How BIG can black holes actually get? And how do they even grow that big? New research probes this question.
» Subscribe to Seeker!
» Watch more Elements!
» Visit our shop at
Scientists Just Detected Two Supermassive Black Holes on a Collision Course
You may remember when the Large Hadron Collider was first coming online, some alarmists claimed it would create a black hole that would destroy the Earth. While microscopic black holes seem far-fetched, there are some theoretical ways they could exist, but you’d need extra dimensions to do it.
Gravity as we know it isn’t strong enough to compress subatomic particles small enough to make them collapse into a black hole, because that size is smaller than the smallest meaningful distance of measurement, the Planck Length.
If discovered, microscopic black holes would change our understanding of how gravity works at the quantum scale, and even imply the existence of extra dimensions that amplify gravity’s force.
#blackhole #blackholes #physics #astronomy #science #seeker #elements
‘Stupendously large’ black holes could grow to truly monstrous sizes
“How big might black holes get? A team of scientists now suggests black holes could reach what they call “stupendously large” sizes, each harboring the mass of 100 billion suns or more.”
The theory of how black holes grow
“In the nearby Universe small black holes grow mostly by accretion, while very big black holes grow mostly via mergers. In the very-far-away Universe, there is a reversal: small black holes grow mostly by mergers, big black holes by accretion.”
How do astronomers calculate the mass of a black hole?
“Regardless of the objects in the binary — two stars, a star and a neutron star, a star and a black hole, et cetera — their orbits follow Kepler’s laws of motion, which allow a scientist to calculate mass based on the speeds of the objects and the size of their mutual orbit.”
Elements is more than just a science show. It’s your science-loving best friend, tasked with keeping you updated and interested on all the compelling, innovative and groundbreaking science happening all around us. Join our passionate hosts as they help break down and present fascinating science, from quarks to quantum theory and beyond.
Seeker empowers the curious to understand the science shaping our world. We tell award-winning stories about the natural forces and groundbreaking innovations that impact our lives, our planet, and our universe.
Visit the Seeker website
Elements on Facebook
Seeker on Twitter
Seeker on Facebook