Rotating Question Curious About Astronomy? Ask an Astronomer

Could you escape from a black hole if you were able to go faster than the speed of light?

If my spaceship is caught in a black hole, can it escape from a black hole if it's able to go faster than the speed of light? I know ftl travel is still just science fiction but I'd still like to know.

Even if you were somehow able to break the laws of physics and travel faster than the speed of light, you still couldn't get out of a black hole. The space within black holes is curved in on itself, and so there is no direction you can travel in to get out of the black hole.

This is related to the fallacy that the reason why you can't escape from black holes is because they have an escape velocity that's equal to the speed of light. It's true that the escape velocity for a black hole is the speed of light. But if you have something like a spaceship that can provide its own acceleration, you never have to actually move at the escape velocity in order to escape. The real reason why it's impossible to escape is because the space inside a black hole is curved in on itself.

August 2003, Christopher Springob (more by Christopher Springob) (Like this Answer)

Still Curious?

Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:

Related questions:

More questions about Black Holes and Quasars: Previous | Next

How to ask a question:

If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.

Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist

URL: http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=559
This page has been accessed 26881 times since August 4, 2003.
Last modified: August 4, 2003 1:18:34 PM

Legal questions? See our copyright, disclaimer and privacy policy.
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.

Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)