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Q& A: Black Holes

Q:
I have read your Q & A on what happens to a star when it goes into a black hole, but where does the star go to? Surely it can't just disappear, could a black hole be something like a star gate or worm hole?

A:
You're correct that the material from the star doesn't disappear when it enters the black hole, but it will no longer be visible to an outside observer, since light cannot escape beyond the event horizon of the black hole. Because of this inability for light to escape we are obviously limited by how much we learn about the insides of a black hole. But, while it will be very difficult or impossible to rule out the presence of something truly exotic like a worm-hole, I personally think that such objects are unlikely to exist. There is evidence that bigger-than-average galaxies have bigger-than-average black holes, suggesting that black holes simply keep getting more and more massive when they pull in material (rather than funnelling material into another part of the universe, like in science fiction).

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