I’m seventy four. It’s hard to get excited. But, when I do, it’s something that I didn’t expect.
Astronomers have taken a picture of a black hole.
Humans have never seen a black hole. A place where gravity is so strong it swallows up stars. A place where once light is caught in its clutches, it disappears – hence the name black hole.
The black hole is an unimaginably far distance from the earth – about fifty five million light years away.
What’s a light year? It’s the distance light travels in one year. Light travels at 187 thousand miles a second. At that rate, it would be a six trillion mile trip for you and me to travel just ONE light year.
To travel fifty five million light years, you multiply fifty five million light years times six trillion miles. That’s how many miles you would have to travel to reach the black hole, whose name is M87.
Humans have walked on the moon. Humans will eventually walk on Mars, even live there. But we will never, ever come close to M87.
Yet, the impossible has happened. We have seen an actual black hole fifty five million light years away. It’s confounding because it is both possible, we have seen it, and impossible, we will never reach it. That’s good, because M87 is hell. You may never see god in this life, but you will have seen hell.
M87 is the size of our solar system. It’s the scariest, most badass thing that has ever existed and ever will exist. It’s eternally grinding up and swallowing everything that gets remotely close to it. It moves in a clockwise direction. It’s a circular hole that burns at its edges with the stars and planets falling into it. Once you’re in a black hole, you will never exist again. You’re gone forever.
Photos of M87 will continue to become clearer and clearer. As it does you will see the universe and its constituent parts pull apart and dissolve. The laws of the universe will slowly dissolve.
We will see the universe come to an end sitting fifty five million light years away.
Is there no hope?
– We will observe the universe coming to an end, but we won’t even feel the heat. We’re too many light years away.
– Scientists will observe first hand how the universe works by merely observing how M87 destroys everything that comes near it.
– At that point, reverse engineering begins to kick in. Scientists will begin to understand how to create a universe by carefully observing and understanding how the universe is pulled apart.
That’s hope, isn’t it?