You've probably seen the above image everywhere today. The first ever photograph of a black hole. BFD right? It looks like a blurry SpeghettiO smashed against the side of a can. Wrong.
Up until day, the evidence for black holes was indirect. Scientists could see their gravitational influence from the way stars behaved, or from gravitational waves which were only recently detected. But today was the first time in human history that a black hole had been observed.
This sucker is enormous. It exists about 55 million light-years away and could comfortably fit our entire solar system. It's hard to wrap your head around it, but I'm here to give you four fun facts you can "well actually..." your friends with this weekend. And what feels better than flexing on your friends with knowledge. Not a whole lot.
1. Black holes are dead stars
You've probably heard that when our sun dies, it'll swell up to a red giant and vaporize the inner planets before exploding. Pleasant. But that's not what happens with massive stars much larger than our sun. Once their fuel runs out, they collapse under their own gravity. The remaining matter is flung into space and what remains is a singularity of infinite density.
2. Time is bonkers near a black hole
The larger an object is, the more gravity it has. The more gravity an object has, the slower time moves. Think of it like this. You and three of your friends are holding a bed sheet by the corners. The sheet is the spacetime fabric. Someone drops a ping pong ball in the center of your sheet. That represents Earth. The sheet slightly warps. Now imagine someone drops a 100 lb iron ball in the middle of your sheet. The spacetime fabric would severely warp compared to the ping pong ball. So if you were unlucky enough to be falling into a black hole, time would move much slower for you compared to your luckier friends back on Earth.
3. There's a super massive black hole at the center of our galaxy
Has anyone seen it? No. We're at a bad angle. But we can see its influence in the behavior of surrounding stars. Not too worry. We're way too far away to get sucked in. You can go back to worrying about everything that can kill you on this planet alone.
4. Two of them crashed into each other a billion years ago, and we heard it in 2015
You may remember the big news a few years back about gravitational waves. Well what happened was a team of astrophysicists built two facilities to detect gravitational waves which hadn't been observed before. Basically they turned the machines on and BAM! Event detected. The waves rippling through spacetime were the result of a violent collision between two black holes over a billion light-years away. It even recorded the noise it made!
1. Captain Marvel rescues Tony and Gamora
Who else would do it? Tony and Gamora are trapped on a crippled Guardian’s ship. Captain Marvel can blast through space effortlessly. She tracks their emergency beacon and brings the ship back to Earth. This one is quick, easy, and gets Iron Man back with the gang to help solve the Thanos problem.
2. A battle with take place within the Soul Stone
I don’t really know how this one would work. But if all the snapped souls are contained within the stone, you’d have to get them out somehow, right? Could the Avengers use the Quantum Realm to travel into the stone and free everyone who was snapped? We’ve seen Thanos inside the soul stone talking to a young Gamora after the snap. So the idea that the stones contain their own dimension isn’t unheard of. The soul stone could be a paradox or a theoretical wormhole where it’s bigger in the inside than on the outside. Or it’s just a movie so shut up, Joe.
3. Captain Marvel travels back in time and steals the infinity gauntlet from Thanos during the Battle of New York
I know… I know… The Infinity Gauntlet is massive. It’s not proportional to Captain Marvel at all. It’s designed to fit the hand of an 8-foot eternal, not Carol Danvers. That’s where this theory doesn’t hold much weight. But the point is if Captain Marvel travels back to the Battle of New York, she could zip through the tesseract’s opening, find Thanos, and steal the Infinity Gauntlet before he has the chance to collect any stones. Thanos would then follow her back to Earth where Captain Marvel and the surviving Avengers are waiting for him. Which brings in my next theory...
4. We’ll get one gigantic battle with all the Avengers against Thanos
The Avengers use time travel to bring Thanos back to right before the snap. But instead of Thanos having the Infinity Gauntlet, Captain Marvel controls it. And because the timeline sifted, Captain Marvel has all the stones instead of Thanos. Every Avenger is present (some script magic would have to be sprinkled in to get the Guardians, Spider-Man, and Dr. Strange back but that’s for fancy Hollywood folks to figure out.) This theory is littered with holes. But you have to imagine with how loved the Civil War airport battle is, and how retweeted the Thor entrance in the Battle of Wakanda is, there’s going to be a massive battle involving nearly every MCU hero.
