October 5th, 2019| Topic: RaMbLeS | 2


Sagittarius A* (aka Sgr A*; pronounced “Sagittarius-A-Star”) has been the focal point for astronomers for many decades. That entity is a huge black hole (“supermassive black hole”) somewhere in the center of our own galaxy, close the Sagittarius constellation, 26,000 light years away.

[Black holes are areas that have such a strong gravitational force that nothing escapes from them, not particle, not even light.]

Of late, Sgr A* has been consuming far more than usual of its victims—interstellar gas and dust, declare the authors of “Unprecedented Near-infrared Brightness and Variability of Sgr A*” in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

And no one knows why.

Andrea Ghez, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy and co-senior author on the paper, confessed:

We have never seen anything like this in the 24 years we have studied the supermassive black hole. It’s usually a pretty quiet, wimpy black hole on a diet. We don’t know what is driving this big feast.”

The researchers analyzed more than 13,000 observations of the black hole gathered by observatories in Hawaii and Chile. A recent image showed that the area just outside the black hole’s “point of no return” was twice as bright as the next-brightest image. (Brightness = the radiation produced when the black hole consumes gas and dust; the greater the glow, the more the hole is eating.)

“Unprecedented” claimed the title of the paper.

Another senior co-author on the paper, Mark Morris, also of UCLA, said:

The big question is whether the black hole is entering a new phase—for example if the spigot has been turned up and the rate of gas falling down the black hole ‘drain’ has increased for an extended period—or whether we have just seen the fireworks from a few unusual blobs of gas falling in.”

Sgr A*’s brightness is known to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis, but they were stunned by what they observed this May.

Lead author Tuan Do of UCLA:

The first image I saw that night, the black hole was so bright I initially mistook it for the star S0-2 [a nearby star], because I had never seen Sagittarius A* that bright. But it quickly became clear the source had to be the black hole, which was really exciting.”

Whatever is going on, we are assured by the scientists that Sgr A*, 26,000 light years away from us, poses absolutely no threat to the earth. It would have to emit radiation levels 10 times as bright as what was observed in May to affect life on earth.

We, too, have our own black holes—the flesh that is part of all of us, not the blood and bones and brains and stuff, but that part of each believer that is antithetical to Christlikeness. And this flesh is a consuming “black hole.”

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:
immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities,
strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these ….
Galatians 5:19–21

And so, we must stay away from our black holes.

But I say, walk by the Spirit,
and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16

That’s to be drawn into a “light” hole, that emits …

… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control.
Galatians 5:22–23

The fruit of the Spirit.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Romans 13:14

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers
to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
1 Peter 2:11


StudyFinds; UCLA; Astrophysical Letters


  1. D Morgan October 8, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Nice metaphor for our ugly non-Christlike selves. Christ is the thing that allows us to escape the power of our black hole. Amazing grace!


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