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Ask Ethan: What Happens When You Fall Into A Black Hole?

2 Mar 2019, 15:01 UTC
Ask Ethan: What Happens When You Fall Into A Black Hole?
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When a massive enough star ends its life, or two massive enough stellar remnants merge, a black hole can form, with an event horizon proportional to its mass and an accretion disk of infalling matter surrounding it. (ESA/HUBBLE, ESO, M. KORNMESSER)Gravity and time are so different from what you’d expect. Here’s how it all would end.If you could only know the answer to one question about the Universe, what would you ask? What would you want to know more than anything else? As we get older, most of us lose sight of the things we wondered about as children, which is why I was delighted to get a message from Eric Erb about ten questions that his son, Tristan, brought home from his 2nd grade class. Two of the biggest mysteries of all, gravity and time, dominated his curiosity. After boiling it down, here’s what he wanted to know:I asked him just now and he wanted two questions to be answered.1. What happens when you fall into a black hole?2. Why/how does gravity pull us?Let’s start at the beginning, and make sure we get to it all.Normal matter is stopped by the Earth, but dark matter would pass right through, ...

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