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Ten Fascinating Facts About Black Holes

Artist's rendition of a black hole | Image: Ute Kraus

A black hole in space is a location in which the pull of gravity is so forceful that even light can not get out. Matter compacted into a small space renders gravity's pull so strong. One circumstance in which this can occur is when a star is dying. Without light, black holes are invisible to the eye; scientists locate them with specially equipped telescopes. 

The linked article lists some interesting facts about this phenomenon in space. For example,

7. Time Slows Down Around It

"If you’ve seen Interstellar, you’ll know what happens when you travel near a black hole; time slows down. What is incorrect about the film is that the time dilation would not be quite that extreme.

Time dilation is ultimately affected by gravity, the stronger the gravity, the stronger the time dilation. Also, time only slows down once you get near the black hole, once you pass the event horizon, time would stop."

Read nine more interesting bits of information about black holes in this article.


Oy--let's all please do our best to stamp out DDSG (Dumbed-Down Science Garbage) in our lifetime! According to current understanding, time does NOT stop at the event horizon of a black hole; indeed, time can never "stop" because "time" is not a "thing that flows" (contrary to popular conception), nor could it be "stopped," whatever that might mean! The facts: an observer watching a clock fall into a black hole (through a telescope, say) would see the clock slowing down as it fell to the center--yes. But this slowing down would never end as it asymptotically approached the event horizon (never reaching it). An observer who decided to accompany the clock would not notice anything special about the event horizon at all, and could pass through without even knowing it! (of course, this observer might have other problems looming, but these would have nothing to do with an event horizon)
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