Mankind Gazes Into the Black Holeby Opinion Express April 12, 2019 0 comments
As we inch closer to the 50th anniversary of man’s adventure to the moon, scientists have for the first time taken a picture of a black hole. In a truly remarkable feat of astronomy,, scientists have have successfully managed to capture an image of a black hole. This celestial object, predicted in so many physics equations all the way from Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, has finally been manifest in physical form, albeit in a blurry picture that looks like the corona during a solar eclipse. The flurry of spherical images and the attendant data are helping scientists develop new insights into the mysterious environment close to black holes, where the pull of gravity is so intense that it has the power to destroy all known realities. This will also help us understand the origin of jets of radiation that are blasted out from the black holes close to the speed of light, creating colourful flashes across the cosmos. This is an amazing achievement that also highlights just how far astronomical observation has come in the 400 years since the invention of the telescope by Dutchman Hans Lippershey, not Galileo as many wrongly believe. This discovery just highlights why mankind should keep on exploring the planets and why this should be a global quest.
The remarkable progress we have made in the past few decades in astronomy has been in no small part due to the tremendous public success of space-based observatories such as Hubble, Chandra and Kepler. Events such as this photograph will hopefully drive more young people to discover the wonders of science and engineering. It might also provide an impetus to those who feel that man should once again leave the bounds of earth’s gravity, this time not just to go to the moon but further afield. Particularly due to the fact that mankind is virtually killing the planet which has nurtured life, the stars that we look up to might have to be our home soon enough unless we turn back the tide on the destruction here. Many people who believe in astrology say that our future is written in the stars, which is correctly dismissed as bunkum by those of a scientific bent. Some astrologers are, in fact, interpreting the black hole lying in the constellation of Virgo as a sign that we all need to use our higher mind and knowledge to assess our emotions. But our future is definitely in the stars, and while many nations, now led by China, continue to search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, it may not be too far-fetched that it will be humankind that will colonise the stars eventually. And for that we must keep exploring the universe and answering some fundamental questions. Not just of science but also philosophy, as the Nasadiya Sukta of the Rig Veda says,“Who really knows? Who here will proclaim it? Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation? The Gods came afterwards with the creation of this universe. Who then knows whence it has arisen?” May be one day we will find out the answers to the questions that our most enlightened of ancestors asked. For that day to come, mankind has to keep exploring the heavens. At the same time, we must take care of where we live and we must not forget the earth.
Writer & Courtesy: The Pioneer