Here's What We Know About The Enormous Black Hole Astronomers Just Found
It’s a big, big hole.
1. “Astronomers have uncovered a near-record breaking supermassive black hole, weighing 17 billion suns, in an unlikely place: in the center of a galaxy in a sparsely populated area of the universe. The observations, made by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Hawaii, may indicate that these monster objects may be more common than once thought.”
2. “One theory of how the newly discovered monster black hole got so big is that it’s the product of a merger between two black holes. The merger could have happened when two galaxies collided. When galaxies merge, the black holes at the core of each galaxy begin orbiting each other, gobbling up mass until they fuse together and give birth to a new supermassive black hole, which then continues growing.”
3. “In the face of such enormous emptiness, your own astounding insignificance shifts from being the stuff of low comedy to a level of almost tragic irrelevance. Your greatest achievement is smaller than the tiniest bit of dust that floats unrecognized through a vast, uncaring universe and disappears without ever having made an impression on the face of the cosmos. Your laughable pride would be pathetic if it weren’t so unimportant.”
4. “Likewise your anguish and pain over the cruel and random facts of being are similarly feeble. No matter how horrible your hurt may be about whatever terrible things you’ve done or had done to you—let’s not even consider how horrible your hurt may be about a lot of things that you are frankly kind of a gigantic baby to be whining about in the first place—everything you’ve ever done and anything you’ll ever do in the future is a sad spectacle of impotent rage performed for an audience that does not know you’ve taken the stage and isn’t even aware that the theatre exists.”
5. “You count for less than nothing and nothing is preferable to you because it manages to to remain silent. Your acts are without meaning, your feelings are without merit and your every breath is a hollow sucking sound that only the equally deluded, equally worthless primates who cluster beside you can hear, not that they pay much attention, concerned as they are by their own trivial exhalations. You have spilled your tears onto a barren ground that neither knows nor cares of the sorrows which inspired them.”
6. “To become this massive, the black hole would have had a very voracious phase during which it devoured lots of gas.”