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black holes

NASA Goddard/Youtube

Pictured is Black hole TON 618, which contains more than 60 billion solar masses.

It’s almost impossible to really comprehend just how tiny the whole of humanity is against the enormously vast universe. But every so often, thanks to folks at NASA, we get jaw-dropping, awe-inspired video proof of it.

On May 3, NASA released an animated video to YouTube highlighting ten known supermassive black holes scattered throughout the cosmos, comparing their various sizes to familiar celestial bodies in our own solar system.

Noting the utter enormity of these fascinating objects, NASA wrote, “These monsters lurk in the centers of most big galaxies, including our own Milky Way, and contain between 100,000 and tens of billions of times more mass than our Sun.”

In just under 90 seconds, we take a journey through space with these galactic behemoths, starting with a black hole named J1601+3113, containing the mass of 100,000 suns, and ending with TON 618, which contains more than 60 billion solar masses.


Awestruck? Terrified? A bit of both? You’re not alone. That was the general consensus in the comments section.

“Just swallowed my brain.”

“We are nothing in this universe but we still have so much ego to be proud of and fight for material things....”


“Chills. Bravo!”

“Nobody knows anything anymore.....We're literally ants.”

“Mind blown overwhelmed and scary.”

Everyone might have a general concept of what a black hole is, but in many ways these phenomena remain a mystery. Catching real glimpses of their actual power is a rare, profound and often humbling experience. Same could probably be said of most space matters.

It can be so easy to get caught up in the constant dilemmas in our own world (out of necessity, much of the time). Sometimes all it takes is a larger view to infuse a little more awe back into our lives.