Can a person go into a black hole and come out alive? (Beginner)

Can a person go in a black hole and come back out alive and in one piece?

The short answer to this is no! I guess you'd probably like more of an explanation though!

You've really asked two questions which I will answer separately:

It is absolutely not possible to go into a black hole and come out again. In a way this is the real definition of a black hole. Not even light can escape, and light moves very very fast! The point where light can just escape is called the event horizon, and after you pass this point you are inside the black hole and can't get out.

It is possible however to enter a black hole and not die! What I mean is that you can pass the event horizon before you would be pulled apart by the strong gravity. Funnily enough it is only the very big black holes that this is possible for, as the event horizon is further out in these and so the tidal forces are not so strong there. However once you have passed the event horizon you will hit the singularity and die in a very short time!

This page was last updated June 27, 2015.

About the Author

Karen Masters

Karen Masters

Karen was a graduate student at Cornell from 2000-2005. She went on to work as a researcher in galaxy redshift surveys at Harvard University, and is now on the Faculty at the University of Portsmouth back in her home country of the UK. Her research lately has focused on using the morphology of galaxies to give clues to their formation and evolution. She is the Project Scientist for the Galaxy Zoo project.

Twitter:  @KarenLMasters
Website:  http://icg.port.ac.uk/~mastersk/

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