Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 9, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:11

Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 9, 2017 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 9, 2017 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
Scientists have uncovered a rare relic from the 
early universe: the farthest known supermassive 
black hole. This matter-eating beast is 800 million 
times the mass of our Sun, which is astonishingly 
large for its young age. 

“This black hole grew far larger than we expected 
in only 690 million years after the Big Bang, which 
challenges our theories about how black holes 
form,” said study co-author Daniel Stern of JPL.

Astronomers combined data from NASA’s 
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) with 
ground-based surveys to identify potential distant 
objects to study, then followed up with Carnegie 
Observatories’ Magellan telescopes in Chile. 
Carnegie astronomera Eduardo Bañados led the 
effort to identify candidates out of the hundreds 
of millions of objects WISE found that would be 
worthy of follow-up with Magellan.

For black holes to become so large in the early 
universe, astronomers speculate there must have 
been special conditions to allow rapid growth—
but the underlying reason remains mysterious.

The newly found black hole is voraciously 
devouring material at the center of a galaxy—a 
phenomenon called a quasar. This quasar is 
especially interesting because it comes from a time 
when the universe was just beginning to emerge 
from its dark ages. The discovery will provide 
fundamental information about the universe when 
it was only 5 percent of its current age.

“Quasars are among the brightest and most 
distant known celestial objects and are crucial to 
understanding the early universe,” said co-author 
Bram Venemans of the Max Planck Institute for 
Astronomy in Germany.

The universe began in a hot soup of particles that 
rapidly spread apart in a period called inflation. 
About 400,000 years after the Big Bang, these 
particles cooled and coalescedinto neutral hydrogen gas. But the universe stayed 
dark, without any luminous sources, until gravity 
condensed matter into the first stars and galaxies. 
The energy released by these ancient galaxies 
caused the neutral hydrogen to get excited and 
ionize, or lose an electron. The gas has remained 
in that state since that time. Once the universe 
became reionized, photons could travel freely 

throughout space. This is the point at which the 
universe became transparent to light.
Much of the hydrogen surrounding the newly 
discovered quasar is neutral. That means the 
quasar is not only the most distant—it is also the 
only example we have that can be seen before the 
universe became reionized. 
“It was the universe’s last major transition and 
one of the current frontiers of astrophysics,” 
Bañados said. 
The quasar’s distance is determined by what’s 
called its redshift, a measurement of how much 
the wavelength of its light is stretched by the 
expansion of the universe before reaching Earth. 
The higher the redshift, the greater the distance, 
and the farther back astronomers are looking in 
time when they observe the object. This newly 
discovered quasar has a redshift of 7.54, based on 
the detection of ionized carbon emissions from 
the galaxy that hosts the massive black hole. That 
means it took more than 13 billion years for the 
light from the quasar to reach us.
Scientists predict the sky contains between 
20 and 100 quasars as bright and as distant as 
this quasar. Astronomers look forward to the 
European Space Agency’s Euclid mission, which 
has significant NASA participation, and NASA’s 
Wide-field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) 
mission, to find more such distant objects.
“With several next-generation, even-moresensitive 
facilities currently being built, we can 
expect many exciting discoveries in the very early 
universe in the coming years,” Stern said. 
You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@ 

A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


In first grade, our teacher asked us to pen a letter to“Well,” she said rather sarcastically, “you’ll have toSanta for Christmas. send a letter to me if you want that pony this year.” 
She asked us, “Name one present you would likeAfter a few moments of silence, we both broke out 
Santa to bring you for Christmas.” laughing.

Then we were to write a letter to Santa, who, Where in the world would we put a pony in theaccording to her, lived at the North Pole, and tell himParsonage? What in the world, would I do with thewhat we wanted for Christmas and why we wanted it.pony in the Parsonage?
Then, we put it in an envelope and she mailed it to theActually, I had not thought about that letter to SantaNorth Pole. for a very long time. It is amazing what you do when

At the time, I thought my teacher had a connectionyou are young and then years later for some reasonwith Santa Claus. She said so many nice things aboutyou remember it.
him that she must have known him personally.Then in the middle of all of this pondering, my wifeAccordingly, I thought a letter delivered to him by myhit me with the question that I’m still not sure about.
teacher would have credit. “Okay, what do you really want for Christmas this

The other night the Gracious Mistress of theyear?”
Parsonage and I were sitting around drinking someI can think of many things. Pens, books andhot cocoa and thinking about Christmas. She had justpocketknives to add to my collection. I can never haveput up the Christmas tree with all of the decorations.enough of these things. But, is that what I really wantShe does such a wonderful job that I let her do it.for Christmas this year?

Actually, one year I did try to help her and it was aPondering the question, I could not come up with acatastrophe to say the least. Since then, I am to watchserious answer. 
and fetch and that’s all. The Christmas decorations are To try to throw her off her guard, I said to her, “First,
wonderful and create a Christmasy spirit.tell me what you would like for Christmas this year.” 

As I was admiring the Christmas decorations, II thought she would give me a well-documentedhappened to mention to her about the first gradelist of gifts that she would like for Christmas. She is soletter to Santa. I casually said, “I guess Santa never gotorganized in everything she does I was pretty certainmy letter.” she was organized in this area as well.

