Monday, January 4, 2016

Philosophy Wire: I see. As we say “I analyze”…


Philosophy Wire by Spiros Kakos [2016-01-04]:

Scientists examine the data of an X-ray burst from a black hole…

After careful scrutiny of the data, the astronomers realized they were seeing the ejection, and eventual collapse, of the black hole's corona.

"The corona gathered inward at first and then launched upwards like a jet," said Wilkins. "We still don't know how jets in black holes form, but it's an exciting possibility that this black hole's corona was beginning to form the base of a jet before it collapsed."

How could the researchers tell the corona moved? The corona gives off X-ray light that has a slightly different spectrum -- X-ray "colors" -- than the light coming from the disk around the black hole. By analyzing a spectrum of X-ray light from Mrk 335 across a range of wavelengths observed by both Swift and NuSTAR, the researchers could tell that the corona X-ray light had brightened -- and that this brightening was due to the motion of the corona. Coronas can move very fast. The corona associated with Mrk 335, according to the scientists, was traveling at about 20 percent the speed of light. When this happens, and the corona launches in our direction, its light is brightened in an effect called relativistic Doppler boosting.

Putting this all together, the results show that the X-ray flare from this black hole was caused by the ejected corona.
 [1]

“I see” 

We think it is so simple. So clear. And yet it is not.

“I see” 

As if saying “I analyze, I think, I document the possibilities, I decide, I deduce conclusions”…

There is no empirical data. Only thought. 

Do you see now?

(c) Philosophy WIRES - Commenting world news from philosophy's perspective…


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