Another reason you don’t want to get too close to a black hole is because of something we call ‘spaghettification’. If this happened to Earth it would be… unpleasant.
If you got too close to a black hole, it would suck you in and you'd never be able to escape, even if you were travelling at the speed of light.
This point of no return is called the event horizon.
Artist’s impression of the accretion disk and jets in the black hole system V404 Cygni.
A spinning black hole is pumping vast amounts of energy back into the surrounding universe, but something is causing the jets that transport that energy to wobble very rapidly.
The first direct visual evidence of the supermassive black hole in the centre of galaxy Messier 87 and its shadow.
Astronomers say they have "seen what we thought was unseeable" in releasing the first image of a supermassive black hole. So how did we get to this historic observation?
Finally dragged out of the shadows.
Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration /
Scientists turned Earth into one giant telescope to capture the uncapturable.
Feel like traveling to another dimension? Better choose your black hole wisely.
Feel like visiting another star system or dimension? You can do this by traveling through a spacetime portal of a black hole. But you better choose carefully. All black holes are not created equal.
The crucial phase of our discovery of black holes took place in a suitably dark period of human history – World War II.
The region around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, imaged with South Africa’s MeerKAT telescope.
South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)
A black hole is an object with such a strong gravitational pull that nothing, not even light, can escape from it.
Ripples in space-time caused by massive events such this artist rendition of a pair of merging neutron stars.
Carl Knox, OzGrav
More ripples in space-time have been detected from merging pairs of black holes, one of which was the most massive and distant gravitational-wave source ever observed.
Artist impression of Abell 2597.
NRAO AUI NSF D Berry
Astronomers have suspected them for ages –now a team as finally spotted a 'fountain' in a galaxy far, far away.
Technicians prepare Swift’s UVOT for vibration testing on Aug. 1, 2002, more than two years before launch, in the High Bay Clean Room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
The Swift Observatory passed a milestone: 1 million snapshots of the universe. These exquisite and revealing pictures have captured the births and deaths of stars, gravitational waves and comets.
It's all about the strong gravitational field of the black hole.
A detector buried under more than a mile of ice in Antarctica has detected a high-energy subatomic neutrino and traced it to its origin, a blazar – a gargantuan black hole more than a billion times more massive than the sun.
Nobody knows for sure where black holes lead to.
The pull created by a black hole is so strong that if you get too close to one – even if you are travelling away from it at the fastest speed it is possible to go – you will never be able escape.
Artist conception of a tidal disruption event (TDE) that happens when a star passes fatally close to a supermassive black hole.
Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF.
A team of astronomers captured the moment when a wayward star was pulled into the mouth of a supermassive black hole.
An artist’s illustration of a black hole “eating” a star.
Astronomers are gathering an exponentially greater amount of data every day – so much that it will take years to uncover all the hidden signals buried in the archives.
Top-down artist depiction of a tiny black hole and a pileup of gas and matter swirling toward the center.
The little-known Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer spacecraft was like a Geiger counter for the universe, listening to black holes and zombie stars.
Fact or fiction? Either way, an alien still seems menacing.
Cindy Zhi/The Conversation
Stephen Hawking raised the public profile of grand science, and speculated about the future of artificial intelligence, as well as contacting aliens. Does science mix easily with science fiction?
The Milky Way seen in infrared.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Stolovy (SSC/Caltech)
There could be thousands of black holes at the heart of the Milky Way.
What goes in doesn’t go out?
The famous cosmologist was closely identified with black holes due to his revolutionary theoretical work explaining some of their mysterious properties.
Stephen Hawking both warned about and benefited from artificial intelligence.
Despite his fears artificial intelligence might one day overtake humanity, Stephen Hawking knew from his own life how profoundly AI could improve humans' daily lives.