July 11, 2013
5 Frightening Facts About Black Holes
With all the recent natural phenomenon knocking us about with the same frequency that Paula Deen gets by with making another artery clogging butter infused dish, let’s not forget about the mother of all natural phenomenon: black holes. No seriously, here are some facts about black holes that will cut any hurricane down to size.
Black holes are scary big.
Nothing new, but still terrifying whenever you realize that a black hole with the mass of Earth would be 9mm across, roughly half the size of a penny. Now, put into perspective that a black hole roughly 30,000,000 times the mass of the sun has been found, so large in fact, it swallowed another black hole 1,000,000 times the mass of the sun.
We are all black holes.
Now aside from food consumption jokes, there is a lot of legitimacy to this, according to the principals of Schwarzschild radius, which states that if you collapsed the entire mass of the object into a single point, the density would be so great that not even light could escape; thus creating a black hole. Fortunately there is no known way to compress anything to such a finite point.
They’ll rip you apart.
If giant world-consuming, super-condensed holes of death aren’t scary enough, let’s add Spaghettification into the mix and call it a day, as black holes are so lethal they actually have a phrase to describe what would happen to you if you entered one. First, your body will be violently stretched apart as you come close, and in the last moments after you pass the event horizon, you are squashed into the central singularity of the black hole.
You can see the back of your head!
There is a point about halfway inside of a black hole known as the photon sphere, where photons can actually orbit the black hole. If you were to stop here for a moment and look to the side, you could theoretically see the back of your own head, as light reflecting off the back of your head would travel all the way around the sphere of the black hole and right back to your face.
They can bend time.
It’s a pretty well known fact that black holes and time have an awkward relationship at best. So awkward in fact, they had a beautiful child with television named Andromeda. Now all beauty aside, this is painful for a few reasons; mainly spaghettification would be slower and therefore increasingly painful.
So how’s that hurricane looking now? Like a little bit of wind and rain? Figured.
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