Black holes, a mathematically defined region, are objects with gravitational pull so strong, that not even light can escape from its vicinity. They have been one of the most speculated objects in astronomy. But why are we so intrigued, ever since it’s first acknowledgement, by its existence and behavior? There’s one reason and its unnerving. It can swallow up our Earth pretty much the same way it gulps down light and other matter which happens to cross its way.
- They aren’t just empty ‘holes’
Black holes are not just black and surely not just ‘holes’. These are bottomless, ruthless objects that have density so great and gravity so fierce that neither matter nor electromagnetic radiations, can pass through, hence they are ‘black’ or invisible.
Even though they are several thousand times smaller than any of the Solar System planets, they have a mass several thousand times greater. They are said to form, when a super massive star (many times the size of the Sun) loses all it’s fuel and starts collapsing in upon itself until it reaches a point of singularity where everything is in one dimension and all the laws of physics break down.
- Things that enter the black hole, might not always perish
There are a number of theories elucidating what happens to a matter that enters the black hole. The concept of singularity, in which a massive star continues to collapse under it’s own gravity to produce a one dimension object, disappearing into singularity, defies the Theory of Relativity and Quantum Theory.
However, one of those theories tells of parallel universe. This model suggest that black holes are a tunnel to another universe. As far as this theory is concerned, our high-school lessons doesn’t lose their importance. Nothing gets lost in the universe. Nothing can be created or destroyed. Information and matter tunnel through the black hole to another universe, over space and time. The blockbuster “Interstellar” has made use of this finding. Scientists are constantly trying to explain the existence of black holes without the need of singularity.
- Infinite obesity
They are established at the core of almost every galaxy, gulping, swallowing and devouring everything that happens to be in the domain of their gravity (event horizon). These cool and dark objects can sometimes pull the outer surface of gases from stars to form an accretion disc around them. Merging of two black holes, swallowing up of stars, universal gases and dust contribute to its increasing mass. Stellar-mass black holes can eventually become supermassive ones.
Although these themselves refrain from growing infinitely by emitting enormous energy at the same time, ultramassive black holes can keep on growing given their extremely gargantuan size.
- Time and space act absurdly inside and around black hole
Space-time curves infinitely around black holes. That is, if you set out for a black-hole landing in your exceptionally high-powered spaceship, as you near the black hole you will notice something peculiar. The size of the black hole will seem to visually increase at a much faster rate than your decreasing distance from it.
Also, Gravitational time dilation can be observed. For example, if you happen to fall in a black hole across the event horizon (which is as unlikely as winning a lottery 10 times in a row), everything outside will seem to pace up, moving in a fast forward motion. Whereas, a person observing you from outside will watch you fall in a slow motion. This is concomitant with the Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, which states that a person on a space trip will age at a slower rate that the people on Earth.
- Falling into black holes can do funny things to you before you die
And by funny, I mean grotesque and dreadful. You will fall freely at first. The the tip of you toe and your head will experience an exceptionally considerable difference in gravity. Your body will stretch out and the extreme tidal force will “spaghettify” your body before ripping you apart. Then under the fierce gravitational force you will be crushed and squeezed into infinite density.
- That will be the moment of singularity. One-dimension. Nothing can be predicted beyond that. All the laws of Physics fail. Possibility of survival would be zero and you will irrevocably sink into oblivion.