Countless times have we seen Hollywood movies portray high-tech spacecraft using portals or black holes to travel to another dimension, time, or even universe.
And while for years this had only remained a possibility in science fiction movies, today, that fantasy may be possible more than ever thanks to one of the most mysterious objects in the universe: a black hole.
This is according to a new study published by a team of scientists from the University of Massachusetts.
Black Holes; Scary Cosmic Portals?
We know that a black hole is formed when a very massive star is literally crushed by gravity until it is compressed into a single point of infinite density called a singularity.
According to the theory of Relativity, when this happens, the singularity perforates the very fabric of space-time, creating a discontinuity or “hole” that in theory could be used to travel enormous distances in a very short time.
But physicists have maintained that any spacecraft that approaches too close to a black hole would suffer the worst of destinies.
As soon as it crosses the event horizon (the imaginary line that, once crossed, does not allow us to leave the black hole ever) the spaceship would become trapped by the enormous gravity of the central singularity, which would begin to stretch it until it was reduced to a very long “spaghetti-like structure” that would evaporate later without a trace.
Using Black Holes to Our Advantage
But not all Black Holes are mean, devouring cosmic monsters.
According to Gauray Khanna, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts, and colleagues at Georgia Gwinnett College, not all black holes are the same and those with certain characteristics could offer us an unprecedented way of traveling through the universe.
“If a black hole like Sagittarius A*, located at the center of our own galaxy, is large and spinning, then the prospects for a spacecraft change radically. And this is because the singularity that a spacecraft would have to contend with is very gentle and could allow for a very peaceful passage, “explains Khanna in an article by The Conversation.
And scientists say that the reason why traveling through such a black hole is possible is because the relevant singularity within the rotating black hole is relatively weak, and would not cause damage to an object interacting with it.
Building on previous studies about Black Holes done by Physicist Amos Ori, Ph.D. student, Caroline Mallary created a computer model that included the most essential effects that a Black Hole like Sagittarius A* would have on a spacecraft or any large object. She discovered that under all circumstances, if a spacecraft were to fall inside a rotating black hole, it would not be destroyed or stretched infinitely upon passing the so-called inner horizon singularity.
But not only that, she discovered that under the right circumstances, the effects exerted by the Black Hole on the spacecraft were negligibly small, allowing the spacecraft to use the Black Hole as a sort of Hyperspace portal.