Monday, April 30, 2012

Q&A on Black Holes!

4 Milky Way (ELitU)-blank

I want to answer 2 main questions I keep seeing my viewers asking. Sure, this blog beats the black hole horse long after its died, but has it ever truly died. We definitely don't know as much as we would like to about black holes.  We can only gather so much information from the event horizon we actually see.

Question:
Why can we see a black hole if a black hole cant be seen?

Answer:
We can see them because of something called the event horizon. The event horizon is actually the boundary at which escape velocity is greater than the speed of light. This however, isn't the most true of statements. It is better described as the paths that light could take and all paths in the forward light cones of particles inside horizon become changed and warped so that light is redirected into the black hole. Once a particle is caught inside of the horizon, it is theoretically impossible for it to escape. There is no other option but to be pulled into it further. We can see this which indicates there is a black hole.



Question:
Where does a black hole lead to?

Answer:
We really have no evidence to back anything up however we have theories of something called a white hole. The math has potential of explaining this. In nature, it never seems plausible that something is just gone. We believe it has to be somewhere. The white hole fixes the mysteries by predicting that the particles do expel from a white hole at extraordinary speeds. We may have even witnessed one of these and confused it with a supernova. We believe these will pop in and out of existence, so it is most likely impossible to predict when one may occur.

Question:
If there is a black hole in the Milky Way, why aren't we pulled in?

Answer:
The simple answer is that we are in a spiral galaxy, and we are far enough out in one of the arms that we would not need worry. It takes roughly 200 million years to make one rotation around the super massive black hole at the galactic center of our own Milky Way. I suppose that by the time we even made one rotation around it, humanity would have been gone, whether we died off, or escaped our planet earth and are well spread across the stars. There is however an interesting event predicted to happen as a gas cloud will enter the Black Hole in 2013.

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