Fast-flying fungal spores
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Springing forward
Frogs and Toads
Stunts for High-Diving Ants
A Whale's Amazing Tooth
Insects Take a Breather
Training Your Brain to Feel Less Pain
Chimpanzee Hunting Tools
The Smell of Trust
Flightless Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Supersonic Splash
Cooking Up Superhard Diamonds
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
Getting in Touch with Touch
Look into My Eyes
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Fossil Forests
Fossil Fly from Antarctica
Meet your mysterious relative
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Life trapped under a glacier
Power of the Wind
Lessons from a Lonely Tortoise
Nanosponges Soak Up Pollutants
Finding the Past
The Puzzle of Ancient Mariners
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
Electric Ray
Food and Nutrition
Building a Food Pyramid
Eat Out, Eat Smart
Symbols from the Stone Age
GSAT English Rules
Capitalization Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Scholarship
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
Monkeys Count
It's a Math World for Animals
Math and our number sense:
Human Body
Hear, Hear
Smiles Turn Away Colds
A Long Haul
Golden Retrievers
Miniature Schnauzers
Children and Media
How children learn
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Invisibility Ring
Gaining a Swift Lift
Fungus Hunt
Assembling the Tree of Life
Fast-flying fungal spores
Black Mamba
Komodo Dragons
Space and Astronomy
A Smashing Display
Rover Makes Splash on Mars
Sun Flips Out to Flip-Flop
Technology and Engineering
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
Algae Motors
A Clean Getaway
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Problems with Prepositions
Reach for the Sky
Robots on a Rocky Road
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Recipe for a Hurricane
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
A Dire Shortage of Water
Add your Article

Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver

It's a good thing we can't get anywhere near a black hole. If it were possible, the consequences would not be pretty. A black hole is a point in space where gravity is so intense that not even light can escape its tremendous grip. If you happened to come anywhere near such an eerie object, it would stretch you from head to toe and squeeze you from side to side, turning you into a pitiful strip of human linguini. Death would come in just a fraction of a second. Unless, that is, you armed yourself with a black hole life preserver. There is no such thing, of course. But two astronomers—J. Richard Gott of Princeton University and Deborah L. Freedman of Harvard University—have come up with a design that might work. The lifesaver would look like a thin ring. It might be as large as one of the rings of Saturn and as heavy as an asteroid. If you could keep it around your waist, the ring would shrink as you entered the black hole and counteract its forces on your body. Even so, the ring would only buy you an extra 0.09 second before the black hole sucked the life out of you completely. The idea could some day have a practical application. If people ever do find a way to travel into deep space, a protective ring could keep them alive during an encounter with a black hole just long enough to save them for the journey home. The intrepid space travelers might have to do some tricky maneuvering, though. A ring as big as a planet could be pretty awkward to bring along!—E. Sohn

Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver
Tossing Out a Black Hole Life Preserver

Designed and Powered by™