Monster BLACK HOLE | Full Documentary

black holes font our universe dark

centers of gravity that swallow

everything in their path what will you

see if you got close and they'll pass

the point of no return into another

world of twisted space and time

what secrets can we learn about the

universe on a journey to the center of a

monster black hole


imagine traveling to the very center of

our galaxy 26,000 light-years away

and finding a vantage point on the night

sky you'd see millions of stars and on

the horizon a strange dark sphere rising

it's a black hole

and objects so dense nothing can escape

its gravitational pull not even light

this monster is ten times the size of

our Sun yet millions of times heavier

it's not the only one out there in

nearly every large galaxy astronomers

have found evidence of black holes

millions even billions of times the mass

of the Sun how did they form and how did

they get so large in the search for


we are beginning to glimpse the forces

that shape the Stars planet even life

and now by tracing the lifecycle of

black holes scientists are finding clues

to the fate that awaits all of galaxy

and the universe at large but how do you

study something that by nature evades

detection sometimes the universe lets us

in on its most mysterious workings March

19 2008 astronomers around the world

receive an alert sent from an orbiting

Observatory called Swift it had recorded

a flash of gamma radiation a kind of

ultra high-energy light that is the

signature of a cataclysmic event swift

automatically relayed the information

down to earth and within seconds robotic

telescopes in North and South America

turn their gaze on the rising light

astronomers dial into the data to see

how bright and powerful the flash had

become meanwhile at giant observatories

in Chile and in Texas they zero in on it

using specialized instruments to split

the light into all its different


that tells them how far the light have

traveled to reach earth what they find

is that it had come from seven and a

half billion light-years away

halfway across the visible universe

Tom vest Rand heads a robotic telescope

project at the Los Alamos National Lab

in New Mexico he's been tracking

high-energy gamma-ray bursts for over a

decade and has never seen anything like

this he was the most luminous thing ever

detected by mankind traditionally think

of astronomy as something that happens

very slowly but this was a thing that

had been traveling to us for 7.5 billion


arrived here and for 30 seconds it was

astonishingly bright amazingly bright

minutes later meaning

still showing signs of saturation it was

so bright in fact that it was visible to

the naked eye putting together evidence

from ground and space telescopes

astronomers determined that the flash

was a narrow but intense beam of light

and it most likely it broadcast the

birth of a black hole

this singular moment is the endpoint of

a violent chain of events in the core of

a large star

all stars shine by burning light

elements like hydrogen in the largest

ones intense heat uses these elements

into heavier ones like carbon silicon

and finally iron like hot air in a

balloon heat and light from these

nuclear fires creates an outward

pressure that prevents the Stars massive

outer layers from collapsing inward

eventually that fuel runs out the energy

flows out through the star off into

space it can't go on forever when the

fuel runs out the star starts to shrink

and when that iron core builds up to

about 1.4 times the mass of the Sun it

can no longer hold itself up against the

pressure and it will collapse in some

cases as matter slams into the star's

core the impact creates a powerful

shockwave that races back out and

literally blows the star apart


our galaxy is littered with the

scattered remains of these supernovae as

shown in images like these from the

hubble space telescope but what happens

to the collapsed core of these dead

stars when a large star implodes its

weight is enough to squash all the atoms

in its core down to their nuclei the

result an ultra dense ember called a

neutron star the density of a neutron

star something like taking a mountain

and pushing it down to the size of Mobb

about so big neutrons can withstand

incredible pressures but if enough

matter falls onto them beyond a critical

threshold they can be crushed down to


when that happens a black hole is born

a black hole is gravity taken to the

extreme its mass is literally packed

into a point and enshrouded within a

dark sphere called the event horizon

that sphere is the point of no return

any gas stars or planets that fall in

disappear forever

a black hole is a region of space and

time which is both black and empty it's

black because light can't escape from it

gravity pulls the light back but it's

empty because the object or system that

collapsed to form it in the first place

is shriveled away to nothing

the common idea that the black hole has

just made of very compacted matter it's

wrong it's just simply wrong it may have

been created from very compacted matter

but the matter is gone it's been

