Have you ever felt that reading about a new scientific discovery is like reading about God?

(Robin) #21

Thanks for the explanation. I suppose that, if that actually were to happen, there would eventually spring up some sort of legend about “that woman eating a slice of pie at the horizon of Black Hole Number 45” – or whatever number is assigned to it.

Appreciate the insights here…nano-second, huh???

(Mark D.) #22

Temples would spring up at which we would celebrate you by sharing pie.

(Jennifer Thomas) #23

The physics explained by @mitchellmckain is great, but I still like your eternal pie-eating idea better.

(Robin) #24

Realspiriitik and MarkD ---- you are both invited to those future temples!! But there will be pie or cake-eating rules – especially about fruit cake.

(Mitchell W McKain) #25

Well, it might depend on the size of the thing. Most are pretty small. To get a picture of things, it might be helpful to consider the following sequence of stellar remnants with the mass of the sun: white dwarf, neutron star, and black hole. The white dwarf with the mass of the sun would be the size of the earth, dense and hot at first, slowly cooling off over a very long time. The neutron star would be the size of a city, and only exist within a narrow range of masses. The black hole is smaller by about half, and by that we mean the Schwarzschild radius where the gravitational effects get weird (black sphere in the pictures from which light never escapes) since all the actual mass is crushed down to a point. But remember is that all this with the same gravity of the sun, so how do you even get close enough to see the thing, because your acceleration is going to be so extreme? All the simulations I have run are over way to fast to see anything in real time, so I have to slow down a recording.

What I am not so sure about, is when we are dealing with these super massive black holes like in the center of the galaxy. Most things like acceleration should simple scale up with the size, and all you are really likely to see with human eyes in real time are the large scale effects like the accretion disk and jets from a good distance away. Don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying that getting too close is likely to get you swallowed by the thing unless you are heading straight for it (and that is hitting a pretty small bullseye). I think the only advantage with the larger black holes is that the tidal forces threatening to rip you part are not as bad – the so called “spagettification” effect, but I might be wrong about that. I didn’t run simulations for super massive black holes.

(Phil) #26

Pastafarians may look at black holes as holey ground.

(Mitchell W McKain) #27

The punification effect from that one was nearly as deadly as a black hole as my groans stretched out into a slow scream.

(Robin) #28

Amazing…the whole concept of the black hole is mind-boggling

(system) closed #29

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