Scientists today announced today the successful capture of the first ever image of a black hole. The product of a vast international collaboration, the Event Horizon Telescope, “a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes… — was designed” specifically for this purpose.
And it went something like this:
If you could fly past the black hole you would see things more clearly, but you would be at great risk of being pulled in. And, as many of us know from various fictional and documentary accounts, this strong gravitational pull is about as strong as it gets. Some might say “infinity” but that wouldn’t be exactly scientifically correct. Computer scientist Katie Bouman came up with a new algorithm to stitch together data collected and explains it all in this TED talk.
Trump in Space: The new photo of a black hole comes a week after the Trump administration once again fell back on country’s now ageing space leadership and glory. Space exploration is an easy go-to for Trump and Pence to distract from the daily news cycle, to try to appear presidential, and when spun competitively to stir up their base. It’s also been a while…
Under Bush and Obama, the US space program was not the field of dreams. They didn’t build it. We got an ill-conceived Mars shot, a clean-up of said Mars mission, along with distracting wars, recessions, and an ageing shuttle program started in 1981.
Trump stepped up for “greatness” with the good-old-days of the coldwar-sounding mission to patrol space. They offered Trump/Pence PAC members the chance to vote on logos and the name Space Force last year proposing a new branch of the military.
Last week, in spite of recent cuts and redirections of NASA budgets, Vice President Pence demanded that the agency up its game, saying 2028 was “just not good enough,” telling them it had to be by 2024 because, “we’re better than that”. Multiple reports from the speech in Alabama noted that this position and “encouragement” surprised everyone involved, that there were no resources or even back-up materials prepared as of yet, and noted that this new schedule would conveniently land on the moon in the final year of a two term Trump presidency. So the space program is once again the stuff of dreams.
Hubble and Event Horizon Telescopes Cause Massive Concern in Newsrooms.
Just last month, Hubble announcements of massive storms on the iciest planets bolstered previous warnings to newsrooms and science beat reporters. First was last year’s announcement that scientists were reconsidering their previous lack of interest in Uranus and Neptune. And, by February there were reports of Auroras on the surface of Uranus, and then news of competing storms on both ice planets. Potentially more than just awkward. Newsrooms handled news blasts from uranus-focused researchers well, and everyone’s enjoyed the newfound fascination with Uranus. Until today…
Today the threat escalated. Event Horizon has taken journalists to the the highest threat level with a matrix of disastrous intersectional outcomes. Add to that the stress of the vaseline filtered images included with today’s release and i just don’t think this is “too soon”. To those serving on the front lines of this tense media situation, thank you for your service.