P3W-451

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SG-10 and black hole on P3W-451

Summary

P3W-451 was a planet in a binary system where one sun became a black hole.

Factoids

  • Names and Designations: P3W-451
  • Number of Suns: Two
  • Number of Moons: One
  • Source of Address: Abydos Cartouche
  • Introduced in Episode: 2.14 "A Matter of Time"
  • Earth Cultural/Technological Equivalent: extinct planet
  • Main Interest: Exploration
  • Influenced/Dominated by: Nothing
  • History of Stargate: Unknown

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Geopolitical Structure and History

P3W-451 was the planet where SG-10, led by Major Henry Boyd, went on their first mission as a team. It was an initial recon mission (2.15 "A Matter of Time"). The area around the Stargate was fine desert sand. Boyd's team reported to Stargate Command that it looked like recently any life on the planet have become extinct, but they had yet to determine a cause.

While SG-10 was on the planet, one of the stars in the solar system turned into a black hole, sucking everything into the event horizon, passing meteors, energy from its sister sun, and P3W-451. SG-10 ran for the Stargate, but it was too late for them to escape the tidal forces of the black hole. A time dilation effect from the black hole made time pass much slower for them than other places: what passed as several minutes for them was mere moments for other locations. The Stargate activated and deactivated on Earth before SG-10 could ever hope to get through the event horizon.

The SGC received SG-10's IDC code, although it transmitted so slowly, it took some tweaks to recognize it. Stargate Command redialed P3W-451 to find out what was wrong with SG-10, and perhaps launch a search and rescue. Video from the MALP sent revealed pictures, including the visible event horizon in the sky behind SG-10. Unfortunately the wormhole sent to P3W-451 now linked the SGC to the planet. They began to be effected by the gravity and time dilation of the black hole as well, and furthermore could not shut down the Stargate. Scientific experts believed self-destruct of the base would break the wormhole connection and save Earth.

However, Captain Carter realized the experts were assuming facts about relativity that were contradicted by her actual observations at the SGC. She feared that the wormhole would stay intact even after the mountain was destroyed. Instead, she was inspired by what happened to she and O'Neill returning from P4A-771. Instead, a bomb directed at the Stargate could force a surge in the connection, jumping the wormhole to another world, where they could then shut down the Stargate with no problem. O'Neill and Colonel Frank Cromwell lowered themselves into the gate room to activate and release the bomb at a specific angle and distance. The iris collapsed and Cromwell was sucked through the wormhole by the gravitational field. But the bomb worked and the Stargate connection jumped for P3W-451 to P2A-870. Because of the events on P3W-451, a new trinium based iris had to be installed for the Earth Stargate.

Years later, SG-1 was at the Tok'ra base on Vorash when the Tok'ra learned Apophis was on his way with an invasion fleet (4.22 "Exodus"). Jacob Carter/Selmak and Major Carter came up with a plan to strike a major blow against Apophis. SG-1 currently had possession of a ha'tak. They would use the ha'tak to take the Vorash Stargate off the planet. Flying as close as they could get to the sun, Sam and her father would dial the Stargate to P3W-451, enclosing the Stargate in a force field. They would then release the Stargate and send it into Vorash's sun. The plan worked. The Vorash sun went supernova, giving Sam Carter the reputation for blowing up a sun. Most of Apophis's fleet was destroyed in the resulting explosion, but both Apophis's and SG-1's ships escaped into hyperspace, though the blast wave threw them off course into another galaxy.

Years later, SG-1 referred to purposefully forcing a wormhole to jump Stargates, as what happened to escape the P3W-451 black hole when trying to determine how to take control of the Ori Supergate (10.03 "Pegasus Project"). They used the same theory to connect the P3Y-229 Supergate to a Stargate in the Pegasus Galaxy.

Gallery

P3W-451 orbiting near black hole
SG-10 tries to escape P3W-451
Boyd on MALP camera on P3W-451

Real Science

Black holes are regions of space that are so compact, nothing can escape them, not even gravity. They were first theorized to exist by eighteenth century scientists when the laws of gravity were developed. The term itself was coined by the physicist John Wheeler in 1967. Before that, they were known as "frozen stars".

Extremely massive stars (ten to fifteen times more massive than Earth's sun) may become black holes. At the end of their life, the star will supernova and collapse–sometimes collapsing into itself and creating infinite density, i.e., a black hole. Once assumed to be theoretical, the event horizons of black holes have been observed to be quite common throughout the universe. At least one appears to exist at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. A person cannot see the black hole itself because nothing, including light, escapes its grip. Thus the black hole can only be seen by the absence of matter within its horizon. The esteemed physicist Stephen Hawking has proposed that black holes do emit radiation that may be detected, and even residual radiation may be observed if/when/after a black hole evaporates.

Unlike what often occurs in science fiction, a planet would not automatically be "sucked into" a black hole. It would have to move extremely close to the black hole itself, into what is known as the "Schwarzschild radius".

As far as the "time dilation" effect, as described in Stargate's "A Matter of Time": To an outsider's viewpoint, someone getting closer to the black hole would appear to be moving slower and slower, until eventually it would seem to never quite reach the horizon, because the light would take longer and longer to reach the observer. However the person by the black hole would operate at "normal time", and eventually be crushed by the gravitational forces of the black hole.

(see further reading below for links to source articles for this section)

Episodes

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Further Reading on Black Holes


--Aurora 17:16, 12 May 2008 (PDT)