5. Professor Hulk doesn’t play a big role in reversing the snap, but Bruce is stuck in that form forever.
This is my cynical marketing side here. I think Marvel Studios got the George Lucas playbook and are only changing Hulk’s look to sell more toys. I’m not familiar with Professor Hulk and what purpose he serves in the comics. All I know is he has the physical side of Hulk, but the personallity of Bruce Banner. He’s basically a green Dolph Lundgren.
While Professor Hulk hasn’t been confirmed or seen in the trailers, stills have leaked that suggest he's in Endgame. It would also give reason for Bruce’s Hulk-tile dysfunction in Infinity War. Plus Bruce Banner has admitted to being afraid of turning into Hulk and never coming back. Maybe the tradeoff for balancing brains and braun is Professor Hulk as the permanent state of Bruce? I don’t know what purpose that serves the movie other than an extremely baritone Mark Ruffalo explaining science to the gang followed by punching aliens? I’m very intrigued by Professor Hulk. I hope I’m wrong. But I feel like his only purpose is to push more Endgame merch.
6. Captain Marvel kills Thanos
This is this most obvious guess. Maybe not exactly Carol Danvers turning the stones on Thanos, but it’s the idea that she is the only one strong enough to kill him.
With the all the stones in his possession, Thanos is essentially immortal. Any injury he sustains can easily be reversed with the Time Stone. Then bingo bango bongo, he’s back at full strength. However, in Infinity War when Thor throws Stormbreaker and hits Thanos in the chest, his last words before the snap were, “You should have gone for the head.” Going back to my earlier prediction, Captain Marvel now controls the Infinity Stones. Thor yellls for her to aim at his head as a callback and she’ll blast his face to hell with the full power of the stones.
7. Maybe nobody kills Thanos
I don’t think Thanos is getting out of this alive. But a fate worse than death is endless isolation on Thanos Farm knowing he failed at his destiny. We know time travel is part of Endgame. So do the Avengers travel back to the Battle of New York and destroy the tesseract? That would prevent Thanos from teleporting through space to collect the other stones. It’s possible, but would be pretty underwhelming for the audience.
8. Gamora and Nebula get their revenge
I would be shocked if this one happened because it’s too obvious for the Russo brothers. But they focused a ton on the broken relationship of Thanos and Gamora during Infinity War. Endgame would be weird if it breezed over him killing his own daughter in the last movie.
It’s a popular theory that Gamora’s spirit lives in the Soul Stone. So if the Avengers could get the Soul Stone from Thanos, and reverse the snap, Gamora would rejoin the living. Then her and Nebula attack a weaker Thanos, killing him with the balancing blade he once gifted Gamora. It would be an opportunity to wrap up the subplot of Infinity War, but it’s too predictable for a cinematic universe this complex.
9. The post-credit scene will be our first look at the X-Men introduced into the MCU
This one is a huge stretch. The Disney acquisition of 21st Century Fox was only completed on March 20th of this year. That is an impossibly tight window to film and edit a famous Marvel post-credit scene. If you’re not familiar with the deal, Disney now owns the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool franchises. Deadpool is the only one making the cut, but X-Men and Fantastic Four are getting total reboots. People would lose their goddamn minds if the post-credit scene was something like this:
The shot pans across a snowy Canadian forest. The snap has been reversed and we see a pile of ash start to coalesce. The shot zooms in and we see the shape of a hand. The shot zooms in even further. Then out of the resurrected hand, three metal claws quickly extend and the screen goes black.
It’s possible, but highly unlikely. My guess is there’s probably some legal challenges that kept the Russo brothers from working on any 21st Century Fox IP until after March 20th. But what else could the post-credit scene be? We see Peter Parker get his passport photo taken at CVS? Every post-credit scene in the MCU has lead to Endgame. Spider-Man Far From Home is the only MCU movie in post-production. Everything else hasn’t even begun filming yet.
Endgame is probably going to make $2 billion and Disney knows it. They’re not going to end the most ambitious crossover event in cinematic history with an underwhelming post-credit scene. Whatever they give us, it’s going to create so much speculation for the next phase of the MCU.
I write the words I'm too uncomfortable to say.