Peering Inside Realistic Black Holes

Astronomers finally figure out what it's like inside an actual, spinning black hole - and where exactly it'd kill you.

OutThere

The average person doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about black holes, which is why a place like the Black Hole Initiative (BHI) exists. Founded in 2016 at Harvard University, it is the world’s first academic center devoted solely to the study of these fantastical, enigmatic objects.

After a BHI seminar last year, Harvard astrophysicist Ramesh Narayan talked with some colleagues — physicist Paul Chesler and philosopher and physicist Erik Curiel — about the inner structure of the black holes thought to litter the universe. Their conversation led to questions asked all too often at BHI: What would happen if you fell into a black hole of this sort? Where would you go and, more to the point, where would you die?

What distinguished this discussion from most at the BHI was that this time, Narayan, Chesler and Curiel resolved to actually find some answers to these enduring questions.


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