In the stellar remnants of a supernova, however, there are no longer forces to oppose that gravity, so the star core begins to collapse in on itself. If its mass collapses into an infinitely small point, a black hole is born.
As black holes evaporate, they get smaller and smaller and their event horizons get uncomfortably close to the central singularities. In the final moments of black holes' lives, the gravity becomes too strong, and the black holes become too small, for us to properly describe them with our current knowledge.
So planets could potentially form around black holes, but that's no guarantee that they offer a life-friendly environment. On Earth, living things are hugely dependent on the light and warmth from the Sun to survive. Without the glow of a star, life around a black hole would likely need an alternative source of energy.
Astronomers using a small telescope on top of California's Mt Palomar, outside of San Diego, have detected not one but two examples of a new type of supernova explosion, witnessing, possibly for the first time, the birth of black holes.
It required a planet-spanning network of radio dishes. That telescope network is called the Event Horizon Telescope, or EHT. It also produced the first image of a black hole, released in 2019. That object sits at the center of the galaxy M87.
Near a black hole, the slowing of time is extreme. From the viewpoint of an observer outside the black hole, time stops. For example, an object falling into the hole would appear frozen in time at the edge of the hole.
It is possible for two black holes to collide. Once they come so close that they cannot escape each other's gravity, they will merge to become one bigger black hole. Such an event would be extremely violent.
The fate of anyone falling into a black hole would be a painful “spaghettification,” an idea popularized by Stephen Hawking in his book “A Brief History of Time.” In spaghettification, the intense gravity of the black hole would pull you apart, separating your bones, muscles, sinews and even molecules.
But don't expect a black hole to disappear any time soon. It takes a shockingly long time for a black hole to shed all of its mass as energy via Hawking radiation. It would take 10100 years, or a googol, for a supermassive black hole to fully disappear.
Once inside the black hole's event horizon, matter will be torn apart into its smallest subatomic components and eventually be squeezed into the singularity. As the singularity accumulates more and more matter, the size of the black hole's event horizon increases proportionally.
Black holes are dark, dense regions in space where the pull of gravity is so strong that nothing can escape. Not even light can get out of these regions. That is why we cannot see black holes—they are invisible to our eyes. Because nothing can get out of black holes, physicists struggle understanding these objects.
Since nothing can escape from the gravitational force of a black hole, it was long thought that black holes are impossible to destroy. But we now know that black holes actually evaporate, slowly returning their energy to the Universe.
Eventually, the entire contents of the universe will be crushed together into an impossibly tiny space – a singularity, like a reverse Big Bang. Different scientists give different estimates of when this contraction phase might begin. It could be billions of years away yet.
Wormholes are shortcuts in spacetime, popular with science fiction authors and movie directors. They've never been seen, but according to Einstein's general theory of relativity, they might exist.
One hour for a black hole observer would equate to 100,000,000 years for a person on Earth. Therefore one minute in a black hole would be roughly 1,700,000 years.
The singularity at the center of a black hole is the ultimate no man's land: a place where matter is compressed down to an infinitely tiny point, and all conceptions of time and space completely break down. And it doesn't really exist. Something has to replace the singularity, but we're not exactly sure what.
Beyond the Black Hole is a computer game developed by The Software Toolworks and published in 1989 for the Commodore 64, Commodore 128, and MS-DOS, as well as for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990 under the name Orb-3D.
Located just under 1,600 light-years away, the discovery suggests there might be a sizable population of dormant black holes in binary systems. The black hole Gaia BH1, seen in this artist's concept near its Sun-like companion star, is the closest black hole to Earth discovered so far.
Scientists can't directly observe black holes with telescopes that detect x-rays, light, or other forms of electromagnetic radiation. We can, however, infer the presence of black holes and study them by detecting their effect on other matter nearby.
“We have images for two black holes — one at the large end and one at the small end of supermassive black holes in the Universe — so we can go a lot further in testing how gravity behaves in these extreme environments than ever before.”
If you leapt heroically into a stellar-mass black hole, your body would be subjected to a process called 'spaghettification' (no, really, it is). The black hole's gravity force would compress you from top to toe, while stretching you at the same time… thus, spaghetti.
There's nothing on the other side. Just disassembly and death. If you're looking for an escape to another dimension, might I suggest a good book instead? Here's an article I did about how to maximize your time while falling into a black hole.
There's a limit to how much of the universe we can see. The observable universe is finite in that it hasn't existed forever. It extends 46 billion light years in every direction from us. (While our universe is 13.8 billion years old, the observable universe reaches further since the universe is expanding).