The Sizzler

Product: The Sizzler  |   Family Member: Black Hole  |   Product Code: Siz-BH

Overview

Artist's impression of a black hole

Artist’s impression of a black hole. Image credit: Wiki Commons

The Sizzler Black Hole is one of three types of black holes currently available from Intergalactic online.

A black hole is a compact and very dense object in space with a super strong gravitational pull. It is so strong that not even light can escape it. They are commonly formed after the death of a giant star.

Status – Proven & Real

Black holes are real and exist in our very own Milky Way galaxy.  Although we haven’t actually seen a black hole (because they suck in any light nearby), we do know they exist. What we can see, with big telescopes and satellites, is what they do to the surrounding gases and stars. For example, scientists can observe gases that appear to be vanishing inside a black hole (see photo on left).

Sizzler alienPhysical Properties – Mass & Size

Our black holes are categorised into 4 groups based on size and mass (mass is the amount of matter, or ‘stuff’ that is inside an object)

Name / Mass / Size

  • Micro black hole / Up to Mmoon / 0.1mm
  • Stellar black hole / About 10 Mmoon / Up to 30km
  • Intermediate mass black hole / About 1,000 MSun / 10km to REarth
  • Supermassive black hole / 100,000 to 1010 / MSun 0.001-400 AU

Key

  • Mmoon Moon mass the mass of our Moon (7.3477 x 1022 kg). (That’s really heavy for something only 0.1mm big!)
  • MSun  Solar mass is mass of our Sun which weighs an amazing nonillion kilograms (1.98855 x 1030 kg)
  • REarth  Earth radius is the distance from Earth’s centre to its surface, about 6,371 km (3,959 miles).
  • AU Astronomical Unit roughly the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Its exact number is 149,597,870.7 km

Sizzler alien friendTo understand just how heavy a black hole is, imagine if you had a black hole the size of an atom (atoms are so small you can’t even see them with the help of a microscope). But you couldn’t hold it, because it would weigh as much as a giant mountain.

Technical specification

Cosmic Caboodle explanation of what happens inside a black hole

We can’t directly see a black hole which means we also can’t see what’s happening inside of one.  However, scientists can hypothesise what’s actually happening inside a black hole. A hypothesis is a bit like a well thought out guess or answer to your question.  Instead of doing a real life experiment, scientists do what’s called a thought experiment. They imagine what would happen if we say sent some little aliens into a black hole and then they use the language of mathematics to explain what would happen next.

For the case of the Sizzler black hole, a scientist called Joseph Polchinski and his team used the mathematics of quantum physics, to explain what happens when you enter a black hole.  Quantum physics explains how sub atomic particles work and involves different mathematics from the Stretcher black hole (which uses Einstein’s theory of general relativity). Interestingly, this difference in mathematics results in a different answer to ‘What happens to the alien who enters into a black hole.’

So back to our little alien friends.  As they float past the black hole, gravity starts to pull them closer and closer into the hole. Eventually they will pass what’s called the event horizon (this is the point of no return where gravity is so strong nothing will get you back out). As soon as the aliens pass the event horizon they get sizzled to a crisp and that’s where this experiment comes to a very abrupt end.

But don’t worry about our little alien friends. They have not been hurt because we only imagined it. Aliens are smart enough to avoid black holes.

To see what the Sizzler black hole looks like inside, be grab your very own by clicking the ‘Grab it now’ button below.

Introducing the Black Hole Sizzler

Grab it now product the Sizzler

 

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