What would it be like if there was a black hole inside the Sun? Science responds!

The Sun plays a fundamental role throughout the Solar System, especially on Earth. After all, without solar lighting and radiation, there would be no type of life on our planet. In addition to providing an enormous amount of energy in the form of light and heat, the Sun is important for several terrestrial processes, from photosynthesis to climate regulation.

Currently, scientists say that the Sun should function normally for another five billion years. Of course, nothing will happen, and the universe will continue in its normality. But have you ever stopped to think what would happen if a supermassive black hole appeared close to the Sun?

Unfortunately, the massive object would 'swallow' our entire star and, consequently, life on Earth would be wiped out in just 8 minutes after the solar destruction. But what if it were the opposite of that?

“Stars that harbor a black hole at their center can live a surprisingly long time. Our Sun may even have a black hole as massive as the planet Mercury at its center, without us even realizing it.s”, said postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) and assistant professor at Yale University, Earl Patrick Bellinger, who published a study addressing the topic.

Have you ever stopped to imagine what it would be like if there was a black hole inside the Sun?  Scientists now!Have you ever stopped to imagine what it would be like if there was a black hole inside the Sun? Scientists now!Source: Getty Images

After wondering what would happen if the Sun swallowed a small black hole, some researchers even published articles on the topic. After all, what could happen if there was a primordial black hole inside the Sun?

To try to explain a little more about this extreme case, TecMundo gathered information from experts, astronomers and other scientists in the field. Check out!

A black hole inside the Sun

A team of astronomers questioned the possibility of the Sun 'swallowing' a small primordial black hole, that is, a cosmic object that emerged in the first moments of the universe after the Big Bang.

Scientists explain that this type of structure must have a mass approximately equal to that of an asteroid, being smaller even than a baseball. The study was published in the scientific journal The Astrophysical Journal. A primordial black hole in a star isn't that unusual for science; in fact, this is a phenomenon known as Hawking's star.

Astronomers argue that primordial black holes can be used to explain more about the mysteries of the cosmos, such as what dark matter is. Some theoretical models even predict that these objects are common in the universe, so it would not be so unusual if a star was found swallowing such a structure.

In a thought experiment, researchers point out that If countless primordial black holes were created after the beginning of the universe, some could be 'sucked up' by forming stars.

In this case, the newly formed star would capture it, and the primordial object would occupy the center of the star. However, the black hole would grow slowly due to its high luminosity flux. After analyzing the thought experiments, astronomers discovered that it would be more difficult to detect such a star than they imagined, as it would be almost indistinguishable compared to a normal star.

“Even if the Sun is used as an exercise, there is good reason to think that Hawking stars would be common in globular clusters and ultrafaint dwarf galaxies. This means that Hawking stars could be a tool for testing the existence of primordial black holes and their possible role as dark matter,” said professor, Bellinger's partner and study co-author Matt Caplan of Illinois State University.

The illustration above shows the layers of the Sun;  If possible, the primordial black hole could be located in the star's core.The illustration above shows the layers of the Sun; If possible, the primordial black hole could be located in the star's core.Source: Wikimedia Commons

The main difference between a normal star, like the Sun, and a star that absorbed an object of this type would occur in its core, as it would be convective. Even so, The properties of the star would remain practically the same, which is why it would be so difficult to detect a phenomenon of this magnitude.

In other words, if primordial black holes really exist, one of the ways to find them would be to search for Hawking's stars through astroseismology, in which researchers use acoustic oscillations to understand the core of a star.

Anyway, It is important to highlight that, currently, scientists do not know whether primordial black holes really exist in the universe, as there has not yet been any detection. However, astronomers can still perform thought experiments to try to understand what would happen if they existed and whether a star could capture one during its formation, as in the example mentioned.

Did you like the content? To continue unraveling more science mysteries like this, continue following TecMundo and take the opportunity to understand how primordial black holes can hide the answer to dark matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *