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Some say that a black hole is a rip in space-time, a portal linking two points in the universe as one. How sound is this? I've read that when a giant star collapses, what is left behind (a massive neutron star?) is so dense that light cannot even escape its gravitational pull. Is this phenomenon caused by an actual object? If one were to travel into a black hole, should not one find only really dense matter?

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closed as off-topic by Rory Alsop, Eduardo Serra, Gerald, e-sushi, Francesco Montesano Mar 4 '14 at 22:18

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about Earth science, unless directly related to phenomena observable on other celestials, Solar system in general of which Earth is a part, or as an origin of observational astronomy where its movement, local/global phenomena might affect observations and measurements, is off-topic. For more information, see the meta discussion." – Rory Alsop, e-sushi
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This isn't really astronomy, it's more in the realm of theoretical physics. The simple Sander to your question is that you won't be able to observe anything, as the gravity gradients are so vast you'd be torn apart. – Rory Alsop Feb 23 '14 at 23:01
I've been quite a while in doubt, whether I should vote to leave this question open or not, but at the end I think, it's a question about quantum gravity, hence theoretical physics. – Gerald Feb 24 '14 at 22:03

There should be nothing special about crossing the "event horizon" - the line beyond which light cannot escape and so, in theory at least, one might "travel into a black hole" and not be aware of any physical changes at all.

However, I suspect what you mean is what would happen if one travelled to the centre of a black hole. Here we may speculate but our current theories of physics breakdown at this "singularity" and so we cannot know - nor is it easy to think of how we might design an experiment, given our currently available technologies, to test any theory we have.

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I think we can agree that a trip into a black hole would be painful. An orbit near the event horizon would rip a human into pieces via tidal force. – Marc Feb 27 '14 at 0:03

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