A team of Japanese astronomers using ESA’s XMM-Newton, along with NASA and Japanese X-ray satellites, has discovered that our galaxy’s central black hole let loose a powerful flare three centuries ago.
The article then goes on to do what articles, and most usually scientists, do in general. They dig deeper and deeper into the why’s, what’s, and how’s of the black hole itself. I’m not quite that curious as to the mechanics of a black hole. They’re cool for sure, but exactly what sparks them to life and when they take naps doesn’t really pique my curiosity that much. I’m more inclined to look at things like this in the manner of “what does that mean to me?”. Possibly, it means nothing other than some cool mind provoking reading. Sometimes, it leads to me putting two and two together. How many times it’s actually four is irrelevent, I just like connecting the dots. In this case for example, something ELSE happened approximately three hundred years ago as well.
We experienced something called “The Little Ice Age“. For some inexplicable reason, the Earth’s temperatures plummeted in regular fashion over several hundred years. We really didn’t get over the Little Ice Age until either the late 19th century or early 20th century, depending on who you ask. However, other things happened around that time as well. The Sun was in it’s max cooling phase as well. So, someone like me would have to wonder if the combination of a cooler Sun along with a blast from a black hole could trigger an ice age? Others, of course, would insist because I question how much of an impact something other than man has on the Earth’s climate, I’m nuts. Something happened about three to four hundred years ago to affect the Earth’s climate in a major way. According to most, man was already causing global warming by burning everything he could get his hands on. So, what cooled the Earth in a profound way? Volcanoes? The Solar Cycle? A black hole? An asteroid strike? It certainly wasn’t Al Gore.