A black hole has been captured for the first time, and it's blowing up the internet.
A collection of 200 scientists just released an image of a black hole - once thought to be unphotographable - following a decade of tedious work. The image was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope, named for the point at which nothing can escape the gravitational pull of a black hole.
The Event Horizon isn't one telescope; it's eight radio telescopes around the globe. By combining their power, scientists created a super telescope that, starting in 2017, could focus in on a black hole in the M87 galaxy. This black hole has a mass 6.5-billion times that of the Sun and is larger than the orbit Neptune makes around our star. Scientists needed supercomputers to analyze 5,000 trillion bytes of data that the telescope collected on this giant black hole.
From there, an imaging algorithm developed by MIT graduate Katie Bouman pieced together a final, single photograph that - once and for all - confirmed Einstein’s theory of General Relativity (the first to posit the existence of black holes). “We have seen what we thought was unseeable, we have seen and taken a picture of a black hole," said Sheperd Doeleman, the director of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, in a statement.
The image, of course, is now a viral sensation. Within minutes of hitting the web, memes began to surface -- from comparisons to the legendary Eye of Sauron in the Lord of the Rings, to the inevitable Trump association. Here are some of the best black hole memes we've spotted so far.
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Best black hole memes
The photo of the black hole is blurry, but if you zoom and enhance then you can see its full destructive power pic.twitter.com/c1wPV0vmrC— Mark Doherty (@dohertymark) April 10, 2019
That's not a black hole pic.twitter.com/qRXTcaIaf6— Nibel (@Nibellion) April 10, 2019
Black Hole / Black Hole Sun pic.twitter.com/sJLi7vXXbe— Ah, Lesqui! (@alesqui) April 10, 2019
Homer Simpson Has Discovered the Black Hole, Apparently: pic.twitter.com/07MEfhEgL3— George Campbell (@garcky3) April 10, 2019
This was the plan all along. pic.twitter.com/pdmuaWXglp— James O'Malley (@Psythor) April 10, 2019
feeling cute might delete all information that passes through my event horizon later pic.twitter.com/gTZx1ZUsjc— ryan teague beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) April 10, 2019
wait... zoom out pic.twitter.com/D9gXZtjqY7— Matt Buechele (@mattbooshell) April 10, 2019
My face when I saw the black hole pic.twitter.com/yIbCpQkbUW— Jacob Aron (@jjaron) April 10, 2019
Me on Instagram vs. me in real life. pic.twitter.com/srG41BFhB8— Adam Wren (@adamwren) April 10, 2019
The internet is busy transforming the first picture of a black hole into jokes and memes. This one is the best I’ve seen so far. pic.twitter.com/YvD4kANtPr— Mathieu Bernier (@mathbernier) April 10, 2019
Do you expect the internet not to meme the first picture of a black hole? pic.twitter.com/50F6CWkzlo— Faris (@palacetinebaba) April 10, 2019
Yep, Huawei did that pic.twitter.com/akGrcNnR64— Ben Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) April 10, 2019
BLACK Hole Imagie The Internet rite now pic.twitter.com/bD8n2xEyTA— Mark redgwell (@Blackprojects) April 10, 2019