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What If a Black Hole Swallowed the Sun? | Unveiled


What If a Black Hole Swallowed the Sun? Nearly every galaxy that we know of has a
common feature: a supermassive black hole lying at its centre. This black hole can be
hundreds-of-thousands to billions of times the mass of our sun. Fortunately, though,
even our own – Sagittarius A-Star at the heart of the Milky Way – is too far away to cause
us any harm. But what if one appeared much closer? This is Unveiled and today we’re answering
the extraordinary question; What if a black hole swallowed the sun? Are you a fiend for facts? Are you constantly
curious? Then why not subscribe to Unveiled for more clips like this one? And ring the
bell for more fascinating content! To understand what would happen, we need to
first look at how a black hole works. A black hole is an extremely dense stellar object,
with a large amount of mass packed into a very small area. NASA explains it as though
there’s a star that’s ten times as massive as our sun, but it’s forced into a space
about the size of New York City. This incredible process winds up distorting spacetime and
creating regions of seemingly infinite density called singularities. However, black holes don’t just exist forever,
relentlessly growing more and more massive. They actually lose mass faster than they gain
it, via the emission of random subatomic particles – called Hawking Radiation. Normally this
wouldn’t make much sense, as nothing can escape a black hole, but these particles can
because they’re quantum particles influenced by quantum mechanics, which means they more
or less set their own rules. When a star like our sun is devoured by a
black hole, it’s called a Tidal Disruption Event, or a TDE. TDEs are extremely bright,
and can often be confused for supernovas because of their luminosity – but this is no typical
“death of a star”. Though standard “light” can’t escape a black hole, matter from the
star it consumes gathers in a glowing disc of debris around it – the accretion disc.
In fact, only around half of the star is truly devoured at first, while the rest is flung
away at nearly the speed of light, in a long, trailing tail of dazzling particles. What
we’re seeing is seriously strong magnetic fields being twisted and broken apart, as
well as what remains of the star being stretched out under immense force through what scientists
call “spaghettification”. If this were to somehow happen to the sun
(in an almost impossible turn of events), we wouldn’t actually be aware that our now-spaghettified
solar centrepiece was even changing until a few minutes after it have already started,
given the time it takes for light from the sun to reach Earth. So, even if we could do
anything to stop it (which we couldn’t) we’d be powerless until massive damage had
already been done… Initially, we’d see the sun begin to deform
as its mass is drawn away by a seemingly invisible object. Soon, though, as the sun’s mass
gathers around the accretion disc, we’d see the black hole siphoning its power through
a thin stream of light like a straw. The sun would then be torn and stretched to its extremes,
with that long tail of light stretching outwards. It perhaps feels as though we should be quickly
thrust into darkness back here on Earth, but that wouldn’t be the case. Even though our
sun would effectively be being drained of light by the black hole, our sky would actually
glow far brighter than before as it’s blasted with energy from the accretion disc. In such
an event, the light produced could even be far more than our sun would have given in
its entire lifetime! We’d actually find ourselves bathed in such incredible brightness
that even to look at the sky would now be difficult. At this point, it’d be safe to start the
doomsday timers. The orbits of everything in the solar system would be thrown out of
balance by the immense gravitational pull, with all of the planets inexorably drawn towards
certain destruction. Here on Earth, most likely we’d perish from the sheer radiation of
it all, or the extreme heat. But, even if we somehow managed to take cover and avoid
being fried to death, then our planet would find itself literally torn apart by a gravitational
pull that’s able to best even the sun. In the short-term, this would mean massive earthquakes
and forced eruptions of super-volcanoes; a seemingly textbook doomsday scenario. In the
long term, our once life-giving world would be nothing more than a smouldering fragment
of rock still being drawn into the singularity. Say you could somehow watch all of this happening
from afar… the black hole’s destruction of the solar system wouldn’t be instant,
but it would follow a merciless pattern. First, the spaghettification of mercury, stretching
the planet closest to the now-absent sun into a long, thin line of matter – something scientists
also call “the noodle effect”. Then Venus, Earth, Mars, the Asteroid Belt and so on.
Every single planet and object pulled closer and closer to the black hole, their particles
ripped apart at the speed of light and added to the ever-expanding accretion disc. Before
long, were the black hole to be big enough, and were it to attract enough matter, it could
find itself classified as a genuine quasar – a sprawling expanse far bigger than the
solar system ever was, and one of the brightest points in the universe. Eventually, even debris
as far away as the outer edges of the Oort Cloud would find itself pulled inwards as
record of our particular star system totally disappears. Luckily, a black hole isn’t at all likely
to form out of nowhere, so the chances of anything like this happening are very slim.
In fact, our planet will probably be (and is actually scheduled to be) destroyed by
our own sun long before a black hole wanders our way. However, if you ever did look to
the sky and wonder why the sun looks a little out of shape… and if we ever were witness
to a black hole gate-crashing our galactic corner… then it’d mean nothing good, and
there would be no escape. Over time, were a black hole to form powerful enough to end
the sun, then it’d most likely spell the end of everything else as well – with the
entire solar system dragged inwards and stripped down to its most basic particles. The ever-growing accretion disc would signal
monumental chaos and destruction for us… though, were our fate to be viewed through
a telescope in some other far off galaxy, it’d appear as simply a brighter-than-usual
speck in the sky. And that’s what would happen if a black hole swallowed the sun. What do you think? Is there anything we missed?
Let us know in the comments, check out these other clips from Unveiled, and make sure you
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Comments
  • I have a huge problem with everyone saying NOTHING can escape a black hole. Just like you said and showed. The Jets getting shot from the north and south poles. That is light for sure and possibly matter. Now granted that it definitely isn't even close to being the same it was before it got pulled in. I just think that a black hole is a very true show of force. I'm pretty sure that there is something in the universe that hasn't been discovered yet that might have more power. I think it would be awesome if a black hole and a giant magntar would merge. This would be a show I'd love to see play out. I also would love to know how big in this case the circumference of a super massive black hole really is. It definitely has the power of something very large but could be very small as Mercury. Now that I'm pretty sure we won't ever find out. Anyway peace out.

