What the Scientists Who Photographed the Black Hole Like to Read
April 25, 2019 7:40 AM   Subscribe

"We had decided that at each telescope we would play a song of our choosing for the final minutes." Rebekah Frumkin talks to Team Black Hole about life, the universe, and everything.
posted by princessmonster (5 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
n. the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all, about the world or the past or the complexities of culture, because although your life is an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one, and may end up being the control for a much wilder experiment happening in the next room.
posted by zamboni at 7:59 AM on April 25 [6 favorites]

Now I'm reminded of a 1978 anthology of sf stories about black holes, Jerry Pournelle ed.
posted by doctornemo at 10:38 AM on April 25

I imagine that Carl Sagan would have approved of that piece. Thanks for posting!
posted by simra at 9:42 PM on April 25

> At the Submillimeter Telescope in Arizona, where I was observing, we picked Muse’s “Supermassive Black Hole,” which we thought was a fitting song for the final minutes of recording for our experiment.

This is fitting! And such a good song.

And catchy. It got stuck in my head often when the picture was in the news.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:40 AM on April 26

I used to regularly log into servers at a telescope that had the greeting message "powered by alt rock." Most of it wasn't really my thing, though colleagues there did introduce be to both Girl Talk and Deerhoof, for which I am grateful. I'm guessing they had to turn off the already playing soundtrack to put on a specific album.

Also, it seems like the best advice regarding black holes in fiction is to spend 10 minutes talking to someone who knows a little bit about them, or at least carefully read a Wikipedia article, before spending millions on a special effects budget that will make every physicist in your audience cringe.
posted by eotvos at 8:48 AM on April 28

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