For something that might not even exist, black holes do a whole lot of work for modern physics. These regions of compact mass--so dense that not even light can escape their gravitational fields--are a major underpinning of general relativity, and inform much of what we think we understand about how galaxies work. It's a lot to ask of a phenomenon that we've never actually seen.
Then again seeing a black hole is, by definition, a difficult idea to execute. The absence of reflected light makes black holes invisible, and the fact that the really interesting supermassive ones hide obscured at the center of galaxies compounds the problem. You would need to build a telescope the size of planet Earth to capture an image of a black hole. And that's exactly what Sheperd Doeleman, assistant director of MIT's Haystack Observatory, and his colleagues at the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) are trying to do.
Aliens could conceivably live on planets illuminated by the swirling mass of photons orbiting the singularity of a special type of black hole, according to a new theory.
Certain black holes are charged and rotate, and they possess a region past the event horizon — the point of no return — in which the fabric of spacetime appears normal again. This is called the inner Cauchy horizon.
Using just a length of fiber optic cable, scientists hope to recreate one of black holes' most salient properties
By Matt RansfordPosted 03.10.2008 at 5:26 pm 0 Comments
Black holes are notoriously difficult to observe. They cant be seen directly by a telescope because they absorb all light. Were only able to tell theyre out there by the way they bend and heat the gasses around them. But we can, however, think up analogues which approximate some of the mechanics, which is what a team at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland has done, using just a length of fiber optics.