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Supermassive Black Hole A*

Supermassive Black Hole A*

by smbhax
Stories of a human civilization at the center of the Milky Way galaxy: an area of space dominated by a gigantic black hole, where energy is abundant and life is cheap.

Updates M-F.
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3,181
Updates
4.5 Updates/Week
Last Update
20 Hours Ago
Fans
294
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22

Supermassive Black Hole A*

Stories of a human civilization at the center of the Milky Way galaxy: an area of space dominated by a gigantic black hole, where energy is abundant and life is cheap.

Updates M-F.

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<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190715_whiz_comics_124_swap.jpg">

From “Swap Your Partner” in Whiz Comics #124, August 1950. Art by Frank Bolle, script by Frank Little.
smbhax
July 13th, 2019
Thanks to all the wonderful readers making this comic possible with their support, starting at $1 a month, through my Patreon campaign. : )

Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for their support:

<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190712_patreon_sketch.jpg">

Thank you! And thanks to everyone for reading this little comic. ^_^
smbhax
July 12th, 2019
<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190711_1950_whiz_comics_120_rocket_trailer.jpg&qu ot;>

From “Rockets to the Moon” in Whiz Comics #120, April 1950. Art by Kurt Schaffenberger.
smbhax
July 10th, 2019
Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : D :

<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190710_patreon_sketch.jpg">

Thank you very much for your support! ^_^
NASA just linked a poetically titled Chandra article, X-rays Spot Spinning Black Holes Across Cosmic Sea, talking about conclusions researchers have been able to reach by studying active, distant supermassive black holes, whose X-ray emissions they've been able to see—multiplied several times, kaleidoscope-like—thanks to gravitational lensing.

<div align="center"><div align="left" class="quotethin">"The researchers then used the property that a spinning black hole is dragging space around with it and allows matter to orbit closer to the black hole than is possible for a non-spinning black hole. Therefore, a smaller emitting region corresponding to a tight orbit generally implies a more rapidly spinning black hole."</div></div>
The X-rays from one of the black holes they observed had such a small cross section that the researchers calculated that the hole's event horizon is spinning at or very near the maximum speed: the speed of light.

<div align="center"><div align="left" class="quotethin">"The researchers think that these supermassive black holes likely grew by accumulating most of their material over billions of years from an accretion disk spinning with a similar orientation and direction of spin, rather than from random directions. Like a merry-go-round that keeps getting pushed in the same direction, the black holes kept picking up speed."</div></div>
<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190708_1948_whiz_comics_103_rich_in_dextrose.jpg& quot;>

Ad from Whiz Comics #103, Nov 1948
If you enjoy A* and would like to help support the comic, one dandy way to do that is through the A* Patreon campaign. Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader for their support:

<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190705_patreon_sketch.jpg">

Thank you! : D Let's do more A* next week!
I'm out for Independence Day tomorrow; back Friday! I leave you with the following inspiring message from our affiliate:

<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190703_1948_whiz_comics_99_tootsie_fudge.jpg" ;>

Panel from a full page Tootsie Fudge ad, “Captain Tootsie Tames a Tornado,” in Whiz Comics #99, July 1948
Here's an ink sketch I got to send to a reader for supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign : ) :

<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190702_patreon_sketch.jpg">

=o

Thanks everyone for your support! : D
The font I'm using for the robo-bird is Euphorigenic by @typodermic; it's free for personal and most commercial uses.

It's got a lot of personality, hopefully also while still being pretty legible. : )

I've added a section on the comic's now four main fonts, in the grey box about two-thirds of the way down the about page.
smbhax
June 29th, 2019
Reader support starting at $1 a month through my Patreon campaign makes it possible for me to bring you new A* pages each weekday! Here's a sketch I got to send to a reader recently as their monthly reward at the $10/month level:

<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190628_patreon_sketch.jpg">

Thanks to everyone supporting the comic, and thank you for reading A*!
smbhax
June 28th, 2019
Space news roundup!

- 50 astronauts, in their own words (Washington Post) Astronauts dish about life in space, including that in microgravity, your sinuses are always blocked up

- Apollo in 50 numbers: Medicine and health (BBC) Colds, gas, and other horrors of space travel

- Nasa puts up deep-space atomic clock (BBC) Scientists hope a new toaster-sized atomic clock will prove much more accurate than current ground-based, refrigerator-sized atomic clocks, enabling spacecraft to measure their own position precisely based on course and their time elapsed, rather than having to radio back to Earth—in other words, this would make deep space navigation possible
smbhax
June 27th, 2019
<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190626_1962_doctor_solar_1_symptoms.jpg">

From Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom #1, October 1962
art by Bob Fujitani
smbhax
June 26th, 2019
We're down to the final day for the new 10" x 12" Selenis portrait I have up for auction on eBay. : )

<img src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0037/art/smbhax_0037_art_01o_altair.jpg">
smbhax
June 25th, 2019
I'm selling a new portrait-orientation watercolor painting of Selenis on eBay right now. The sale ends Wednesday, and the 10" x 12" painting looks like this:

<img src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0037/art/smbhax_0037_art_01s_altair.jpg">

I don't manage to do a whole lot of A* watercolor artwork aside from the daily pages, so check this one out—in the next few days!—if you're interested in something a little different. : )
smbhax
June 22nd, 2019
(Forgot to upload yesterday's page yesterday, so this is the 2nd of 2 pages I uploaded today!)

A* is made possible in large part by the generosity of readers supporting the comic through my Patreon campaign, which you can do for as little as $1 a month! Here's a sketch I got to send to one reader for their support in a recent-ish month:

<img src="http://smbhax.com/stuff/190621_patreon_sketch.jpg">

Thanks folks for your wonderful support! And thanks to everyone reading the comic. =)
smbhax
June 22nd, 2019
Whoops! I seem to have forgotten to upload this one yesterday. = o Which means you get two today!!
smbhax
June 20th, 2019
This past weekend I painted a 10" x 12" watercolor picture of Selenis! I called it "Altair" because that sounds cool (plus, Altair is a star ("a star," "A*," see? : )) and put it up for auction for the next week on eBay, starting at just $16.99.

<img src="http://smbhax.com/ep/0037/art/smbhax_0037_art_01_altair.jpg">

The auction listing has higher-resolution images if you need something bigger than will fit in the blog here. I hope people like it. : )
smbhax
June 19th, 2019
I did a special portrait-orientation A* watercolor illustration over the weekend! Haven't done one of those since uh jeez episode 29, however long ago that was. : o I had meant to get it scanned in tonight and all set for posting in an auction tomorrow evening, but I spent too much time painting silly obsessive detail into today's comic page so I'll have to do the scanning and everything tomorrow but I *will* get it done and posted by hook or by crook!
smbhax
June 18th, 2019
Added 1 new A* page:<ul><li>A* Episode 37, Page 24</ul>Last week I had a reader ask me if I could point them in a direction to refresh their memory of Perriman and Oswalt—characters frequently mentioned over the years here in A*. This is what I came up with:

*

*** Minor spoilers from past episodes ***

*

*

*

There's a fair amount of Perriman talk, etc in episodes 10, 11, 17, 18, and 35.

(Oh! And in 35 there's a reference to a character in episode 21.)

In March I made a gallery of all mentions of Oswalt in the comic up to that point.

There are Oswalt sightings in episodes 19, 32, and 36.