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Is It Possible for Light to Orbit a Black Hole?

Why don't we just fly to a black hole and check?

Isaac Newton did a thought experiment that was demonstrated in the last episode of Cosmos. If you fire a cannon, gravity pulls the ball to the Earth. If you can fire the ball with enough energy, it would orbit the Earth instead of falling. What if you replace the Earth with a black hole and the cannonball with light? Will it orbit?

That’s the subject of this video by Universe Today’s Fraser Cain. He looks at how supermassive objects affect light, how gravity affects spacetime, and what would happen if you got an upclose look at light surrounding a black hole. Hint: You’d die! But the view would be incredible.

(Fraser Cain via I Fucking Love Science)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.