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    Updated on Aug 22, 2020. Posted on Nov 19, 2014

    Here's What It Would Be Like To Fall Into A Black Hole

    Pros: Literally seeing through time. Cons: Becoming an infinitely thin strand.

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    So, you've decided to explore the inside of a black hole!

    This is a journey that should not be undertaken lightly, because your body will turn into infinitely thin spaghetti and you will experience time in a very disconcerting and irrevocable way. But if you're dead set on it, here's what you can expect on your trip.

    First you need to choose between a stellar black hole (caused by a star collapsing) ...

    fromquarkstoquasars.com

    There’s a good one about 6,000 light years away from us, called Cygnus X-1.

    ... and a supermassive black hole.

    Warner Bros. / Interstellar

    The mass of a supermassive black hole is equivalent to the mass of millions of suns.

    universetoday.com

    There’s a good one at the center of the Milky Way that you should check out.

    It’s best to try and check out a supermassive black hole, since the smaller ones will tear you apart before you get far enough to have a proper look around.

    Gravity is really strong here. Nothing can escape its pull, including light, which makes for a cool effect.

    At first you will feel weightless, apart from the immensity of your undertaking.

    BBC America

    But as you approach the event horizon – the black hole’s boundary – you'll become subject to tidal forces, and it'll begin to feel like your body is being stretched.

    The event horizon is the point at which gravity becomes strong enough to drag light back so that it can’t escape. Think of it as the edge of a waterfall made of light.

    If you jump in feet first, you’ll notice that your feet feel heavier than your head. This is because your feet are accelerating faster than your head. It is an uncomfortable sensation.

    Now, "spaghettification" begins. Your body will be stretched vertically and compressed horizontally until you are infinitely thin strands.

    Discovery Channel / youtube.com

    Astrophysicist Charles Liu describes it as something similar to “toothpaste being extruded out of a tube.” It is probably not very nice.

    Even so, don’t forget to look back! The event horizon is going to expand infinitely behind you. It will look very much like you are standing on the very edge of everything.

    If you brought a friend to watch from a safe distance, she'll never see you pass the event horizon. She will see you slow down to a standstill, glow red, and then disappear. This will be disconcerting for her. She will never see you again.

    But for you, the faster you’re moving through space, the slower you’ll be moving through time.

    The way you’ll notice this is that if you look ahead of you, you’ll see every single thing that had fallen in before you hovering infinitely slowly, timewise, even though for them, they’ll feel like they’re falling faster.

    To test this, have a look back, and, as Charles Liu describes it, "you’ll be able to see everything that will ever fall into the black hole behind you."

    Looking forward, you’ll see everything that had happened in that spot beginning with the very beginning of the universe.

    Looking backwards, you’ll see everything that will ever happen in that spot up until the end of the universe.

    Joe Bergeron / Sky & Telescope

    If you were to escape, which, let’s be very clear about this, you cannot and will not escape, you’ll never see anyone you love again, because many thousands of years will have passed for them while you were doing your little bit of black hole tourism.

    Stephen Hawking has a theory that, although there is DEFINITELY no way back out, you may be able to emerge on the other side in a different universe.

    But probably still as spaghetti.

    Sources and additional reading:

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