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Young Voices for the Planet DVD in our online store includes 8 films where students speak out and take action on climate change.

How much (in meters) is a black hole's diameter? Where do you go if you were to be sucked down a black hole? What would happen to you?

The diameter of a black hole depends on the mass of the original object that becomes a black hole. By the way, before they were called black holes, they were called gravitationally completely collapsed objects. (Try saying that fast 3 times!)

The more massive an object, the bigger its diameter once it becomes a black hole. If the Earth became a black hole it would have a diameter of about 0.017 meters, about the size of a marble. Our Sun would have a diameter of about 6000 meters, just a little less than 4 miles.

No one really knows what would happen if you were to get sucked into a black hole. In fact, if our current theories of black holes are correct, no one outside a black hole can know. The issue is that as you pass the edge of the black hole, called the event horizon, you lose the ability to communicate with the outside universe. No information from inside a black hole has ever been detected by our scientists.

The most common understanding of what would happen if you were to enter a black hole is that you would be stretched like a string of spaghetti until you snapped! This would happen because as you approached the center of the black hole the gravitational force on your feet would be much, much greater that that on your head, gradually pulling you apart.


Submitted by John (MI, USA)
Submitted by Madalynne (CO, USA)
(October 13, 1997)



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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA