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Speed of light and a black hole

  1. Jan 16, 2016 #1
    What would happen if you were to fly a starship traveling near the speed of light directly into a black hole?

    Would it stay in tact because it cannot be accelerating any faster?

    Or would it split because it's being accelerated in all directions simultaneously?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2016 #2


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    It would disintegrate due to gravitational tidal effects. Traveling at near c would not save it.
  4. Jan 16, 2016 #3


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    That would depend on the size of the black hole. For a small black hole, it would be ripped apart (sphagettified) by tidal forces before ever getting to the event horizon. For a large black hole it would be sphagettified some time after it entered the event horizon, also by tidal forces.
  5. Jan 16, 2016 #4


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    He's asking whether, at ~c, the craft can spaghettify. And if so, how?
  6. Jan 16, 2016 #5


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    Traveling near the speed of light relative to what? The black hole?

    Speed is restricted to no greater than the speed of light- not acceleration.

    Being torn apart means that the pieces are accelerating (and gaining speed) relative to each other. But they start out with 0 speed relative to each other. The fact that the ship is near c relative to the black hole is irrelevant.
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