Do black holes grow when matter falls into them? Yes, the mass of the black hole increases by an amount equal to the amount of mass it
captures. The radius of the event horizon also increases by about 3 kilometers for every solar mass that it swallows. A black hole in the center of a
galaxy, where stars are densely packed, may grow to the mass of a billion Suns and become what is known as a supermassive black hole. Recently Chandra
has found evidence that black holes with masses of about a thousand Suns can be formed in dense star clusters by processes that are not yet
We are affected by the gravity of the black hole in the center of our own galaxy. What do you thing makes our galaxy a spiral galaxy? It is the thing
that rotates every star, planet, moon, and gas cloud around a single point and that single point is a Supermassive Black Hole.
Hmmm... I was not aware of these recent findings.
We are effected by everyting since gravity is infinite. But, gravity decreases proportionally to it's inverse square of its distance. It is so far
away that it's force is very small. Our galaxy does not spin because there is a black hole in the center, it spins because almost all observable
mass is at the center, and because of angular momentum. And still, cosmologists aren't really sure what else gives a galaxy spin. Only objects near
it have to fear falling into the singularity. And even still! Not all matter falls into it, but orbits it and is also jetted out through it's poles.
Want to know what awaits us in the future?
Approximately 1,000,000 AD- 50,000,000 AD: If the descendents of humanity still exist and thrive, they are becoming a Karadashev Type III civilization
sometime during this period, heavily dominating and more or less in control of the entire Milky Way galaxy...
[B]Approximately 4,000,000 AD:
Human-derived civilization has possibly colonized the entire Milky Way galaxy by now......assuming they faced no alien opposition, or insurmountable
cosmic obstacles-- and also avoided destroying themselves over the past several million years.
Approximately 40,000,000 AD: Australia joins with Asia
Approximately 100,000,000 AD: If humanity suffered a catastrophic decline or extinction sometime between 2,000 and 3,000 AD, there would still remain
some subtle fossilized signs of their existence on Earth even now
Approximately 150,000,000 AD: Humanity's ultimate descendents or replacements on Earth may now be meeting their own end
If humanity managed to survive without major setbacks past around 2650 AD or so, then some form of the civilization may have continued on, even up to
today. Of course, such a civilization likely would be unrecognizable to its ancestors. It might perhaps be wholly machines-- a race of robots.
On the other hand, if humanity injured itself badly enough before 2650 AD, or some external force like a comet impact did something similar, human
civilization may have been set back severely at the time, perhaps never to fully recover. Or a whole new civilization might have arisen over thousands
or tens of thousands of years, based upon largely different technologies than the first (due to resources like easily accessible minerals and fossil
fuels having been depleted by the previous generations). The necessity to invent new technologies not dependent upon the same elements prior
civilization used (and the greater possible difficulties therein) may have even delayed the rise of the second civilization by a million years or
more. This new human civilization might have little or no idea of the first-- legends of entities like 21st century USAmerica, Russia, and China might
be their own versions of Atlantis. If this were so, that would be unfortunate, as it might lead to them repeating the mistakes of their forebears, to
begin a new cycle of catastrophe and regeneration. Eventually of course humanity might not recover from one of these cycles, going extinct instead.
150 million years would be enough time for 25 different non-human civilizations to come and go, if they required only roughly the same 6 million years
or so humanity did to arise from its ape forebears. Or, if the succession was of slight variations of human beings, requiring maybe one million years
between them for evolutionary changes, there could be up to 150 different human variant civilizations rise and fall over the same period. Each
separated from the other by hundreds of thousands of years in terms of artifacts and relics. The evolutionary changes might involve growing resistant
to high levels of radiation from nuclear war, or to various biological weapons or toxic pollutants loosed by previous generations. Or they might
entail shrinking in size due to chronic food shortages. Or using a combination of technology and natural evolution to adapt to living undersea, due to
increased radiation from nuclear wars or distant star explosions afflicting the Earth's surface. Many sorts of changes could be forced upon mutated
human beings, depending on what humanity itself does during this time, and what the cosmos itself decides to throw our way.
2,000 AD- 200,000,000 AD: Sometime during this period the pair of stars making up the binary star system KPD1930+2752 collide, producing one of the
largest supernova explosions the Universe has ever seen
Earth may be bathed in lethal gamma radiation. If the blast lasts only a few minutes, perhaps only half the life on the planet dies. The Earth's
biosphere could require a long time to recover-- even from a short blast.
Approximately 500,000,000 AD: The Sun is getting steadily brighter and warmer-- which means things are getting warmer on Earth as well
The extra heat causes the weathering cycle of Earth's silicate rock to accelerate, more rapidly converting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to
calcium carbonate stored in the oceans. This helps reduce the impact of the hotter Sun for a time, but eventually the Earth runs too low on
atmospheric carbon dioxide, and the cycle grinds to a halt. Long before the cycle stops, much plant life on Earth has died due to the dearth of carbon
dioxide in the air. Long before the majority of plant life dies, most animal life perishes, as plant food supplies dwindle, first killing plant-eating
animals, which starves out meat-eating animals.
After 500,000,000 AD, 95% of all Earth plants (including trees and most human food crops) begin to die out. This will eventually leave only plants
derived from tropical grasses such as sugar cane and corn still alive. However, even these may die off relatively quickly for other reasons, since
they alone will be unable to sustain the Earth's biosphere to continue the growing conditions to which they are accustomed. Earth is fast becoming a
desert world despite still possessing substantial oceans.
