In early December, astronomers announced in Nature that they discovered a massive, ancient black hole with a mass of 800 million times that of the sun. This black hole, which is approximately 13 billion light-years away, powers up a galactic nucleus called a quasar — one of the brightest objects in the universe — and may offer scientists an unprecedented look at what the early universe looked like. It’s super cool and it’s super overwhelming, even for actor Chris Evans, who, as an enormously famous man who’s become synonymous with Captain America, should be used to this kind of thing.
On Monday, Evans, a seemingly lovely person with eyes like the sea after a storm, tweeted out a video on the black hole with a single comment — “There’s so much going on all the time” — letting us all into his personal expanding brain moment.
Yeah, dude. Just look at what’s happened in the science world over the past 24 hours.
In the past week, we’ve learned that Apple watches have the potential to help cancer patients, that window blinds are a human health hazard, and that anthropologists think it’s time to rethink our “out of Africa” origin story.
With the news cycle constantly streaming information and punditry on political events and cultural developments, it’s easy to forget that there’s also a consistent flow of new information coming from the science world. That’s also probably why it’s easier for the government to sneak in budget cuts to science departments around the country. Learning about a giant, God-like black hole isn’t going to change your day-to-day in the same way a local election does, but it is big and beautiful and important because, as Evans illustrated today, it gives us a better perspective on what it means to be human. There is so much going on all the time — and we only know the half of it.