What do you think would happen to Earth if the sun magically turned into a black hole? (Not to worry; this could not and will not happen …)

People usually assume that we will be “sucked into” a black hole, but if its mass stays the same, our planet will continue to orbit. If you get too close to a black hole, you fall in, just like if an object gets too close to Earth, it falls. Since a black hole is small, some comets coming too close to the sun might survive the black hole … The real consequences are no more heat or light. It would get very dark and quickly get very cold. This would not be good for life on Earth. We would be in big trouble, but we would keep on orbiting.

Come visit the observatory for Public Night, the first Friday of each month, from sunset to 10 p.m.: humbleisd.net/observatory.

Aaron Clevenson
Author: Aaron ClevensonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the observatory director at the Insperity Observatory in Humble ISD. I am also an adjunct astronomy professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery where I teach solar system astronomy and stars and galaxies astronomy. I am the author of the astronomy textbook, “Astronomy for Mere Mortals.” I am a past president of the North Houston Astronomy Club, and was the chair of Astronomy Day in Southeast Texas in 2015 and 2016. He is an observing program director with The Astronomical League, coordinates their Master Observer Progression Awards, and has authored six of their observing programs.

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