We're Just Supposed to Trust That This Is a Black Hole?

Seems pretty easy to lie about

IN SPACE -  MAY 12: In this handout photo provided by NASA,  This is the first image of Sgr A*, the ...
Handout/Getty Images News/Getty Images
burbling and gurgling

We stared into the abyss, and the abyss showed its whole ass back.

According to the New York Times, astronomers at the University of Arizona (isn’t that a party school?) released the first photo of Sagittarius A* (isn’t that Grimes’s baby’s name? ahahahHAhaahaha), the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. This dark chocolate Munchkin stuck plum in the middle of a gaping “burbling and gurgling” doughnut’s hole is allegedly a verification of Einstein’s theory of relativity.

The Times explains:

“Black holes were an unwelcome consequence of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which attributed gravity to the warping of space and time by matter and energy, much as how a mattress sags under a sleeper. Einstein’s insight led to a new conception of the cosmos, in which space-time could quiver, bend, rip, expand, swirl and even disappear forever into the maw of a black hole, an entity with gravity so strong that not even light could escape it.”
Scientists have been theorizing about the existence of Sagittarius A* since 1967, but they always needed a bigger telescope. Harvard-Smithsonian scientists finally made one in 2009, and in 2019 they got the first picture of a different black hole in the galaxy Messier 87. It was much smaller and much more stationary than Sagittarius A*, which is a “whirling,” “blurry mess” that can orbit in “as little as four minutes or as long as a half-hour.”

I don’t mean to be anti-science, but I’m not entirely convinced that what I’m seeing is a black hole. You could tell me a picture of a cave in Kentucky or a mineshaft in Colorado is the Milky Way’s elusive black hole and I’d still be like, “Oh damn.” I’m fooled by optical illusions everyday. When TMZ runs the Celebrity Scramble? I’m hopeless. In the dentist office, I’ve been known to cry over a Highlights Magazine eyesight trick. I was one of those poor souls in 1895 who thought the train at La Ciotat was gonna run me over in the movie theater.

And now this — “a trapdoor in space-time through which the equivalent of four million suns have been dispatched to eternity, leaving behind only their gravity and violently bent space-time.” A little dramatic, but I’m happy for her. For my part, I humbly offer our hungry girl this piece of content. I hope for everyone’s sake, mostly gravity’s, that she likes it.