completely destroyed it no longer exists

and yet it leaves behind a powerful

legacy it's gravity

according to Albert Einstein gravity is

not just the attractive force of planets

and Suns


it's a warping of space and time what

scientists call space-time in the

presence of massive objects a planet for

example goes into orbit when it's caught

in the Warped space surrounding a star

like a ball spinning around a roulette



with the mass of a star squashed down to

a point a black hole is a deep puncture

in space-time when a black hole is born

the energy gets transformed from the

energy of the matter to the energy of

warp space-time so it's a transformation

of the form of the energy from one to

another but the energy is still

concerned what you're left behind with

is warp space-time that has a huge

amount of energy in it with that energy

a black hole can affect its environment

in profound ways on our planet Earth

we know gravity is the force that brings

everything down the impact releases

energy a crash

a thud a shatter


when matter falls toward a black hole

the energy released can reach

astronomical proportions when we look at

how they affect the rest of the universe

we look at what happens around them what

happens when stuff exploits this huge

gravitational potential this huge

gravitational hole that they form and

how that is exploited to make energy

such energy emissions are part of a

growing body of evidence that black

holes famous for hiding in the dark have

a history of outbursts that have reached

across the cosmos and shaped the

universe we know

scientists are following this energy

like a trail of clues leading ever

closer to the black hole's dark heart

astronomers once saw black holes as rare

and exotic in a universe seemingly

dominated by stars and galaxies

a radically new view has emerged from

surveys of galaxies and black holes

stretching deep into the universe

giant black holes lurk in the dust lanes

and swirling gas clouds at the Centers

of nearly every large galaxy

what's more the larger the galaxy the

larger the black hole that's a clue that

they must have evolved hand in hand

each shaping the life story of the other

to find out the role black holes played

in the evolution of the universe

astronomers are trying to recreate this

shared history with what amounts to a

whole new branch of science they are

using supercomputers to simulate the

sweep of cosmic history including that

of galaxies like our own


this simulation takes us back to just a

few hundred million years after the

beginning of the universe gravity

through vast pockets of gas into dense

centers they grew hotter and hotter

igniting to become the first generation

of stars these stars lived hot and fast

and in only a few million years

some blew up in powerful supernova

from these stars likely came the first

generation of black holes cosmologists

Tiziana DiMatteo

is part of a wider effort to see what

marked these early black holes left on

the universe her computer program

simulates the action of gravity on gas

the formation of stars galaxies and

black holes her goal is to create a

virtual universe that evolves like the

real one did with black holes and

galaxies emerging and growing together

our Milky Way galaxy is located in a

quiet part of the universe with

relatively few other galaxies around it

move out across the cosmic void 50

million light years away and you

encountered the great Virgo cluster

filled with thousands of galaxies

recent telescope surveys show that this

region is part of a larger pattern of

galaxies resembling a vast spider's web

to get her virtual universe to look like

this Tiziana needs to know what cosmic

conditions gave rise to black holes and

galaxies in the first place so it's a

beautiful problem because we start from

extremely well specified initial

conditions we know the initial condition

of the universe and that's very rare in

astrophysics in cosmology and you know

in any branch of physics details of what

the universe was like in its earliest

times have come courtesy of a

breakthrough Observatory called W map it

found a blotchy pattern in a kind of

radiation generated soon after the Big

Bang astronomers believe this pattern is

the origin of a spider's web structure

they see in their telescopes it defines

the beginning point of Tiziana

simulation on top of that now we need to

put the right physics in order to play

these initial conditions evolve them and

make the universe the way it looks like

today she sets her virtual universe in


it covers a region in the shape of a

cube over a hundred million light years

on a side the result an intricate cosmic

web with gravity drawing matter into

filaments and knots on the largest of

scales in places where filaments come

together galaxies and black holes first

begin to appear all the matter that is

coming in from the large scale will also

allow the black hole to to grow because

of this gas is being transported from a

large scale all the way into the

galaxies and the galaxies all the way

into the center and therefore feeding

and growing this central black holes at

