Weird facts about black holes

  • If you fell into a black hole, theory has long suggested that gravity would stretch you out like spaghetti, though your death would come before you reached the singularity. But a 2012 study published in the journal Nature suggested that quantum effects would cause the event horizon to act much like a wall of fire, which would instantly burn you to death.
  • Black holes don't suck. Suction is caused by pulling something into a vacuum, which the massive black hole definitely is not. Instead, objects fall into them just as they fall toward anything that exerts gravity, like the Earth.
  • The first object considered to be a black hole is Cygnus X-1. Cygnus X-1 was the subject of a 1974 friendly wager between Stephen Hawking and fellow physicist Kip Thorne, with Hawking betting that the source was not a black hole. In 1990, Hawking conceded defeat.
  • Miniature black holes may have formed immediately after the Big Bang. Rapidly expanding space may have squeezed some regions into tiny, dense black holes less massive than the sun.
  • If a star passes too close to a black hole, the star can be torn apart.
  • Astronomers estimate that the Milky Way has anywhere from 10 million to 1 billion stellar black holes, with masses roughly three times that of the sun.
  • Black holes remain terrific fodder for science fiction books and movies. Check out the movie "Interstellar," which relied heavily on Thorne to incorporate science. Thorne's work with the movie's special effects team led to scientists' improved understanding of how distant stars might appear when seen near a fast-spinning black hole.
© BSCS 1-A Robylene Carl A. Carlos