© Charles Chandler
Future generations will look back and snicker at the fictional presentations of today's astronomers. Gravity can become so powerful that it can warp space and time itself, and break all of the other laws of physics? Sailors used to tell stories of huge sea serpents, and vortexes in the ocean that could swallow ships whole. It made great entertainment, until everybody realized that the active ingredient was their own gullibility. Now it's time that we inform those who explore outer space that fantastic stories are fun for a while, but sooner or later, somebody is going to stand up and say, "That just doesn't make sense. Do you really expect us to believe that?" And with the passage of time, somehow later became sooner, and then sooner became today.
Meanwhile, new data keeps coming in, and people who want answers keep trying to make sense of it all. Now the tireless efforts of rationalists all over the world are beginning to accumulate, and we're starting to get a glimpse of how plausible physics can explain the rich diversity of the heavens.