a very high rate

in this sequence drawn from her

simulation the circles indicate the

appearance of black holes within the



what she finds is that as these black

holes gain mass gravity pulls them

toward the densest regions where if you

grow larger than all the rest how did

these chosen few black holes grow so

rapidly the orbiting Chandra x-ray

Observatory recently turned up evidence

at the Centers of galaxies back in the

time of the early universe these images


it's remarkable find actual supermassive

black hole pairs beginning what

astronomers believe is a dance of death

in most cases their forward momentum

simply causes them to go into orbit

around each other like a planet around

the Sun this orbit can go on for

billions of years to grow large one

black hole must draw the other in close

enough to swallow it

Albert Einstein showed how they do it he

predicted that when massive bodies

accelerate or whip around each other

they can stir up the normally smooth

fabric of space-time


it's like a rock hitting a pond some of

the energy of the impact is transferred

to waves that move outward along the

surface likewise a Titanic collision of

black holes would send waves gravity

waves racing across the universe so you

have two tornadoes embedded in a third

larger tornado and they're going to come

crashing together and you want to know

what happens when these tornadoes are

not made from whirling air but made from

whirling warped space and time this

simulation shows what happens as two

black holes get closed they turn space

into a turbulent sea of gravity waves

these waves have the effect of carrying

energy away from the orbit itself that

allows the pair to draw each other in

and merge into one we go back to half of

the age of the universe and all these

black holes are swirling large amounts

of gas so it's a fun time in sort of the

golden age for the growth of most black

holes the reason why this because most

of the large major mergers are occurring

in the universe around this time

this simulation shows how a galaxy like

our own might have taken shape in a

flurry of mergers and collisions in the

beginning gravity drew patches of stars

and gas together a new larger patch grew

still others

in fact the universe is littered with

galaxies in the process of ripping each

other apart and crashing together in the

turmoil of each new merger another

victim is thrust into the jaws of a

growing black hole and in the densest

regions of the universe a small

percentage of these monsters have been

able to grow to a level of size and

ferocity we can scarcely imagine and yet

amid all the violence are clues to how

the universe and even places like Earth

came to be what they are astronomers

have long puzzled over a class of ultra

bright beacons of light from the distant

universe called quasars

in time they linked them to the

outpouring of energy from the Centers of

galaxies and to growing black holes but

how can something that emits no light

shines so brightly

to get it

the chance to solve this mystery has

drawn a crowd near NASA's Kennedy Space

Center in Florida

82nd Rangers go mounted in the nose of a

rocket just up the beach is the

next-generation cosmic Explorer 10 9 8 &

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 go here a delta rocket

carrying in flames gamma-ray telescope

searching Fermi gamma-ray Space

Telescope is part of a larger effort to

explore the role black holes play in

shaping the universe

well to me the idea that you're standing

here on the planet in our own little

area of our galaxy we're able to look

around and make meaningful measurements

have a theoretical understanding of the

entire universe in which we live to me

is something that all of humankind can

justifiably take pride in the black

holes that enter Steve Ritz a project

scientist and his team are among the

largest ones out there the energy they

emit is thought to stem from periods of

rapid growth at the centre of galactic

feeding frenzies


billions of years ago in places where

the universe was dense with matter

gravity drew swarms of young galaxies

hurtling toward each other a large

galaxy grew in the center and when

another galaxy fell toward it it hurled

matter at a central black hole force-fed

like this the black hole could grow up

to several billion times the size of our

own Sun this crazy growth that black

holes would go through particularly

early on this would be a rare event not

everywhere in a universe particularly

when the universe is still young will

have this huge gas inflows that will

allow the black hole to grow so fast and

when a supermassive black hole grows it

vents its rage on the surrounding

universe you can see the evidence in

these telescope images they show

powerful beams of energy or jets coming

from the Centers of galaxies and often

extending tens of thousands of light

years into space

such outbursts can have a profound

impact on their host galaxies and beyond

probing the Perseus galaxy cluster the

Chandra x-ray Observatory found immense

hot cavities hollowed out of the

surrounding gas the culprit they believe

