Day 5. 50 pages, 23,040 words.
I couldn’t in good conscience go on with my silly prattling without mentioning a little thing some clever, clever humans did just the other day.
As you’ve probably heard by now, the Event Horizon Team (way to take a black hole term that has been made creepy by movies and make it your own again!) successfully captured images of a black hole, which is … just fucking amazing.
Specifically, the black hole is the supermassive one in the centre of Messier 87, a galaxy 55 million light-years from the Milky Way. And while I’m tempted to make a flippant and self-serving post about my stories placing all these things on a sackcloth backing somewhere at the edge of our solar system, this is just too wonderful. Today, science smacks fiction with the rolled-up newspaper of true human ingenuity and says don’t you get uppity with me, you self-inflated little expression of basically make-believe.
The black hole is forty billion kilometres across, has a mass six and a half billion times that of our sun, and look, you can get more facts here, or here, or here (a particularly important one about Katie Bouman and her team, and the algorithm they created to make all this possible).
I’m just excited and can’t get enough of the pure joy that I’m seeing running through so many of my friends about this. I’m sure tomorrow we’ll be back to muttering that scientists are smarmy elites who don’t know as much about the world as they pretend they do, but for now let’s just enjoy the astonishing density of something a safe distance away from us.
In the meantime, bless the hearts and the big wonderful brains of these fantastic humans.
There’s another great break-down of what this discovery tells us at Forbes, which is well worth a read.
– Posted on my coffee break. Worth it.