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Re: Black Holes

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Posted by nåte on February 20, 1999 00:55:54 UTC

: Can someone tell me, if you could see a black hole what would it look like? Would it be a funnel shape or a sphere or what?

well, your right in that you couldn't actually see one with your eyes recieving light, but you could see the effects that it has on space and matter nearby. The intense gravitational collapse would cause whats called, "Gravitational lensing". In other words, as you looked straight on to a given BH, it would appear you are looking through a convex lens that has an infinite point at the center.

The shape would be spherical, but it would be deceiving to suggest it "appeared" spherical because of the lensing effect.

This pic you see is somewhat accurate I believe. I would tend to believe that the lensing effect you see in the pic would be much more gradual, but then exponentially increase as you near the event horizon. Also, the light nearby the BH would become more and more dim and dopplar shifted as you became closer. Also, the part of the BH that would appear absent of light would not be that large of a radius. Some BH's are only a thousand feet across.

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