is a jet of radiation coming from a

large central galaxy

as it roared out this jet created

shockwaves so powerful it pushed huge

volumes of gas beyond the central region

and without this gas new stars can't

form that explains why some of the

largest galaxies are filled with old

stars most likely born before their

black holes began erupting at the same

time a black hole jet concede the

surrounding regions with the heavy

elements needed to form solar systems

and planets like ours we see these Jets

of particles being blown clear out of

the galaxy and they were serious because

we know when they're pointed roughly in

our direction they're very strong

emitters of very high-energy gamma rays

the Fermi telescope joins a growing

fleet of observatories in space capable

of reading the high-energy x-rays and

gamma rays associated with these Jets

it's rather like seeing a track of

bullets and trying to follow the

forensics down to what gun could have

fired the bullet where was the gun what

were the properties of the gunpowder and

so on the gun in this case is a

mysterious whirling region of space-time

the black hole but what allows the gun

to fire and produce a jet black hole

also has the property that as it spins

on its axis as the Earth spins it

dragged space into a whirling motion

like the air in a tornado

faster near the horizon slower farther

awaits if they are in the tornado is

whirling faster near the car than it is

farther away

in the eye of this cosmic tornado gas

and stars flow into the hole along a

rapidly spinning disk

the spinning motion generates magnetic

fields that twist around as matter

swirls in these fields channel some of

the inflowing matter out into a pair of

high-energy Jets so we can extract them

the rotational energy of a black hole

nature can extract us and the amount of

energy we get out is enormous ly larger

than all the energy you can get from

burning all the nuclear fuel inside a

star it's the equations of albert

einstein that describe the source of

this incredible power the extreme

warping of space just outside the black

hole what we can learn from these

equations doesn't stop at the event

horizon they can also let us enter with

our minds the realm within a black hole

most likely will never directly see how

those equations play out and live to

tell a future Explorer prospecting for

data we tempt fate by traveling too


if the monster is a collapsed star

weighing a few times the mass of the Sun

its gravity rises sharply

the pull on the starships nose is so

much greater than on its tail the

gravity rips it to shreds

ironically you'd find a gentler ride

into a supermassive black hole its

larger size means it's gravity is more

spread out


what you'd find if you made it inside is

the most extreme destination in all the



Andrew Hamilton an astrophysics

professor has been investigating what

happens when matter falls inside a black



using Einstein's equations he and other

scientists believe that falling into a

black hole is equivalent to moving down

a river and tumbling over a waterfall

like a cosmic precipice the outermost

region of the black hole the event

horizon is where space itself flows

relentlessly in what does one mean by

space falling or doing anything it's

just that if you put objects in space

then they will move in certain ways and

if you put objects near a black hole as

they approach the horizon inevitably

they must approach the speed of light in

order to stay at rest otherwise they're

going to fall inside the horizon

if the black hole is spinning the

central region is bounded by what's

known as the inner horizon

in a case defined only by Einstein's

equations an object may whip around so

fast it gets flung outward

if there's nothing inside the black hole

except the space-time structure itself

there's nothing inconsistent about

having space fall inside turn back

around and come back out again because

space has no substance so there's no

problem with it

moving through itself it would be like a

river racing over the falls hitting the

rocks below

then flowing back up

in a strange world of general relativity

you fall in through a region a black

hole region where space was falling

faster than light and now space has

turned around and is now pushing you

outward faster than light imagine

charting a starships course into this

topsy-turvy realm

if you survive the fall down to the

event horizon you'd accelerate through


you go with the flow you hit the speed

of light at the horizon now you can

still see stuff from the outside world

even when you're inside the horizon but

people can't see you because space is

falling faster than light to understand

the chaotic region within Hamilton has

enlisted Einstein's equations in a

project to visualize the black hole's

inner Anatomy you could only get this

close on a spaceship propelled by pure


passing through the event horizon we

approach the central zone as we whip

around we are flung out of a kind of

cosmic tunnel known as a wormhole at its

end we pass through what's known as a

white hole like characters in a science

fiction story we exit into another time

