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Of gargantuan discoveries...

Friday, April 12, 2019

As our readers would know by now, the first-ever photos of a black hole (in astronomical terms) were out recently in the media. Computer scientist, Katie Bouman, 29, is the woman who is credited with developing the algorithm that made photographing the black hole possible with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) -- a network of eight linked telescopes that spanned a 10,000 km diameter. From our (somewhat culinary) perception of it, the black hole seems like a luminescent golden doughnut surrounded by darkness -- though we’re sure that there exist better ways to describe it. But what’s even better is that there are some quick-witted citizens and organisations out there who have humorously used the image to their advantage. Mumbai Police, for example, immediately employed an adapted version of the image as an anti-drugs warning. The smart lot among Mumbai Police photoshopped a white line (representing a well-known drug) leading to a black hole with the caption: “That white line leads to a black hole. Don’t follow it. #SayNoToDrugs.” Industrialist Anand Mahindra, on the other hand, jested: “One of the theories of the origin of our Universe is that it was born out of a black hole... So in the end, we are all inheritors of an intergalactic dunkin donuts franchise....” When one of Anand’s South Indian social media followers protested that the black hole looked like “a giant (medu) wada” instead, the industrialist riposted cleverly: “A thousand apologies. Wada it is. And the cosmic soup is a giant Sambar bowl.” Woohoo!

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