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Is Earth vulnerable to mini black holes ?

Posted on Tuesday, 30 August, 2016 | Comment icon 29 comments

Do small-scale black holes pass through our planet ? Image Credit: NASA / Alain Riazuelo
The universe could be filled with primordial black holes which pass through us once every 1,000 years.
Regular black holes, which are formed when a sufficiently massive star collapses in on itself, are typically several solar masses in size - enough to envelop whole star systems.

According to a recent NASA study however, the cosmos could also be teeming with much smaller black holes that formed in large numbers even before the universe itself came in to existence.

Scientists estimate that these miniature black holes could posses a mass similar to that of the moon but would be infinitesimally smaller with a maximum width equivalent to that of a single human hair.

"Asteroid-mass black holes, if they were all of the dark matter, might pass through the Earth once a millennium or so, but would be very, very hard to detect," said astrophysicist Timothy Brandt.
"If you had somebody right there, they might be able to observe one."

A black hole comparable in mass to that of the moon however might be a different story.

"We certainly would notice if one passed near the Earth, since it would affect the orbits of all of our satellites," Brandt told Business Insider. "I imagine that it would mess up GPS for example."

Fortunately though, even if black holes of this size really are out there, we would likely have to wait longer than the entire age of the universe for one to actually venture in our direction.

Source: Business Insider | Comments (29)

Tags: Black Hole

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #20 Posted by Harte on 31 August, 2016, 10:14
My emphasis. This is from a paper on the topic - see page 29. Source And no, there's nothing wrong with your calculations. The hypothesis is that these BH's were formed by the Big Bang, I believe, and are ubiquitous. Possibly, these scientists are grasping at straws. I'm not saying I agree with them, but I'm not qualified to either agree or disagree. Harte
Comment icon #21 Posted by DieChecker on 31 August, 2016, 17:13
Taking in as much as it expels huh? I'll read up on it.
Comment icon #22 Posted by DieChecker on 31 August, 2016, 17:15
If true, I imagine the galactic center would be a hell hole. With tiny black holes buzzing around through stars and planets constantly. We'd be relatively safe out here in the galactic wings, I suppose.
Comment icon #23 Posted by paperdyer on 31 August, 2016, 18:20
Since I read a while ago, the some scientists think black holes are gateways to other universes, provided you can withstand the gravity, I wonder IF someone in another universe has found a way to beat this, the mini black holes may account for shadow creatures and other paranormal activities that currently don't have accepted explanations. Just thouwing this out there for some discussion.
Comment icon #24 Posted by sepulchrave on 1 September, 2016, 0:23
If a mini BH the mass of Earth's moon passed through the Earth I think we (and possibly the whole planet) would get swallowed up. You are right about the kinetic energy of the mini BH hitting the Earth: Regardless of the speed of the mini BH, I think the effect of the collision would be much worse than those from a collision with the actual Moon travelling at the same speed. Of course if the math I posted previously is correct, since we expect only 10-12 of these mini BHs within 50 AU of the solar system, the odds are quite small that one will actually hit the Earth. I think the argument made ... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by DieChecker on 1 September, 2016, 8:44
You mean like the movie Interstellar? That was flat out Sci Fi. I thought the bits about the black holes was complete rubbish. If even light bends at the event horizon and doesn't actually touch the singularity... then what chance does a mere human built, rickety, spacecraft really have of busting through. Zero. Zero is the answer. Not approaching zero, but actually zero. I think the only way a black hole could be a gateway to another reality is that as it is approached, it would stretch reality, such that to those outside in the regular universe, those heading in would seem to exist somewhere... [More]
Comment icon #26 Posted by cyclopes500 on 2 September, 2016, 12:49
I was tired while I wrote that. Yeah your right. The black hole would suck the whole planet in. Atmosphere and oceans first followed by the globe. I might be wrong but I think the small mass of that black hole body wouldn't be high enough to sustain itself in the form its in for long anyway. The binding force of the gravity's too weak. Instead the rules of normal physics come into action and it expands as space itself expands. Previously it and countless others have been held together by the forces inside a very small brand new universe. Like the bubbles in a bottle of fizzy drink. Take the ca... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by paperdyer on 2 September, 2016, 18:39
I haven't watched that movie yet or even looked at the trailer.
Comment icon #28 Posted by draco inquisitorem on 2 September, 2016, 21:47
At the center of our galaxy,and most others, there is a supermassive black hole. If we got anywhere near that, our tiny little planet would be destroyed. Also, I was under the impression that black holes don't move. Do they?
Comment icon #29 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 2 September, 2016, 22:32
A black hole with the mass of a starwill to all intents and purposes move just like a star,until you get very close - only then does things start to change significantly. The first black hole discovered is orbiting another star, just like so many other binary stars does. So yes black holes do move. You are right that the Earth would be utterly destroyed if it got within the event horizon of a super massive black hole, but even at thespeed of light it would take 30000 years to get there - No need to worry yet !

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