Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Could a Black Hole Really Swallow the Earth?

Has a person ever fallen into a Black Hole? Could a Black Hole swallow the Earth?
These are common questions asked about Black Holes. The biggest question, and a great starting point is : what is a Black Hole?

Let's answer it! A Black Hole isn't much like a hole really. Black Holes are objects in space that are made from stars. Imagine a random star in space. Stars are massive balls of burning gas, like the Sun. The Sun is 109 times larger than Earth. These are big objects people! Now take these giant stars and mush them down to something the size of say a basket ball. This makes these stars really thick and dense inside. Because of this, they have a ton of gravity. All of the gravity they had before has to exist in that little basket ball we have now. In fact, weird things start to happen. Black Holes can pull objects in toward them. These objects that are sucked in are exposed to very complicated physics, some of which are not entirely understood. To put the force of gravity into perspective, not even light can escape a black hole. Their gravity is so intense that light gets sucked right into them. This is why they are known as Black Holes. They eat up all the light, making them invisible to the human eye.

Well can a Black Hole swallow Earth? Hypothetically, a Black Hole could swallow Earth up. Luckily for us, we don't have a Black Hole nearby. The Sun is a fairly small star, and it will never be able to become a Black Hole. A Black Hole called V404 Cygni is thought to be about 7,800 light years awayThat means if you went the speed of light, you would reach V404 in 7800 years. We have plenty of space, fortunately.

Has a person ever fallen into a Black Hole? Another fortunate answer :  no. Humans have never approached a Black Hole. If we were to get up near a Black Hole, we would get to a place called the Event Horizon first. This is basically your no going back point. At the Event Horizon, very weird things happen. There are things being sucked into the Black Hole, and energy being shot out of two ends.  A human would certainly die at this point, if not before. Its not entirely clear as to what would happen though.

That's our first post! We hope you enjoy.
Black Holes are thought to lie in the center of galaxies, 
The gravity of Black Holes can even begin to consume stars or other large objects in space.

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