The view from within a black hole?  Credit: University of Colorado
The view from within a black hole? Credit: University of Colorado

Black Holes

What Would the View Be Like From Within a Black Hole?

31 Mar , 2009 by

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If you fell into a black hole, would you be engulfed in darkness? Could you see out beyond the event horizon? Are there wormholes inside black holes? Do black holes give birth to baby universes? Believe it or not, these questions may have been answered. Andrew Hamilton from the University of Colorado and Gavin Polhemus have created a video showing what falling into a Schwarzschild black hole might look like to the person falling in. The two researchers warn that based on our experience in the 3D world, we might imagine that falling through the horizon would be like falling through any other surface. However, they say, it’s not. And likely, a person falling into the black hole would be able to see outside of the event horizon.

“When an observer outside the horizon observes the horizon of a black hole,” the researchers say, “they are actually observing the outgoing horizon. When they subsequently fall through the horizon, they do not fall through the horizon they were looking at, the outgoing horizon; rather, they fall through the ingoing horizon, which was invisible to them until they actually passed through it. Once inside the horizon, the infaller sees both outgoing and ingoing horizons.”

As you might expect, this work has created a lot of interest, and the servers hosting the videos has already crashed once, but now has been put on a new server. Watch several different videos. along with written commentary here.

While this work is great fun to watch and delve into, it also has great scientific merit. Calculating what the universe looks like from inside a black hole is an important exercise because it forces physicists to examine how the laws of physics behave at a breaking point. For example, near the singularity, the observer’s view in the horizontal plane is highly blueshifted, but all directions other than horizontal appear highly redshifted.

Also, the principle of locality is severely tested inside a black hole. This is the idea that a point in space can only be influenced by its immediate surroundings. But when space is infinitely stretched, as physicists think it is at the heart of a black hole, the concept of “immediate surroundings” doesn’t make sense. So the concept of locality begins to lose its meaning too.

And that provides an interesting “thought laboratory” in which physicists can ask how ideas such as quantum mechanics and relativity might break down.

It also provides some other entertaining results. For example, space is so heavily curved inside a black hole that ordinary binocular vision would be no good for determining distances, says Hamilton. But trinoculars might work.

Read the paper here.

Sources: Technology Review Blog

By  -        
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.


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Anaconda
Member
Anaconda
March 31, 2009 5:04 PM
Interesting…most of the commenters are more wrapped up in what somebody might say — sharpening their “rididule” knives. Might this “thought laboratory” be over the top even for the crew that believes a “point” exists in space when pure mathematicians will tell you a point is an abstract concept. The article states: “Calculating what the universe looks like from inside a black hole is an important exercise because it forces physicists to examine how the laws of physics behave at a breaking point. For example, near the singularity..” “Singularity”, also known as “infinite density” which means exactly what? “Infinite” can’t be quantified, it’s fudge factor. Or it might remind them how ridiculous all the “black hole” paraphernalia real… Read more »
doomfistinc
Member
doomfistinc
March 31, 2009 12:34 PM

“B-b-but… No such thing as gravity!!” – OilIs

star-grazer
Guest
star-grazer
March 31, 2009 12:54 PM

Dave-c’mon=lets not make this a ————–
GET READY FOR A RUMBLE-IN THIS CORNER-< SBC WITH HIS PATENTED “GRAVITY SLAM” VS OIM WITH HIS UN-ORTHODOX ‘ ELECTRO CHOKE-HOLD’ -get you popcorn, peanuts===Lol.
Anyway, this will just have to be a thought
thinking- I would not like to find out.!!!!!

GekkoNZ
Member
March 31, 2009 1:00 PM

awww star-grazer, can we please have a rumble? Those one sided reason-vs-idiot catfights are soooo entertaining! Come on Oils, give us your latest rant against the gravitists! Lets see the Master(y) at work, bringing us another entertaining smackdown!

GekkoNZ
Member
March 31, 2009 1:01 PM

My popcorn is cooked and ready for the eating…lets get it ON!

DrFlimmer
Guest
DrFlimmer
March 31, 2009 1:27 PM

I think its more entertaining that you can “see” a coordinate system when you are inside a black hole. I didn’t know that! grin

And after OiM has given us his great thought, Anaconda will appear to tell us that this video proofs the destruction of GR. Just because this seems to be so ridiculous!

Sci-Fi Si
Guest
March 31, 2009 1:29 PM

Interesting stuff, but if our current understanding of physics breaks at the event horizon how can we look beyond?

Is the gravity at the absolute centre of a black hole stronger that it is at the Event Horizon? I think it should be, but then is there any way of knowing..

The speed of light is a finite speed of about 186,000 miles per second.

To curve space to the point of being parallel or infinitely curved is well…. infinite…Aaarrrggh

It boggles the mind and great fun it is too.

DrFlimmer
Guest
DrFlimmer
March 31, 2009 1:53 PM

@ Sci-Fi Si

Interesting stuff, but if our current understanding of physics breaks at the event horizon how can we look beyond?

