Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.
This image is actually more impressive than I was expecting it to be.
One of the greatest intellectual accomplishments in human history was Enstein’s framework that predicted the ability for these to exist… and turned out to be correct. To think that you can work out on pencil and paper what could exist hundreds of millions of light years away is incredible.
If anything i’m more curious what it really looks like. It’s like looking at old fuzzy resolution pics of Saturn vs the detail we’ve been able to get recently. I hope this news justifies the excellent work being done by astronomers, physicists and space agencies and why we need more spending in the sciences.
It’s totally the Eye of Sauron. Don’t look at it!!!
CAUTION: Do not look into black hole with remaining eye
It’s due to a restraining order. People were stalking the abyss a bit too enthusiastically.
Who else feels sad whenever something „out there“ get‘s more understandable through advances in science, by being reminded you a) will never fully understand it and b) you will most likely die before this whole “space mystery” will be solved (and I believe science will solve “it” someday…)?
LOL. George Clinton was a guest on a weed cooking show last night. He cut all his dreds off. I had a sad.
Can’t let them get too long; too much weight eventually starts to pull the follicles out from the root.
@beschizza Thanks for sharing it. I look at the colors and contours of this image and it looks like a black hole sun to me
Slightly purple prose from Dennis Overbye over at the NYT:
The image offered a final, ringing affirmation of an idea so disturbing that even Einstein, from whose equations black holes emerged, was loath to accept it. If too much matter is crammed into one place, the cumulative force of gravity becomes overwhelming, and the place becomes an eternal trap, a black hole. Here, according to Einstein’s theory, matter, space and time come to an end and vanish like a dream.
The image, of a lopsided ring of light surrounding a dark circle deep in the heart of the galaxy known as Messier 87, some 55 million light-years away from Earth, resembled the Eye of Sauron, a reminder yet again of the power and malevolence of nature. It is a smoke ring framing a one-way portal to eternity.
Nobody knows how such behemoths of nothingness could have been assembled. Dense wrinkles in the primordial energies of the Big Bang? Monster runaway stars that collapsed and swallowed up their surroundings in the dawning years of the universe?
Nor do scientists know what ultimately happens to whatever falls into a black hole, nor what forces reign at the center, where according to the math we know now the density approaches infinity and smoke pours from God’s computer.
Good explainer! Thanks for posting.
M87’s black hole, with a mass of several billion (with that explosively plosive, Carl Sagan ‘B’) Suns, has an event horizon “only” a few times the diameter of our Solar system.
I put “only” in quotes because of the different scales of size and distance that we face when we look into the cosmos.
On a human scale, that black hole is colossal. The New Horizons probe, which was at one time the fastest human-made object ever launched, needed almost 10 years just to get to Pluto.
Buuuuut… Given the incomprehensible size of the universe, and the distance involved, it is not easy to isolate a single star, or even an object slightly larger than the solar system when we look at distant galaxies. Instead we see only clouds of light. It truly is amazing that it is possible to resolve something that size at such a distance.
(Edited to clarify the thoughts expressed.)
I always enjoy his approach to science education. Very approachable.
I also suggest PCS Space Time. They go a bit more in depth but still retain accessibility for people that are not physicists. I imagine they will have a video up soon on this black hole event.
I was thinking the humidity in Florida might be getting to him. He moved out there a few years ago.