Michael Allen
Michael Allen

If there were a black hole between the Earth and the moon, what would you see?

Donuts in the sky. That’s the easy answer, explains Dr. Universe.

The more difficult, and probably much more painful, answer depends on your view. You’d see a spot in the sky where light disappears as if going down the bathtub drain. You might see the oceans lift from the Earth and float away into space. You could see the black hole change from a point of nothingness to a color-shifting tiny orb. It would deepen from red to blue as it sucks everything into it, including you, stretching everything out like taffy on a medieval torture device.

What a black hole does it take a lot of stuff and put it into a small space. It’s like taking a gallon of milk and making it fit into a cup. Then making that cup fit into a tablespoon. Then doing that a billion times.

So what would we see if a black hole showed up between the moon and us?

“You would see rings,” says Michael Allen, a senior instructor of physics and astronomy at Washington State University. Ring inside of ring inside of ring, getting bigger and bigger. “Like multiple donuts. A bunch of donuts in the sky.”

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