Social media exploded in cries of “Galactus!” — the planet-consuming Marvel Comics villain — on Monday when news spread of a heartbeat being detected in a mysterious cosmic gas cloud 15,000 light-years from Earth in the system designated S 433.
“The cloud – which is otherwise unremarkable – seems to be ‘beating’ along with the rhythm of a neighbouring black hole, researchers say. As such, they appear to be connected to each other, the researchers write in a new journal paper,” according to The Independent. “But it is not clear how the gamma-ray ‘heartbeat’ of the cloud can be connected to the black hole, which lies 100 light years away.”
While the actual science behind what might be causing the mysterious heartbeat is less fantastical than Galactus, that didn’t prevent Twitter from exclaiming that the cosmic Marvel supervillain was on his way to make 2020 even more of a terrible year.
Here are a smattering of “Galactus!” responses:
So September 2020 is Galactus https://t.co/Ta0LQvxrVK
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) August 17, 2020
— Nerd Truth (@NerdTruth) August 17, 2020
WHY DO WE LIVE IN THE SAME TIMELINE AS CLOUD GALACTUS OUT OF ALL GALACTUSES https://t.co/y6jVHaGWkC
— Grace (@GracefuISpider) August 17, 2020
OH SWEET Galactus is coming! https://t.co/JXuruO5sOX
— Al Creed (@AlCreed) August 17, 2020
Although depicted in Marvel Comics as a planet-sized armored humanoid form, Galactus was infamously portrayed as a sentient cloud entity in the 2007 movie Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Look, it could always be worse than Galactus. It could be the giant diarrhea space cloud Parallax from Green Lantern.
But, really, what is the deal with that cloud? One theory about this “heartbeat” is that the rhythm is tied to material drawn away by the black hole from the giant star orbiting it, matter shot out at high speed in two narrow jets.“Finding such an unambiguous connection via timing, about 100 light years away from the micro quasar, not even along the direction of the jets is as unexpected as amazing,” said researcher Jian Li. “But how the black hole can power the gas cloud’s heartbeat is unclear to us.”
For more on the classic baddie, who ranked #17 on our list of Top 25 Marvel villains, learn why Galactus shouldn’t be the MCU’s next big villain.
The Top 25 Marvel Villains