  • Black holes don't have size… just a horizon.
    Its nothing more than energy… atoms can not exist after the horizon. So thst's why black holes don't have 'size'. comparing it with other things like a city is wrong .

  • 4:52 "Our planet will probably be, and is actually scheduled to be destroyed by our own sun long before a black hole wanders our way."

    Love how casual that sounds.

  • "Black Holes" aren't always so dense. The larger ones are less dense than neutron stars. There's nothing infinite about "Black Holes", only incalculable. Remember, the only reason "Black Holes" are "black" is because light can't escape them, so they're invisible. They're not really holes, either.

  • ITS NOT A JOKE OR I PURPOSELY PUT THIS QUESTION, IN THE BIBLE CENTURIES AGO QUOTED THAT AT A TIME SUN WILL GO DARK AND THE MOON WILL BECOME RED AND THE REST OF THE POWER IN THE SKY WILL DISAPPEAR WHEN THE SECOND ARRIVAL OF SUN OF MAN JESUS CHRIST THE SCIENCE AND THE SCIENTIST GIVE PROOF IN ADVANCE TO THE WARNING FOR MANKIND , INTO THE BLCKHOLE EVERY THING DISAPPEAR NO THEORY OF MANKIND CAN CHALLENGE THIS THREAT HERE I WANT TO STATE THAT THE AL MIGHTY GOD EXIST IN THIS UNIVERSE ABOUT WHICH NO BODY KNOWS

  • What would the time frame be for this? How long would it take for the sun to be swallowed from the time it first comes in contact with the black hole? And then how long after the sun being swallowed would it take for the Earth to get sucked in?

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