Sky & Telescope



  1. tell us what the image is (hopefully there is a caption or explanation in the magazine)

I chose to go with Sky & Telescope because as in previous posts I have talked about my love of space. The magazine image that I chose depicts a supermassive black hole that is surrounded by galaxies circling it.

  1. tell us your own thoughts.

My first thought that came to mind when looking at this cover is emptiness, If you think how big and how far apart each of those galaxies are from one another, then you put in perspective how HUGE the black hole is in the center of the image I can only imagine how massive it is. The article is focusing on what  dark matter is and how we could obtain dark energy from it. Dark energy is a form of energy that is crafted from dark matter. This process is yet to be discovered but we believe that we can harness the dark energy of the universe.

  1. tell us the reaction from the stranger.

“it’s pretty. dark matter sounds scary and every time i hear about dark matter I feel uncomfortable”

The reaction that I got was interesting, They were at first awed by the beauty of the picture, how it represented something so immensely huge, but then they decided how it was kind of scary and how the idea of dark matter sounds scary to them and how anytime they hear about it, they feel comfortable.

  1. tell us about the stranger (male? female? approximate age? major? or anything else you find interesting about the person)

I picked at random. my stranger was female in her 20s and focused on math. So I figured a perfect candidate to review these.

  1. how did your reaction differ or was it similar to the stranger?

I was very surprised by the reaction that I got from Kristina. Our reactions differed so much. I was very intrigued by the image and what it represented whereas for her she was frightened by the unexplained. It goes to show how different from one another people can see the universe.


2 thoughts on “Sky & Telescope

  1. Hi Ryan,
    I really like your post and I completely agree with the stranger you had review the image. When I first saw this image I thought it was something that had been photoshopped, I didn’t think a black hole looked like that. I guess it’s in the name, but to see how it’s literally a black circle is kind of amazing. I agree with Kristina, the image is very interesting but it’s frightening to not have a large amount of information on it.

  2. I liked the contrast between the two reactions to the image. The reactions are definitely explained by your two different backgrounds and levels of understanding of the subject matter. It seems like you looked at the image very analytically, being someone who is very interested in space. You used your prior understanding to identify what was in the image and to marvel at the impressive science behind it. On the other hand, the person you showed the image to didn’t seem to have as much knowledge and reacted accordingly. She seemed to react in two different ways, but both were more emotional responses than yours was. Identifying the aesthetic appeal of the colors of the image was one of her reactions, which is definitely a natural emotional response. Also, she expressed her fear of the subject matter. Being intimidated by the image is also a fairly natural reaction for someone to have about science they do not understand.

    I think my understanding and interest in space is somewhere between yours and the person you showed it to. Therefore, I think I have a mix of the two reactions. I do find the image visually appealing, but also can accept the impressive science behind it.

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