The black hole is one of the most intriguing and mysterious anomalies in the universe. I’ve always been fascinated by ideas and renderings of these “star eaters”. Astrophysicists believe there are billions of black holes throughout the universe, and some believe galaxies revolve around them. Why don’t we send a camera into a black hole for research and entertainment purposes?
Scientists are not able to directly study a black hole for a couple of simple reasons. A black hole, by definition, is a space where matter and radiation cannot escape due to an intense gravitational field. Astronomers use far reaching telescopes to capture data and infer black holes must be present due to the affected matter in its vicinity. In 2017, the Event Horizon Telescope captured the first image of Sagittarius A, which is said to be at the center of the Milky Way. More recently, astronomers have spotted the nearest black hole to Earth – Gaia BH1. How do we get to this black hole?
Black Holes Are Too Far Away
Black holes are thousands of light years away from Earth. Gaia BH1 may be the closest black hole, but it is more than 1,500 light years away from Earth. The fastest space probe, Parker Solar Probe, can orbit the Sun at 430,000 miles per hour. Even though this speed is incredibly fast, it is less than 0.1% the speed of light. In our current situation, it would take much more than 30,000 years to travel a single light year. You can do the math. It’s simply not possible to get close to a black hole.
Nothing Escapes A Black Hole
The gravitational pull of a black hole does not allow anything in the universe to escape. Even if we could send a camera into a black hole we would not receive a single image. Matter, radiation, and information (as we know it) will not escape a black hole. Upon reaching the event horizon the camera will be stripped down to its subatomic particles and consumed. Now think back to the previous point regarding distance. If the camera was able to transmit data to Earth prior to entering the event horizon, it might take 40 years to receive the data, even if it travels at the speed of light. Back to the drawing board!
Sending A Camera Into A Black Hole Is Impossible
Humanity has made some amazing advancements in space exploration, especially considering we are not meant to exist in outer space. Unfortunately, black holes are extremely destructive and too far away to study directly. However, telescopes can provide data and we can view renderings of the interpreted data. Of course, things are constantly changing as we continue to learn more about the surroundings of our galaxy. Right now there is conflicting information and what we think we know about black holes could change with new information. We will never see the inside of a black hole, but we will see (and visit) other worlds. A planet hopping species will be incredibly impressive considering our beginnings!