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Superluminal Lover
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A hot song with a Latin beat about the jets of blazars, which are quasars whose jets have near-light flow speeds in a direction almost directly toward us, beaming their radiation into our line of sight. Many innuendos based on scientific terms.
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#48 today Peak #1
#13 in subgenre today Peak #1
Alan Marscher
2005 by Alan Marscher
March 14, 2008
MP3 3.4 MB, 128 kbps, 3:43
Story behind the song
I figured that our astronomical research on blazars needed a spicy theme song! Goes along with a press release we had in April 2008 on new findings of a jet in a blazar called BL Lacertae ( see http://www.bu.edu/blazars/BLLac.html ). A quasar is powered by matter falling onto a supermassive black hole - about a billion times as massive as the sun, but small enough that it would easily fit inside our solar system. The matter is in the form of ionized gas (plasma) that glows in X-ray, ultraviolet, and visible light. The infalling plasma orbits the black hole with a speed that increases toward the black hole. This differential rotation twists the magnetic field that's present, which causes it to coil up and stick out the rotational axis (the poles). Some of the plasma shoots out the poles, confined by the coiled magnetic field and propelled to near-light speeds by the decreasing magnetic pressure in the outward direction. The result is a pair of spectacular jets, but only the one coming toward us is bright enough to see because of the beaming of the radiation. What we do see is amazing - radio, infrared, visible, UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray radiation that fluctuates between brighter and fainter very rapidly. 1-3 times every year, a major burst of energy is injected into the jet, causing a shock wave to move down the jet. This is seen as a bright spot that, after "ejection," moves down the jet at something like 99% the speed of light. But a geometrical illusion (caused by the fact that the spot moves almost as fast as the light waves it produces) cause the spot to *appear* to move faster than light. This is called "superluminal motion." The jet is like a cosmic fallic symbol, which is the inspiration for the song.
1. Attracted by your gravity, your body's so compact Pulling me inward, prepare for close contact No strength to resist, spinning out of control Falling toward the abyss, approaching the black hole 2. Full of twisting magnetism, feeling hot inside Bursting forth with energy, ready for a high-speed ride Acceleration growing, focusing my beam The jet starts flowing, plasma shoots downstream Drawing closer . . . faster . . . closer . . . faster . . . closer . . . faster . . . Poloidal field! . . . Magnetic whip! . . . EJECTION!!! Chorus: I'm your superluminal lover, baby, emission beamed into the night Check out my relativistic jet, my love's faster than the speed of light I'm flashing as a blazar into your line of sight Hop on my relativistic jet, let's go faster than the speed of light! 3. Don't mind the illusions, it's just relativity Pardon the intrusions into your naked singularity Enjoy the time dilation, relax and take it slow Beam your radiation, make our central engines glow 4. I've got eyes like a quasar, with brilliant intensity Detect my hot desire for you with your high sensitivity I'll energize you with my shock wave, make you turbulent inside The magnetic attraction just can't be denied Drawing closer . . . faster . . . closer . . . faster . . . [chorus]
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