DeForest Kelley, who portrayed Dr. “Bones” McCoy on the series; George Takei (Mr. Sulu); James Doohan (Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott); Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura); Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock); series creator Gene Roddenberry; U.S. Rep. Don Fuqua (D.-Fla.); and, Walter Koenig (Ensign Pavel Chekov).

Captain Kirk was probably off cavorting with some space babe.

A supermassive black hole interpretation

OK, here goes.

I saw this in the Washington Post:

Some 12.8 billion light years away, astronomers have spotted an object of almost impossible brightness — the most luminous object ever seen in such ancient space. It’s from just 900 million years after the big bang, and the old quasar — a shining object produced by a massive black hole — is 420 trillion times more luminous than our sun.

That brightness and size is surprising in a black hole from so close to the dawn of time. In a new study published Wednesday in Nature, researchers describe a cosmic light that defies convention. It was even detectable with a relatively small telescope, though researchers in China did have to ask for help from astronomers in Chile and the United States  to get a higher-resolution look.

Which, according to Nature, means this:

So far, roughly 40 quasars with redshifts greater than z = 6 have been discovered1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Each quasar contains a black hole with a mass of about one billion solar masses (109 )2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. The existence of such black holes when the Universe was less than one billion years old presents substantial challenges to theories of the formation and growth of black holes and the coevolution of black holes and galaxies14. Here we report the discovery of an ultraluminous quasar, SDSS J010013.02+280225.8, at redshift z = 6.30. It has an optical and near-infrared luminosity a few times greater than those of previously known z > 6 quasars. On the basis of the deep absorption trough15 on the blue side of the Lyman-α emission line in the spectrum, we estimate the proper size of the ionized proximity zone associated with the quasar to be about 26 million light years, larger than found with other z > 6.1 quasars with lower luminosities16. We estimate (on the basis of a near-infrared spectrum) that the black hole has a mass of ~1.2 × 1010 , which is consistent with the 1.3 × 1010 derived by assuming an Eddington-limited accretion rate.

But I’m stupid, and all I can think of is this:

Same thing, right?