Arcade Fire Introduce The First Photo Of The Sagittarius A* Black Hole By Playing Their Song Named After It

Today is a particularly good day to be an Arcade Fire fan: They performed a cover of Harry Styles’ “As It Was” that was unveiled today and now they’re also doing some space stuff.

In the center of our Milky Way galaxy is Sagittarius A*, a supermassive black hole. (More accurately, “Sagittarius A*” is the name of the location of the black hole.) The funny thing about black holes is that it’s pretty darn hard for stuff to escape their strong gravity. That includes light, which makes them tough to photograph. Today, though, astronomers revealed the first-ever photo of the Sagittarius A* black hole, a major scientific achievement.

Arcade Fire, a Canadian rock band that didn’t previously have a noted association with the scientific community, comes into play because their new album We has a song called “End Of The Empire IV (Sagittarius A*).” So, at the European Southern Observatory’s introductory press conference about the photo, the band performed the We song.

Win Butler wrote in a post about the black hole:

“There is so much that we don’t understand about ourselves; our minds, our planet, our solar system.

When I first read about Sagittarius A*, the super massive black hole that sits in the center of our galaxy, it felt symbolic of all we seek to understand about ourselves, and yet fail to fully grasp…

And today, WE know a little bit more, thanks to the collaboration of a vast network of telescopes and scientists all over the world. A testament to what we can accomplish together as humanity…

Perhaps ‘We’ll see one day, what’s on the other side.’

Thank you so much [European Southern Observatory] for the invitation to perform, it was an honor.


Check out a clip of the performance below.