Ask Ethan #81: Could you crawl out of a black hole? (Synopsis)

“Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.” –Alfred A. Montapert

You might not think of falling into a black hole as a choice, but in the case of this week’s Ask Ethan, someone is choosing to explore exactly that!

Image credit: original unknown, retrieved from http://mondolithic.com/.
Image credit: original unknown, retrieved from http://mondolithic.com/.

Imagine, if you will, taking a solid object that’s completely outside of an event horizon, of choosing a very massive black hole with minuscule tidal forces at that location in space, and then just barely pushing a tiny piece of that object over to the other side of the horizon. Would you be able to pull it back out again?

Image credit: Mark Garlick, via http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/03/black-holes/finkel-text.
Image credit: Mark Garlick, via http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/03/black-holes/finkel-text.

An interesting situation to explore, but I’m not about to let someone get off easy! Dive in to the possibilities and impossibilities of black hole escape on this week’s Ask Ethan.