We sat at the edge of the Black Hole. Science had led us here, and had afforded the trip as well. Although we were many, many thousands of light years distance from it, it was the clearest view anyone would ever get of it, at least until another flight could be paid for.
We watched for what seemed like an endless time, seeing some stars fly towards it, then continue across the opening and escape into the void of space once again, almost as though it hadn’t been influenced by the Black Hole at all. There was a deviation that only the instruments could detect, but it made no sense. Instead of curving towards the Black Hole, passing over its opening, the trap of unavoidable gravity, they curved outward and continued on their way.
Sometimes sparks flew as a larger star attempted to enter the funnel of light meant for all matter, all light. The sudden array of flashing galaxies suddenly caught his awareness. He pulled his head away from the telescope and observed it directly through the viewing window in the side of the spaceship. Incidentally, to call it a window was very misleading. Aside from equipment, nearly the whole surface of the ship could be seen through easily. The transparent aluminum had been perfected many years ago and was standard in most modern space flying vehicles. This was certainly one of those.
“Here. Try these.” He was goaded with a nudge into his shoulder. A pair of glasses with large, but thin lenses was dropped into his hands as he lifted them to catch it. The first thing he noticed was that the lens itself was totally blackened. He wondered what he could possibly do with them in this condition.
“To do what with?” he asked sarcastically. Without an answer, he lifted them into the air and peered at them at arm’s length. Seeing that no light was getting through them, he swung his upper body back and forth, raising and lowering the glasses in a search for something that could be seen penetrate the lenses; an intense ceiling light, a control panel of varied colored lights, but nothing shown through the glasses.
“Ah, there it is.” His view had brought him to facing the black hole once more. The amplification was easily ten-fold. Suddenly he could see sparkles of light coming out of a huge glow at such a long distance. It was amazing that he could see a tremendously huge planet’s dissolution as it became submerged into a blackness that surrounded it.
“Black Hole one, planet zero.” He gave the score to the others who must be viewing the same thing. But then he could see it again as it reemerged, this time a black, probably crispy ball of what was once a planet. Yet, as he studied it closer, straining his eyes to make it out at the incredible distance, he could tell that there was a difference between it’s black surface, and that of the material around it. At best it was closer to the blackness of a bat’s wing, dark, but not as intense as pitch, without the shine of course. The blackness around the planet, both before and after its disappearance, was more like the total absence of any light that it had disappeared into. It was expected of a Black Hole.
He lost sight of it then and swept the glasses off of his face to look closely at them once more. “What’s this? He asked as he felt a small button in the upper corner where the face of the glasses met the arm that goes behind the ear. He ran his fingertip across it several times, feeling the smoothness of it, a slight pimple of height over the rest of the glasses. Turning the glasses over in front of himself, he looked and saw that the button was also red. He watched his finger attempt to depress it, but if it moved at all, it was too slight to be seen by his naked eyes.
“These were made for another purpose.” Came the answer from another observer. “back when they were going to use them for looking at lasers. Something called a black laser I think it was.” he was informed. “Undoubtedly it wouldn’t have any effect on this observance.” He thought as he pressed on the button one more, seemingly futile time. It made him wonder why he was given them if they were completely useless. He wondered what the distance was across light years for a ten-fold amplification, but over the distance they were looking, it made very little difference to his eyes.
Balancing them above his eyes, on his forehead, looking under them until he located the black hole out in space, he finally dropped them into his view when he had his head aligned with it’s direction. They slid into place and he waited until something became visible. He fretted that he might have ruined them with his fiddling, as it took a long time to adjust. His eyes were completely unable to see for quite a while so much as a crack of light around the padded lenses that pressed onto the skin around his eyes.
“What’s this?” showing his surprise when something began appearing. Noting the surprise in his voice, the others slipped their glasses up and turned to see where he was looking. The black hole was at such a distance, nothing could be determined about the angle that he was staring into, and they dropped their glasses back down over their eyes once again.
“Holy Cow!!” he said suddenly. He craned his neck forward to attempt even a better view, but of course, the inch he moved hardly made a difference in the overall distance. “This is incredible!!” he told the others. They jerked their glasses off once more, but were still disappointed that they could tell nothing by looking at him. Reluctantly, they put the glasses on once more, staring into them the whole while they put them to their faces and tightened them against the foam padding to make them free of any stray light coming from outside of the lenses.
“Holy Cow!” he repeated.
“What? What?” they returned impatiently, showing their frustrations. He stared for a long time without alleviating their difficulties. They stared on, hoping something would come into focus.
“It’s full and running over the edge.” He said without explanation. Suddenly he realized that he must have triggered the change in the glasses that made his discovery observable. “Press the button on the frame of the glasses.” He said quickly, then returned to his own observations.
After a while he heard several quickly drawn breaths, indications that they had found what he had finally. “That’s incredible.” Became the response most often quoted. Eventually there was another “Holy cow.” mixed in.
“That must be dark matter?” the brainiest of all the observers suggested. “Things aren’t just disappearing into the Black Hole, but are also being obscured and destroyed by their interaction with the dark matter inside of it.” He went on explaining what they were all seeing.
They watched in silence for a long time while several planets and a couple galaxies dove into the mass of blackness, now viewed as white with the flipping of the lenses of the glasses. Great sparks would fly outward, away from the Hole itself, then be pulled back in by the gravity of it. But sometimes it wasn’t withdrawn from sight as much as it disappeared behind the flowing, bubbling action of the dark material bulging out of the mouth of the Black Hole. Guessing that the shape of the of the black hole itself was sort of a funnel, he likened it to a cornucopia that was completely full of the lens-whitened material that was actually dark matter as it was being produced to excess and being forced into the void of space with nowhere else to go.
Some material of the galaxies combined with it, causing both to disappear with these glasses on, some careened off of it and escaped back into space, while the dark matter continued to bubble out of it’s open-ended wormhole.
“That pretty much ends our hopes of using Black Holes as wormholes to distance parts of the universe.” He observed with melancholy. The whole effort to create time travel was to get within viewing distance of a black hole so that it could be evaluated for long distance, or should it be said, long time travels. “I guess we’re stuck with the current level of speed.” He sighed.
He thought about how long they had worked, how hard it was to create time travel in order to get to the black hole, now it was all for naught. Even Dark matter was somewhat useless since they had also harnessed it somewhat in their efforts to get here. All they had really discovered was the functioning of a Black Hole, now very limited in its usefulness.
“Oh well, I guess that’s science.” was concluded with another sigh. “Sometimes you hit water, sometimes just sand.” he said to an annoyed group. No one had a clue what the hell he was talking about and began considering the trip back to good ol’ planet Earth.