What Would You See if You Dropped a Camera in a Black Hole?
Black holes are maybe the most talked about part of our universe and rightly so. They are fascinating in every possible respect. From how they form in the first place – due to the collapsing of a dying star. To the unfathomable mass that resides inside them. So massive in fact, that the gravitational pull from them is so large, not even light itself can escape.
What would happen if we could drop a camera into a black hole? What if it could send us back some pictures, what would we see? This is a very interesting thought. Firstly the camera would be sucked towards the centre of the black hole, approaching the speed of light. It will reach what is known as the “event horizon”. The event horizon is the far reaching outer boundary of the black hole – the point at which nothing can ever escape the clutches of the black hole.
Once past the event horizon, the camera will be moving so fast that it will practically be travelling at the speed of light. What this means however, is that due to Einstein’s Relativity Theory, the camera would be moving extremely slowly through time. This is a critical point for our budding astrophotographer.
If it could take a picture pointing the lens towards the centre of the black hole, you will be able to see everything that has ever fallen into the black hole. This is because everything that came before you has now experienced even more time dilation than you.
Conversely if you could take a picture facing away from the centre of the black hole, then you will instantaneously see everything that will ever fall into the black hole too. This is again due to time dilation, because the camera is traveling so fast, the time it experiences is very slow, nearly non-existent. But everything that will ever fall into the black hole after the camera will not be quite as fast and therefore travel through time faster.
This allows our camera to take a snapshot of all time, from big bang to the end of the universe, in only two pictures! Pretty amazing. The only problem is that it is impossible for us to ever get the pictures from the camera as it is past the event horizon of the black hole so sending back data in any form is impossible. Not to mention that the camera itself will be torn into sub atomic particles instantaneously, when it enters the black hole.