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Is there any limitation to what a black hole can "suck" in?

hi i am a student in high school. is there any limitation to what a black hole can suck in material?

A black hole can only accrete material ("suck it in" in your words) if it is able to pass the event horizon. Matter that is in orbit about a black hole needs to lose angular momentum before it can fall in, otherwise it just continues to orbit the black hole. In the real universe, black holes which are accreting matter have what are called accretion disks around them. The matter in these disks slowly spirals in to the black hole, and it becomes very hot as it does so we can see the disks glow (usually in X-rays).

The common conception of a black hole being like a vacuum cleaner "sucking" in any matter that comes anywhere near it is therefore not exactly true. This article on what would happen if the Sun suddenly changed into a black hole (which is not likely to happen) might help you to understand this better.

June 2002, Karen Masters (more by Karen Masters) (Like this Answer)

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