Since time doesn’t exist inside of a black hole, would something still age inside of one?
Zooming in on Hercules … Don’t Feel Small!
You would be forgiven, after watching a video like this, for feeling small. As we fly through the deep universe, zooming in on ever expanding numbers of stars, spawning more points of light where before there was empty space … we begin to get a sense of just how big it all really is.
But then we arrive at our destination, beautiful jets of stellar gas spewing from the center of a supermassive black hole in Hercules A. And in that moment, you are looking at the same forces that seeded the universe to create our own planet. It is a moment long in the past, its electromagnetic fingerprint reaching us two billion years after it left home. This collapsed star supplied the atoms to create untold stars and worlds, perhaps in the neighboring galaxies dwarfed by the stellar plumes.
A star just like it supplied the atoms that made us.
As Neil deGrasse Tyson reminded us when he told the story of the most astounding fact in the universe, this image should make us feel tall … not small.
(via NASA/Goddard on Flickr, and one of the coolest things I’ve seen all week)