Dr. Ganguly’s top five ways to die from a black hole

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The first ever captured image of the M87 Black Hole. (Credit: Event Horizon Telescope)
The first ever captured image of the M87 Black Hole. (Credit: Event Horizon Telescope)

Dr. Rajib Ganguly is an associate professor of Physics and one of the black hole experts at UM-Flint. His “Ode to a Black Hole,” which he will present at the upcoming Chili Night hosted by the Seven Ponds Astronomy Club, explains all the ways a black hole can kill you.

1. Be inside a black hole

It’s pretty simple: once you’re inside, you’re doomed.

2. Spaghettification

Everyone loves spaghetti, but nobody wants to turn into spaghetti. If you get too close to a black hole, the gravity grows stronger and the difference in the force between your head and legs increases. Soon your body will stretch and stretch until you’re spaghetti – sauce not included.

3. Be around one when it eats

If the thought of your body turning into spaghetti hasn’t terrified you enough, here’s a fun fact: black holes need to eat, too. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t go around sucking up things from outer space like a vacuum. But they do grow when things fall into them, and they can even throw up (probably spaghetti)!

4. Be around one when it’s born

You can thank gamma ray bursts for birthing black holes. Hope you didn’t plan on celebrating its birthday, because you’re dead.

5. Be around one when it dies

The death of a black hole is very complicated and has to do with energy lent and energy returned. When a black hole evaporates, it loses mass and dies, just like you if you’re around for this too.

Anna is the social media strategist in University Communications & Marketing.