Could a black hole devour us all one day?
There are millions of them out there just waiting and if we happened to make a black hole accidentally well you better fasten your seat belts things are really going to suck literally what would we see if we got pulled into a black hole could earth orbit the sun and a black hole and would we survive spaghettification this is what if and here’s what would happen if earth were sucked into a black hole just 3 000 light years from earth is a black hole visible to the naked eye.
Thankfully we’re a safe distance from this stellar black hole and many others like it there are approximately 100 million of them out there in our galaxy that we know of they are remnants of supernovae which occur when stars 10 to 20 times larger than our sun collapse in on themselves stellar black holes are fairly common and are about 16 kilometers in diameter and then there’s the much larger competition supermassive black holes.
these have a diameter roughly the size of our solar system and a mass greater than one million suns combined one of them known as sagittarius a is right smack dab in the middle of our galaxy so how close would a black hole need to be to be a danger to us well technically a black hole the size of a one millimeter pin could destroy us if it was close enough to earth due to its incredibly dense mass and extreme gravitational pull our survival all depends on whether we’ve surpassed the event horizon or not you can think of this as the black hole’s point of no return anything beyond this point would have to travel faster than light to escape yeah good luck with that if earth got close enough the side nearest to the black hole would begin stretching toward it our atmosphere would start to be vacuumed up and then huge chunks of the earth would rip apart and follow suit if earth managed to fall into the orbit of the black hole we’d experience tidal heating the strong uneven gravitational pull on earth would continuously deform the planet this would generate a tremendous amount of internal friction heating the earth’s core to disastrous levels it would likely give rise to earthquakes volcanoes and deadly tsunamis the trifecta of doom eventually earth would begin to stretch in a process known as spaghettification and not in the tasty cheesy tomatoey way let’s say you were a superhero and decided to fight the black hole headfirst well your arms would be closer than your feet causing your body to stretch out vertically and become more and more compressed let’s hope your superpower is elasticity for an average sized stellar black hole spaghettification can occur several hundred kilometers away from the event horizon but for a super massive black hole physicists believe that this would happen inside the event horizon due to its size eventually no matter what size it is anything entering a black hole would be ripped into a string of individual atoms this would happen to anything that crosses it people planets stars you name it unfortunately our whole solar system would be doomed the careful balance of the sun and our many planets would collapse which could send them crashing into one another and to add insult to injury our asteroid belt would get sucked toward us about 200 of the 552 894 asteroids we know of are more than 100 kilometers across so if one hits us we’d be dead before we would turn into spaghetti frankly.
i’m not sure which fate would be worse all of the matter in our solar system would join the accretion disk around the black hole as matter gets sucked into the black hole it generates massive amounts of radiation so even if we somehow survived all the asteroids we’d likely die from the radiation believe it or not astronomers have discovered rare circumbinary planets that orbit two stars while this may be a possibility with a black hole and our sun the extreme tidal forces would likely make our planet uninhabitable and worse yet we might get kicked out of orbit or swallowed by the sun or the black hole eventually sorry but there’s not an outcome where we win here but and this is a big but maybe we could find a way to protect ourselves in some hyper reinforced space shuttle.
If we somehow made it past the event horizon we might be in for an even stranger time physics as we know it would change things like gravity the speed of light even how atoms bind and react may be completely different the truth is we don’t know what would happen we can’t get any information out of a black hole would we get pulled into another dimension end up in a parallel universe or maybe we’re already inside a black hole what we do know however is that that’s a story for another.