How Do Scientists Know What the Inside of a Black Hole Looks Like?
An Elementry View of What We Do and Don’t Know About Black Holes
I asked my 10-year-old son, “What do you think is inside a black hole?”
“Nothing,” he said. “Just the void of space and time.”
When I asked how he knew this, he said that he just guessed.
“Are you sure you didn’t learn this on YouTube or something?”
“No, I just guessed,” he said — there was a slight tension to his voice.
Clearly, my 10 second inquisition about one of the biggest secrets of the universe annoyed him.
While scientists have never been able to directly observe the interior of a black hole, they have been able to infer its structure by studying the way that matter and energy interact with it.
One of the most important pieces of evidence comes from the way that light behaves as it enters a black hole.
As light approaches the event horizon — or point of no return — it becomes stretched out and distorted. This effect, known as gravitational lensing, allows scientists to map the contours of the black hole’s interior.
In addition, scientists have also been able to track the motion of stars that orbit around black holes.
By studying how these stars move, scientists have been able to piece together a detailed picture of what lies inside a black hole. Even though scientists have never been able to directly observe the interior of a black hole, they have been able to learn a great deal about its structure through indirect means.
How scientists infer the structure of the universe
Scientists have long known that the universe is made up of matter and energy. But it wasn’t until recently that they’ve been able to infer its structure by studying the way these two ingredients interact.
By studying the behavior of light, they’ve been able to map out the distribution of matter in the universe and trace the path of its evolution. In doing so, they’ve uncovered some of its most fundamental secrets.
For example, they’ve learned that the universe is expanding and that it’s filled with dark matter and dark energy. These discoveries have shed new light on our place in the universe and have given us a better understanding of its history and future.
The mysterious beauty of black holes
Black holes have always been a source of fascination for humans. They are objects of such immense power and density that they warp the very fabric of space and time. Even light cannot escape their gravitational pull.
Since 1916, black holes were purely theoretical constructs, predicted by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Only in recent years have astronomers discovered actual evidence of black holes. Using powerful telescopes, they have observed black holes devouring stars and spraying out jets of energy.
They have also detected the faint ripples in space-time that are caused by the collision of two black holes. Although we still have much to learn about these enigmatic objects, they continue to dazzle and amaze us with their strange beauty.
Uncovering the mysteries of black holes
Scientists have also been able to track the motion of stars that orbit around black holes. By understanding how these orbital motions work, scientists can better understand the effects of black holes on the surrounding space-time.
Additionally, new technologies like the Event Horizon Telescope have given scientists unprecedented views of black holes.
The Event Horizon Telescope is a network of radio telescopes that allow scientists to make images of black holes with unprecedented accuracy. In April 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope captured the first ever image of a black hole. This image has given scientists new insights into the nature of black holes. And it is just the beginning. The Event Horizon Telescope is expected to capture even more remarkable images in the future, providing us with an ever-growing understanding of these enigmatic objects.
However, there is still much that we don’t understand about black holes. For instance, we’re not sure how they form or what happens to matter once it enters a black hole.
The secrets of black holes: What do you think is inside?
Black holes are one of the most mysterious objects in the universe. Even though scientists have never been able to directly observe the interior of a black hole, they have been able to infer its structure by studying the way that matter and energy interact with it. By understanding how these interactions work, scientists can better understand the effect black holes have on their surroundings. What do you think is inside a black hole? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Mark Havens is the Founder and Executive Director of Dallas Maker Community (DMC), a nonprofit organized to bootstrap Dallas Makerspace, the largest all-volunteer makerspace in the United States. DMC continues reformed efforts to provide maker-focused marketing and makerspace leadership education to other maker-centric organizations throughout North Texas.