What’s Now • IS IT POSSIBLE for a black hole to
devour an entire galaxy? !?
It may not seem like it, but black holes are simple: atoms that have been squeezed so much by gravity that occupy an infinite volume, but without losing their mass. Studies indicate that the mass of a black hole is directly linked to its ability to “swallow” its neighborhood through its immense gravitational attraction, and that also each galaxy usually has a black hole in the center, thus, one day the entire Milky Way will be devoured? The answer is no.
There’s nothing like a black hole devouring an entire galaxy, because the gravitational reach of the supermassive black holes existing in the middle of each galaxy isn’t big enough to reach every object in the galaxy. In fact, it can’t even swallow the stars closest to the galactic center. Our Solar System, for example, is about 26,000 light-years away from Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. This distance is more than safe For comparison, there are a few stars that appear to be safely orbit Sagittarius A*, one of them being S2, which is about 25,000 light-years away from us. To better understand how the gravitational gravity of a hole black think of those who form from star collapse: their gravitational field remains the same as the star had before the collapse. If the Sun, for example, could become a black hole (which won’t, because it doesn’t have enough mass for it), all orbits of planets, comets and asteroids in the Solar System would stay the same. Almost nothing would be devoured.