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Ask Ethan: Could Matter Escape The Event Horizon During A Black Hole Merger?

18 Nov 2017, 15:01 UTC
Ask Ethan: Could Matter Escape The Event Horizon During A Black Hole Merger?
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Even though black holes should have accretion disks, and matter falling in from them, it doesn’t appear to be possible to escape from inside the event horizon once you cross over. Could anything change that? Image credit: NASA / Dana Berry (Skyworks Digital).Nothing can escape from a black hole… but could another black hole pull something out?Once you fall into the event horizon of a black hole, you can never escape. There’s no speed you could travel at, not even the speed of light, that would enable you to get out. But in General Relativity, space gets curved by the presence of mass and energy, and merging black holes are one of the most extreme scenarios of all. Is there any way that you could fall into a black hole, cross the event horizon, and then escape as your black hole’s event horizon gets distorted from a massive merger? That’s the question of Chris Mitchell, who asks:If two black holes merge, is it possible for matter that was within the event horizon of one black hole to escape? Could it escape and migrate to the other (more massive black hole)? What about escape to outside of both horizons?It’s a crazy ...

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