Can a black hole ever fill up?

Is there a limit to how much these exotic objects can consume?

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Despite their insatiable appetite, a black hole can never be filled up. Image Credit: NASA

Despite their insatiable appetite, a black hole can never be filled up. Image Credit: NASA

Asked by Sarah Creasor

No, in fact they are a result of something being filled too much. Black holes form when a colossal amount of material gets crammed into a tiny space that’s much too small for it all to exist at once. When this happens, it collapses into something called a singularity. This infinitely small point contains all the mass and the subsequent gravity that results from it. Because of the huge amount of mass, close to the black hole the gravity is so strong that nothing can escape. This strong gravity pulls material into the black hole and it will consume until there is nothing left around it. Once it has cleared out the area around it, it may eventually evaporate away in a process taking billions of years.

Answered by Josh Barker from the National Space Centre

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