• Question: if the speed of light is the fastest thing how come it get sucked into a black hole and hoe come diagram of black holes are flat when space is not flat?

    Asked by kinglrde to Bethany, Hannah, Keith, Peter, Ramya on 24 Jun 2014.
    • Photo: Hannah Tanner

      Hannah Tanner answered on 24 Jun 2014:

      I don’t know anything about black holes – I’m not that sort of scientist. Maybe you could ask someone from the Astronomy zone: https://astronomyj14.imascientist.org.uk/

    • Photo: Bethany Dearlove

      Bethany Dearlove answered on 24 Jun 2014:

      Like Hannah, I’m no expert in black holes – they were one of the things I found most mind-boggling in science at school. I think this article seems to do a good job of explaining them though: http://mattforte.hubpages.com/hub/Why-Does-Light-Get-Sucked-Into-Black-Holes.

      As for why diagrams of them are flat, I have no idea! Maybe it’s just something to do with the limitations of drawing in 2D.

    • Photo: Peter Elliott

      Peter Elliott answered on 24 Jun 2014:

      The gravitational pull from a black hole is so immense not even light can escape. Light is indeed the fastest thing we know of but it is still affected by gravitation fields. The force of a black hole literally pulls light into its centre so that we do not see it.

      At the moment I don’t think we actually know the shape of a black hole as we cannot see them (as they suck in all the light around them). It is possible it could be a sphere, doughnut or cylinder shape, but the chances of it being flat are very slim.