Approximately 750,000,000 AD: By now the Milky Way galaxy is colliding with and begun to absorb the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy
Approximately 1,000,000,000 AD: Little more than lakes, ponds, and puddles are left of Earth's once mighty oceans today. A brighter, hotter Sun has
evaporated them away into space
Approximately 1,500,000,000 AD: Our galaxy is beginning to be distorted by the gravity effects of the larger Andromeda galaxy which is on a collision
course with our own
Approximately 3,000,000,000 AD: Our galaxy is undergoing a full-scale collision and merger with the considerably larger Andromeda galaxy, at
approximately 300,000 mph
Sol system could find itself near the center of the newly forming child galaxy of the two giants, and highly vulnerable to exploding supernovae and
increased cometary impacts. There's also the near certainty that the massive black holes at the cores of both galaxies would seek to merge somewhere
near our location as well. The resulting chaos and energy would make the night sky on planets like Earth nearly as bright as day. The gravity-based
acrobatics of this time might even result in Earth's solar system being flung out into intergalactic space-- which might save it from the worst of a
core merger, but put much more distance between it and neighboring star systems. The impact of such gravitic distortions on the level of individual
lifeforms possibly inhabiting Sol system at the time is uncertain. The process may be so gradual that effects are imperceptible-- or they could be
literally earth-shaking and even rate as mass extinction threats.
Due to more localized catastrophes by this time, humanity or its progeny are likely to be extinct, living altogether elsewhere, or at least moved off
Earth onto planets further out from the Sun within the local system.
Approximately 3,500,000,000 AD to 5,000,000,000 AD: The Earth is becoming so hot from the warmer, swelling red giant which used to be a much
friendlier Sun, that it is becoming impossible for high biological life to survive on the planet without advanced technological aids
The Sun is exhausting its hydrogen fuel supply and therefore exiting the main sequence of star life; it soon begins to swell into a red giant
Beyond this point it begins to redden and swell, eventually growing large enough to swallow Mercury. Around this time Venus loses its atmosphere, and
its surface is roasted. Earth will not be far behind, as the Sun continues to swell. There's the possibility that by this time a close encounter
between an alien star and Earth's solar system has disturbed the orbit of Jupiter, perhaps slingshotting Earth out of the system and into
interstellar space, to become a rogue planet. This might save Earth from the worst charring-- replacing burning with death by freezing.
Approximately 7,000,000,000 AD: The Sun is collapsing into a white dwarf star
Approximately 10,000,000,000 AD: By now the hybrid Andromeda/Milky Way galaxy has collided with and begun absorbing the lesser galaxies of the Large
and Small Magellanic Clouds
10,000,000,000 AD- 60,000,000,000 AD: The Sun is a steadily cooling white dwarf star. It cools sufficiently that life may actually develop upon the
Approximately 1,000,000,000,000,000 AD (One followed by 15 zeroes): The "Degenerate Era" of the Universe begins
White dwarfs and brown dwarfs are dominating the stellar landscape. Black holes and neutron stars comprise most of the rest of the Universe's mass
now. Most other galactic stars have ended in collisions with others or slowly burnt out. There remains the corpses of cold dead planets spread across
every galaxy-- although they are eventually widing up for the most part inside black holes. Births of new stars are occuring at a negligible rate, as
the galaxies are running on empty in regards to hydrogen gas.
Eventually dark matter becomes the main fuel of the remaining solar furnaces.
As this Era progresses, the surviving stars gradually become cooler and cooler, until at some point the temperatures are sufficiently low to support
life (yes, temperatures comparable to planets). The white dwarfs also boast plenty of heavy elements from which life might form, and enormous spans of
time within which such development could occur. The brown dwarfs too may offer harbors for new life development.
Approximately 10,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 AD (One followed by 40 zeroes): The "Black Hole Era" of the Universe begins
All the dark matter has been consumed. The decay of protons and neutrons has resulted in the collapse of most mass into its constituent atomic
particles, but for black holes. Even black holes evaporate, via Hawking radiation. Such radiation is now the biggest energy source for the Universe as
a whole. There may be lifeforms structured from various combinations of black holes now. The very low free energies of this time might impose severe
restrictions on the living processes of such entities however-- in effect making them very, very slow to respond to stimuli.
Approximately 100, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 AD (One followed by 101 zeroes): The "Dark Era" of the Universe begins
The last of the greatest black holes in the universe has evaporated to nothing by way of Hawking radiation. The still expanding universe has become
cold and extremely dilute. There are virtually no concentrations of free energy left, and enormous distances between appreciable mass concentrations
(and we're talking possibly microscopic mass accumulations here-- objects like planets, asteroids, and stars no longer exist; their very mass has
decayed into their constituent atomic elements).
This may represent the long, drawn out end of the universe-- ending with a whimper rather than a bang. Or, it may set the stage for the universe to
make a phase change of sorts to a whole new reality. Physicists speculate that sometime during this Era the terribly low energy state of the universe
might enable it at last to tap into the energy of the quantum vacuum-- and thereby perform a 're-set' of sorts for the universe entire. That is, a
wholly new universe, with a fresh and different set of physical laws, might spring into being. Perhaps even via a repeat of the Big Bang