Science gave us a cool Black Hole photo this week…now what?

by | Apr 18, 2019 | Living in the Future, Musing & Brain Teasers | 0 comments

So, scientists have now taken pictures of a black hole (or, to be precise, everything BUT the black hole). Dr. Katie Bouman and her team have given Earth its first glimpse of the center of a neighboring galaxy. But what do we do with them?

First off, we share the pictures.

Black Hole image, courtesy of the Event Horizon Telescope


After that, then what? I got a degree in engineering a while back, but nothing I learned prepared me to leverage the knowledge of a black hole’s appearance. Frankly, it’s a gap in my education I hadn’t realized until recently. I’m sure a trained astrophysicist has all kinds of inferences they can draw from that image (and the data behind it), whereas I’m just marveling at the fact that they got an image of something a zillion miles away when I have a tough time getting a good picture of a fireworks display that doesn’t even leave orbit.

But us laypersons can posit. We can suggest. We can take our lack of preconceptions and ask the “what ifs” that might seem too dumb for the actual scientists to consider.

So… what should we try to do NEXT with black holes?

I’ll get us started.

  • Fire probes out of the solar system to take even better pictures.
  • Develop warp drive (or your FTL method of choice) to go see it for ourselves
  • Come up with a means to take similar pictures of Sagittarius A (the black hole at the center of OUR galaxy)
  • Somehow use our new knowledge of a distant black hole to create worm holes.

So what do YOU think we should do next?

Respond in the comments or join in the Facebook discussion about your favorite black hole next steps:

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