Song composed for 3rd imaging workshop of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.
Charts #19 today
Charts #2 in subgenre today
2020 by Alan Marscher
May 15, 2020
Story behind the song
I was asked to compose and perform a song summarizing our experiences trying to make images of the hot plasma surround the black hole (called Sag A*, short for Sagittarius A*) at the center of our Galaxy. The workshop was unique because it occurred during the COVID-19 self-isolation period, so we all worked from home and met via Zoom.
Separated in isolated homes, scattered across the worlds time zones
Bent over a computer on our desk, we concentrate on the daunting task
To make images from noisy uv data, we need the results now, not later
To present what we produce in our room to our colleagues meeting via Zoom
Sag A*, Sag A*, please reveal just what you are
We're exhausted trying to figure out, but don't want to leave any doubt
About exactly what each image shows; are we seeing the distant glow
Of plasma dancing around the shadow as it falls toward the central black hole?
Yes, we're dancing around the shadow of our own ignorance
Can the data be trusted, or are they insufficient evidence?
When the brightness keeps changing and patterns keep rearranging
Is it the dynamics of the emission or a bad self-calibration decision
That creates a ring with bright blobs that appear to dance?
[Chorus] [2 times]
Ending: toward the central black hole