The first image of a black hole – does it look familiar to you?
The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration has managed to take the first picture of a black hole in human history. Not only is this a remarkable scientific feat it is also proof that collaboration will get you further than doing things on your own – a fellowship of scientists, so to speak. Now, the New York Times posted a description familiar to readers of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
Astronomers Capture First Image of a Black Hole
Or rather as the New York Times would have it:
The image, of a lopsided ring of light surrounding a dark circle deep in the heart of the galaxy known as Messier 87, some 55 million light-years away from here, resembled the Eye of Sauron, a reminder yet again of the power and malevolence of nature. It is a smoke ring framing a one-way portal to eternity. [Source.]
Now, I am not going to debate the looks of this “eye”:
The Eye was rimmed with fire, but was itself glazed, yellow as a cat’s, watchful and intent, and the black slit of its pupil opened on a pit, a window into nothing. [Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Bk. II, Chp. 7: The Mirror of Galadriel]
However, it is quite pleasant to see that people immediately jump at the connection.