Looking at me she said, “Why do you say that?”My problem in buying Christmas presents for herI chuckled and said, “I never got a pony foris that I don’t know what she would like. She has 
Christmas.” everything she wants and can use. I cannot buy her

Together we laughed and then she said somethinganything in the category of tools because that is anthat caused me to pause. “Do you want a pony forunknown territory for me.
Christmas this year?”I have known this young lady when she was actually

The way she looked at me when she asked thatyoung and to this day, I would have a hard time gettingquestion, I thought she was being serious. It causeda present for her that would actually surprise her. Weme a little bit of pause because what in the worldhave different likes and dislikes which makes us a verywould I do with a pony now.good team.

Then, I’m not one to let a situation go without“Oh, no,” she said abruptly. “You’re not getting awayplaying it for all it’s worth.with that. Before I tell you what I want for Christmas

With a very serious look on my face, I said to her,you’re going to have to tell me what you want for“I sure would love to have a pony this year. It wouldChristmas.” 
make my Christmas just wonderful.” If anybody knows how to back me into a corner, it

is the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. I have beenbacked into so many corners that there are none left

Catch breaking 
news at:
in our house. 

ways that mattered. 

I honestly did not know what to tell her. Then, much

And as I continued to “pal around” with the 

to my surprise, a wonderful thought began dancing in

new kid in school, who I was told to not associate 

my cranium. It danced so much it made me think. I

with, I found someone who was different, unique, 

came up with a special Christmas gift for this year that

and who became a lifelong friend. It is perhaps 

I knew she could not contradict. 

because I often felt like an outcast myself growing 

“After giving this a lot of thought,” I said very soberly,

up that I have found myself attracted to the so

“what I want for Christmas this year is another year to

called oddballs and misfits of the world, most of 

live with you.” 

whom are far more fascinating and interesting 

Needless to say, she had nothing to say about that.

than the so-called normal people.

Very few times do I get to say something that causes

More recently, where I conduct a regular 

her to be silent. 

outdoor public event, some of the local residents 

I was reminded of what the apostle Paul said. “That

would hang out at my booth where I conducted 

I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,

the administrative aspects of the event. My 

and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made

assistant told me privately that I should not 

conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10).
The most important thing about the Christian life isnot what God gives you, but rather that he gives youhimself. Relationships are a great deal more importantthan possessions.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of GodFellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He liveswith his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352687-
4240 or e-mail The churchweb site is 


Your “friends” should never tell you who you canassociate with 

[Nyerges is the author allow one particular person to stay around my 
of “How to Survive booth. The young man in question lived locally, 
Anywhere,” “Extreme and was known to be affiliated with a notorious 

Simplicity,” “Foraging California,” and other books. L.A. gang. Some people felt intimidated by this 
He leads outdoor classes regularly. For more man’s presence. 
information, contactwww.SchoolofSelf-Reliance, However, it has never been my policyor Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.]to expel or repel anyone based on such things; as

Human relationships are forever long as his behaviour in my presence was approfascinating. 
I’ve long been interested in the priate, I had no reason to repel him. I graduallyinterplay between two partners, and what can be got to know this man. He needed income, and 
called the “chemistry” between them. What, for so little by little I put him to work doing variousexample, really brings two people together? Is it small tasks at the weekly outdoor event, much tocommon interests, or different interests? What the dismay of my assistant. Plus, this was a pub-
makes the relationship tick, and what tears it lic space, not private property, so I did my best toapart? make this a good situation for everyone. Through

I have concluded that each human relationship my comments and suggestions, this young manis very much like a chemistry experiment, gradually was able to refine his communicationwhereby different chemical-soup mixtures skills when talking with my customers, and evencombine or don’t combine with any of the other began to dress a little better when he came to ourchemical-soup mixtures that we call the dynamic market. From my perspective, I may have beenhuman. One day I hope to publish a book on one of the few people who interacted with him inrelationships and perhaps I’ll be bold enough a positive way, even encouraging him to get moreto make some meaningful comments and work, and where to find it. I never looked down nose at him, so to speak.

For today, I want to explore one issue that I have To my surprise, there were a few times when 
experienced all my life in various relationships, other individuals harshly criticized me or our 
though it tends to pop up the most in business market, and this young man strongly and 
relationships.eloquently defended me. I was shocked because 

Someone will say, “If you do business with that I didn’t expect it, and it was not necessary, and 
person, you cannot do business with me!” I have yet, nothing more needed to be said or done. I 
had it said to me, and my knee jerk reaction is chose to view it as “what goes around, comes 
nearly always, “OK, then I will not do business around,” as this young man felt so much a part of 
with you. I do business with whom I choose, our market that he would stand up to defend us.
and if you have a problem with X, that is your This is just one small example where something 
problem alone.” positive flowed from a situation that others 

I can recall as a child in grammar school viewed as negative.
when one of the popular boys told me the same Yes, like everyone, I like to surround myself 
thing. “You cannot be my friend if you are with good friends. And yet, I have never forgotten 
going to pal around with so-and-so.” Really? I the insightful words of Moshe Dayan, who said 
was usually too frightened as a child to openly “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies 
challenge such a statement, and I would maintain closer.” 
my friendship with the outcast anyway. I learned 

– in time - that the bossy boy was very insecure 
and he wasn’t really my friend anyway, not in the 
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