# How long can you be trapped orbiting around a black hole for?

I have a story I wanna write but I want to be sure it's not completely scientifically irrelevant.

I know there is black hole modelisation called the Kerr black holes, in which there is a limit around black holes called the event horizon. It's a spatial limit ; no light ray crossing this limit will ever be able to escape the gravity of the black hole. That's the definition of event horizon.

By extension, I guess any physical object (such as a spaceship) crossing the event horizon will be doomed to orbiting around the black hole until it gets destroyed. My question is about the time you can spend between the moment you cross the event horizon (= you are doomed) and the moment you actually die (for example by the tide effect, which basically destroys bodies because of the difference of attraction force between the feet and the head of a human body)? Could this moment last... 100 years ? 1000 years ? (for my story the more the better)

I know black holes studies are very theoretical, I'd just like to avoid any huge scientific plot holes.

I am quite unskilled in that domain of astronomy, about time dilatation, etc. So if anyone has any idea of the order of magnitude of the time a object can spend beyond a black hole event horizon before it gets destroyed ?

• If it was me, I'd work with a super-massive black hole not a stellar mass one, cause then you're working with a radius in light hours, perhaps light-days if you go to other galaxies and the tidal forces aren't likely to tear the ship appart, where a stellar mass one, the radius is a fraction of a light second and scientifically it's a mess. I'd also make use of the photonsphere, where light is bent around the black hole but not inside the even thorizon. The ship would need to maintain constant acceleration just to stay inside the photonsphere, but escape would still be possible. – userLTK May 20 '16 at 2:58
• Hi, thanks for your complete answer ! I've looked up what a photonsphere is on wikipedia and... I can't seem to really grasp the difference with the event horizon. Aren't those both regions surrounding a black hole from wich light can not escape ? – MarcelinDéter May 20 '16 at 14:32
• Ok I misread your comment "inside the photonsphere escape would still be possible" (I read "not possible"). So yeah that's not what I am looking for in my story ; a super massive black hole's event horizon is perfect. Thank you for your lights – MarcelinDéter May 23 '16 at 12:06