There is a chance that Interstellar didn’t lie. Astrophysicists think that a spaceship could fly through a large enough rotating black hole without turning into a nudle.
Black holes often serve as portals in science-fiction. Sometimes they lead to other parts of the universe, sometimes to different universes and sometimes they even provide the option of time travel. Now it shows that maybe it’s not complete fantasy. I don’t think I have to tell you that black holes are among the most mysterious objects in the known universe. A singularity is sitting at their center – where physics collapse. Yet we are fairly sure they exist.
Until now everybody who knew anything about science thought that black holes would be probably the worst place to search for a portal that would allow travel. We thought that the singularity – which based of the current theories has infinite mass and thus infinite gravity – will “spaghettify” and destroy anything that comes too close to it.
But Gaurav Khanna and his colleagues from the Massachusetts University in Dartmouth think that there might be different types of black holes. And thus the chance of flying through them might be different as well. If we are talking about a rotating supermassive black hole it would dramatically change the objects fate. They think it would change the black hole into a somewhat peaceful ferryman who takes the ship… somewhere.
Believe it or not – Interstellar is actually responsible for this. One of the scientists – Caroline Mallary – thought to herself – could the hero of Interstellar survive the fall into the black hole. So she created a computer model that included the majority of the important physics and it shows that people traveling through the black hole might even survive. This is because when you are talking about really large rotating black holes the stretching from gravity should be somewhat small.
We should remember that the computer model used a few simplifications. The major was the fact that the black hole in it was a completely isolated object without anything from the outside affecting it. The problem is that real black holes are surrounded by a lot of stuff like dust or radiation. That is why they are planning to do a follow up study of an object flying through a more realistic supermassive black hole. But really, we will never be sure until somebody tries flying through one.