Chandra Observation of the Gorgon's Head in Perseus
Credit: NASA/IoA/A.Fabian et al.

The Tell-Tale Hole

Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story. The Universe is a dark place. And though your screams recede unheard, there are grim monsters howling through the darkness, whose screams we can see. The grim visage you see before you in the blackness, as black as pitch with the thick darkness, is the cry of the beast. And those two eye-less sockets staring blindly, with a hideous veil over it that chills to the very marrow. And a gibbering maw, grinning with secret satisfaction. This demonic visage was first seen by the Chandra Observatory, that watched silently over 53 long hours. You should have seen how wisely they proceeded -- with what caution -- with what foresight, with what dissimulation they went to work! As, drop by drop, the image slowly built itself, opening the door to the secrets of the Universe, little by little. Not light but Sound, rather; A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND -- the beating of a hideous, supermassive black hole producing an acoustic ripple through an entire cluster of galaxies. It grew louder -- louder -- louder! And still the observers chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? No, no? They heard! -- they suspected! -- they saw! -- they now KNEW!
Published: October 31, 2011

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Monday, 31-Oct-2016 11:11:55 EDT