or place

perhaps another universe this strange

passage is the work of theory in reality

it couldn't form amid all the turbulence

the moment you introduce any real matter

then the stuff that's trying to fall in

tends to collide with the stuff that's

coming back out again there's a

turbulent chaotic Malstrom

deep down inside the black hole

in a waterfall this collision zone is

where water crashes on the rocks and

ricochets into the downward flow

here turbulence rises all order

disappears in a black hole the collision

zone is the inner horizon where swirling

matter envelops the central core


that's the end of the line for a

starship it gets instantly vaporized

the chief characteristic of this region

near the inner horizon is that streams

of energy are passing through each other

and they're passing through each other

very rapidly that counter streaming of

material begins to build up to the point

where itself gravitates and that gravity

accelerates those streams even faster

through each other in the gentle world

we know the energy released by gravity

quickly dissipates whatever crashes down

settles into a state of rest inside a

black hole the energy does not dissipate

instead it builds on itself rising to an

extreme state known as the planck

density to grasp what that is imagine

taking all the matter we can see with

our telescopes all the trillions upon

trillions of stars that make up all the

galaxies in the universe and crush it

down to the size of a marble note don't

stop there keep going push it all the

way down to less than the size of an

atom that is a Planck density and that's

kind of density that it's produced

inside a black hole it's the most

extreme place in our universe outside

the Big Bang

in this state temperatures rise to a

trillion trillion times hotter than the

center of our Sun


it would be hard to imagine what

destructive impact the release of this

energy would have fortunately extreme

gravity holds it tight within the black

hole's event horizon

despite the roiling turmoil within the

supermassive black hole in our galaxy is

thought to be relatively quiet has it

settled into retirement or will the

energy of whirling space close to its

event horizon somehow be unleashed

astronomers believe that turbulent times

lie ahead

the Andromeda galaxy is located two and

a half million light-years from our

Milky Way scientists calculate that it's

barreling toward us at over 200,000

miles per hour

it will take around five billion years

to reach us by that time the Sun will

have entered its twilight years swelling

to an enormous size and scorching the

earth but a much larger galactic

catastrophe is about to unfold a

simulation of the Andromeda Milky Way

collision shows the likely chain of

events at first the two paths in a close

encounter their mutual gravity tears

them both apart scientists say the odds

are that our solar system will get flung

out to the far edges of this Maelstrom


as the galaxy's finally settled together

- hungry supermassive black holes in

their centers spiral toward each other

from all the turmoil a new larger black

hole will then emerge who knows whether

we will be around to witness its birth

as astronomers project the continued

evolution of our galaxy they ask will

the matter and energy and pounded within

its central black hole remain there

forever or is the black hole like all

other cosmic bodies somehow subject to

the ravages of time

we live at a time in which most of the

energy of the universe is produced by

stars trillions of years from now all

across the universe stars begin to use

up their fuel and fade away the largest

stars fall toward the Centers of

galaxies whether swallowed by

supermassive black holes


as the universe decays it gives way to a

long era dominated by the remnants of

dying stars and black holes the far

future of the universe is one where the

stars have burned out and formed neutron

stars or white dwarfs and some black

holes and eventually over long periods

of time the black holes merge together

to form bigger black holes in time much

of the matter within galaxies will fall

into these black holes and they will

become the last bastions of our universe

how long will they last the answer may

come from a theory proposed by the

cosmologists Stephen Hawking Stephen

Hawking applied quantum physics to black

holes and predicted that they wouldn't

be black but would glow with heat

radiation in a very distinctive way and

of course if there's heat coming off

heat energy coming off this energy has

to come from somewhere the energy

Hawking said would come from tiny

particles emerging from the vacuum of

space just outside the event horizon


some of those particles radiate away

taking minut amounts of mass from the

black hole like water evaporating from

the ocean over time the radiation grows

stronger and stronger as the black hole

shrinks and finally explodes when the

last black hole dies that's the end of

the universe as we know it how can we

know if the theory is right and they

actually do decay if black holes were

made in the Big Bang with a mass of

