Could a spacecraft escape a black hole?

If you pass the event horizon of a black hole, have you got any hope of getting out?


Asked by Guy Richards

In short, no. Once the event horizon has been crossed nothing can escape. A black hole is a region of space where the warping of space-time is so much that not even light could escape. The reason black holes work this way is due to the intense gravity they possess.

The event horizon is defined as the region where gravity is strong enough that you would have to be travelling faster than the speed of light to escape. As we do not think this is possible, anything that crosses this line cannot get back out.

A black hole’s influence doesn’t stop at the event horizon, we know that the force of gravity has an infinite range, but the strength of this force decreases as you get further away. The closer you get to any object the stronger its gravitational attraction and therefore the faster you have to be going to escape. Thus the speed of your spacecraft governs how close you can get.

Answered by Josh Barker from the National Space Centre

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