(Representative Image) Photograph:( AFP )
For long, black holes existed in Hollywood films and science fiction books
What if the universe’s secrets were hiding in the innards of a black hole? Scientists seem to think so.
For long, black holes existed in Hollywood films and science fiction books. But when the first-ever image of one was released last year, the interest in black holes and their anatomy has increased.
One of such black holes - Pōwehi is allegedly a repository of all of universe’s history. According to a report in New Scientist, the rings of light trapped in the hole’s orbit may be a historical record of its kind.
Comparing the rings of light or photons to a tree, or frames that constitute a film, scientists believe it’s where the history of all universe is stored. In essence, this would make black holes a constituent yet small piece of the puzzle we call the universe, and know very little about.
Most knowledge about black holes is extrapolatory, based on juxtapositions and far-off observations, and perhaps we will never know what lies inside one of the holes, as the gravitational pull in the holes is strong enough to swallow everything that crosses its path! What scientists do know is that black holes are created in the aftermath of a star’s death, or a supernova.
Photon rings are important
The series of photon rings in the black hole can help scientists study its properties, much like studying branches of a tree to understand its structure.
“Together, the set of subrings are akin to the frames of a movie, capturing the history of the visible universe as seen from the black hole,” the paper asserted.
However, black holes are complex entities. Even if we were to somehow access photon rings, we would need to do it on time.
New rings are formed every six days, and they last no longer than this time period, after which the hole swallows them.
So, we may not be able to peek into the past, or perhaps the future, just yet!