about that amount vivir is these black

holes ought to be going pop about now

and radio astronomers have look to see

if they can see a sort of

electromagnetic pulse associated with

that they haven't found any

there might be other ways to see a black

hole decay from all across space black

hole Jets are blasting particles out at

very near the speed of light

these particles called cosmic rays slam

into our Earth's atmosphere with enough

energy to create miniature black holes

these mini monsters would decay

immediately in a shower of particles but

they are very difficult to observe we're

all of those door xi look good ok what

if you could produce collisions this

powerful in an Earthbound lab and under

controlled conditions actually create a

black hole if you could then watch a

decay it would provide a unique window

onto the future of black holes ok

filling blue will start culminating in

blue rings it's hoped that taking two

very high energies small pieces of a

very fast proton and collided into each

other you can put enough energy into a

small enough space that you can actually

create the conditions by which a black

hole would form these black holes are so

very small therefore very hot and

therefore they essentially radiate

themselves away immediately 1.2 1.3 town

the nine barbecue is still locked the

effect looks good all right here we go

at Brookhaven National Lab in New York


physicists are using advanced technology

to blast gold atoms in opposite

directions down giant tunnels almost two

and a half miles long they accelerate

these atoms to within a tiny fraction of

the speed of light

when the atoms collide a fireball erupts

sophisticated sensors record a splatter

of subatomic particles a hot soup of

gluons and quarks what we believe we're

creating is a temperatures approaching

two trillion degrees centigrade that's a

hundred thousand times hotter than the

interior of the Sun it's hotter than a

supernova explosion it's harder than the

surface of a black hole it's harder than

a neutron star like we believe nowhere

in the universe is at that temperature

was last that temperature in the

universe one microsecond one millionth

of a second after the Big Bang

it's as if they are running the universe

in Reverse taking us back to an instant

when it was extremely hot and dense

creating a black hole it seems will take

even more energy than that in fact more

than any earthbound Collider can pack

that is unless there's more to our

universe and to gravity than we thought

our injection efficiency looks good the

orbit looks good orbit RMS is under 2

millimeters in each plane Einstein's

theory of general relativity is the one

that we find in all the textbooks and

it's the one that we're all sort of

pledged to defend that would be rash to

say it's the last word on the subject of

gravitation and there are certainly

alternatives here is around and some of

them are quite popular and some of these

theories these are non-standard theories

of gravitation predict that you could

make a black hole by colliding together

subatomic particles some scientists

believe they may be able to create one

at a new and more powerful system in

Europe called the Large Hadron Collider


the key lies in whether the world we

know is part of a more complex cosmic

reality beyond the three spatial

dimensions plus time that we experience

in our everyday lives

if so we would be like insects living on

the two-dimensional surface of a pond

unaware the deep and complex reality

below it that we can be living on the

surface of the pond happily minding your

own business but not realizing that

under underwater something say a fish

underwater can be swimming swimming

through the water causing disturbances

that propagate up to where we are we

could feel it happening we could

essentially see our universe around us

changing but we look around for the

cause of it and we won't know what it is

the idea is that a number of extra

dimensions actually intersect our world

1012 pi okay when particles collide at

very high energies those extra

dimensions enhance the gravitational

force between the particles enough to

create a micro black hole what good the

scientists will know a black hole is

there when they see the shower of

particles predicted by Hawking's theory

and for a moment that will open a window

to a deeper cosmic reality

a very idea that we could tap into this

underlying realm shows how rich black

hole research has become

Einstein's theory showed how black holes

can generate extreme energies caused the

universe to wobble and bend and twist up

into knots

the recognition that black holes are

fundamental to the workings of our

universe is a major discovery of science

in our time and if it turns out that

they do have a finite lifetime their

death will signal the end of our

universe by some estimates the time

horizon of the largest black holes goes

out to a googol years take a1 and add

100 zeroes to it

that's an unfathomable spread of time

but it's far short of forever the clock

may well be ticking on our universe the

alarm will sound when the last black

hole explodes