Our fourth, and final winner is Zain who entered the 16-18 year old category. I was so impressed by his take on the competition that he is our second winner of the category. Zain is 16 years old and his home country is the UK. I thoroughly enjoyed Zain’s piece about black holes, it is well written and an entertaining take on scientific writing. Congratulations Zain. The following is entirely Zain’s work, enjoy…
A Special Tour of a Black Hole
Welcome! I am so glad that you have taken time out of your busy day to come and enjoy the beauty of black holes with me. I assure you all, it will be an amazing journey. Now, before we jump into one, let me fill you in on the basic knowledge of black holes. These wonderful space phenomena are usually created after the death of a star of giant magnitude, once its fuel runs out. It compresses into a point called the singularity. Amazing, isn’t it? Well pick your jaws from the floor as what I am about to say will make them drop again. What is even more amazing is that anything can theoretically become a black hole. Everything has a schwarzschild radius, and if you can compress that object to a size smaller than that radius, it can become a black hole. Take the Earth for example, if you were to compress the Earth into the size of a peanut, you would get a black hole, although completely impossible. Well, these black holes have so much suction power, that not even light can escape. Now that the introduction is out of the way, how about we jump into one…
We have now entered the black hole! How exciting is this? Now, you may be thinking to yourself. Why aren’t we getting sucked in quickly? Well, I’m glad you asked, handsome stranger! You see, contrary to popular belief, the journey into a black hole is quite a long one. It takes quite a while before we start to experience any strange effects. What are these strange affects you ask? Well, we shall see them soon.
Everyone, can you see? Look at how dark this black hole is. It’s the epitome of darkness. Now let’s ignore my rambling and pay attention to our checkpoint. This magical point in space is called the event horizon. At this point, light does something amazing: it is able to actually orbit the black hole. It is theorised back on Earth that due to this orbit, we can see the backs of our heads. This is due to the light coming from the backs our heads, orbiting around the black hole and reaching our eyes. Isn’t it such a wonderful thing? Also, any observer would see us suddenly stop and fade away, instead of carrying on past this point. Since light can’t escape, the light that bounces off us can’t escape and reach the retina of an observer. What happens at the end of it? When can we leave? Oh, my naive friends, we aren’t leaving this place. We have passed the event horizon. Light can no longer escape, and neither can we.
Now now, instead of being hysterical, how about we enjoy our final moments discussing something else amazing. Scientists have also theorised the existence of wormholes. These are rather wonderful. Theoretically, these places can bend the universe in a fashion that allows anyone that enters to travel a large distance in an instant. How amazing would that be? The chance to pass through the universe, in some cases, faster than light! However, we must return to the business at hand. Our untimely demise.
You see, my friends, black holes have what is called a singularity. This point in the black hole has an infinite gravitational pull, and that is where we are headed. As we approach closer to this single point in the universe, the gravitational pull at our feet is greater than at our heads. This causes our atoms to be violently ripped apart as we get closer in a process called spaghettification. I hope you enjoyed the tour. If you didn’t, you can be compensated for your time, although that might not matter now. We shall all meet our maker, but whatever is left of our bodies will be gathered into a single point in the universe, and we will be the closest that we can ever be. So as our field of view slowly starts to get occupied by darkness, I thank you for coming along with me on this journey.
This has been the special tour of a black hole.