The physics break down at the singularity, not at the event horizon. It’s just that beyond the event horizon things start to get even more inconceivable than they used to be “in front of” the event horizon.

Olaf
Member
Olaf
March 31, 2009 2:02 PM

Have you people noticed that on this science site you see these ads about 2012 the end of the world, now I see an ad promoting scientology… Next probably an ad for EU?

star-grazer
Guest
star-grazer
March 31, 2009 2:10 PM

DrFlimmer- You’ve mistakenly given ammo to OIM, despite the fact SBC ‘tag team’ members will use eye gouge, cheap shots,other dirty tricks-OIM will emerge thru the Black Hole and rise up like the WWE ‘Undertaker’ as he will say the videos is ridiculous and made by ‘inmates committed to an asylum for the criminally insane’ IMHO, humans will NEVER find out what really happens once at the singularity, (NEVER I realize, is a strong word, but such thinking will be just that , a think journey)
As more powerful ‘puters are created, simulations inside a black hole will be truly awesome.!!!! Well, I better get out of Dodge,Lol.

DrFlimmer
Guest
DrFlimmer
March 31, 2009 2:11 PM

@ Olaf

Since I use firefox I have that great tool included named “AdBlockPlus”… it blocks most of the banners!

DrFlimmer
Guest
DrFlimmer
March 31, 2009 2:16 PM

@ star-grazer

Never say never wink

Probably physicist will come up with a theory of quantum gravitation which should prevent us from a singularity. Since space and time start to fluctuate at very “compressed” scales it non-sense to speak of a dot or a singularity in a quantum world. It is a possibility that we can avoid the singularity in the future – but future will tell….

(Probably this is even more ammo…. we will find that out, too….)

star-grazer
Guest
star-grazer
March 31, 2009 2:22 PM

DrFlimmer- You are correct, perhaps far into the future, far more will be found out about the great Universe we are in . You are a Scholar and a Gentleman.
Take care

DrFlimmer
Guest
DrFlimmer
March 31, 2009 2:28 PM

You are a Scholar and a Gentleman.

Oh, thanks a lot smile

Anaconda
Member
Anaconda
March 31, 2009 9:56 PM
@ Astrofiend: Astrofiend states: “I think you’ll find Anaconda that not many physicists strongly believe that a singularity is truly physical.” Hmmm? Astrofiend clarifies the, above, quote with the following sentence: “More like they are using it as a working concept because we have not yet developed a fully viable and self-consistent theory of quantum gravity as of yet that can fully probe these enigmatic regions.” There is a problem: Quantum mechanics and General Relativity are inconsistent with each other. Astrofiend states: “…or that of some discredited crank…” Astrofiend, your appeal to civil discussion rings hollow when you drop that bouncing betty into the party. Judging by your past comments (the only thing I have to go on),… Read more »
Olaf
Member
Olaf
March 31, 2009 3:17 PM

@ DrFlimmer
“Probably physicist will come up with a theory of quantum gravitation which should prevent us from a singularity.”

As Oils would say, use a big magnet and suround your spacecraft with plasma and everything is solved! LOL

@ DrFlimmer
“Since I use firefox I have that great tool included named “AdBlockPlus”… it blocks most of the banners!”

Yes I could do that, but does it no scare you that creationists, 2012 people and Scientology put ads on a scientific site?

Even Youtube scientific and evolution movies are infected with 2012 ads and creationists ads. sad

Astrofiend
Member
Astrofiend
March 31, 2009 5:59 PM
I think you’ll find Anaconda that not many physicists strongly believe that a singularity is truly physical. More like they are using it as a working concept because we have not yet developed a fully viable and self-consistent theory of quantum gravity as of yet that can fully probe these enigmatic regions. Clearly you don’t like the idea of black holes – yeah we get it. You bang on about it at every chance. Show me some quantitative analysis to back your arguments. Anything actually, that is not merely your opinion or that of some discredited crank, but a well reasoned mathematical and phenomenological argument that demonstrates where GR fails before the black hole solution comes into play.… Read more »
GekkoNZ
Member
March 31, 2009 7:02 PM
Well said astro. You are right about the pettiness on here, and I have started to become a bit too keen to ridicule the trolls who infest this site, so i guess im partly to blame for that. But without some form of forum moderation on here, the trolls and the people who ridicule them will just carry on. As has been suggested in the past, maybe it would be best to move the comments area on here to a link to the BAUT forums, where effective moderation already exists, and all of the Universe Today articles have a forum topic thread for discussion about each article. I think that would be easy to implement, and it would… Read more »
just me
Guest
just me
March 31, 2009 7:40 PM

Astrofiend – thank you

ND
Guest
ND
March 31, 2009 9:03 PM

Astrofiend,

Well said. Unfortunately it’s wasted on Anaconda. He doesn’t understand that he doesn’t understand science and how it’s practised.

Maxwell,

The PC/EU topic has been discussed on BUAT and from what I gather such discussions have been banned. We can see the reasons why.

wpDiscuz