Can A Black Hole Be Destroyed?

Black Holes are one of the most incredible phenomena in the universe. They are associated not simply with the vastness of space but also with destruction; many people see them as the ultimate means of galactic destruction.

As they are the result of a star dying, they are often seen as the personification of death. 

However, you might wonder if, like other great galactic phenomena, they are only temporary. Does this mean that even black holes can die? Well whilst Black Holes aren’t alive in the same way as you or me it is an interesting question to ponder. 

So, if you have ever wondered can a Black Hole be destroyed then you have come to the right article to find out. 

How A Black Hole Is Created

First of all, before we move on to discussing how a black hole is destroyed, it is worth discussing in some detail how they are created. 

Black Holes are created as a result of the death of a large star. It is important that, when considering how Black Holes are created, that we recognize that they can only be created from the deaths of large stars. This is because when smaller stars die rather than becoming Black Holes, they become Neutron Stars. 

The kind of stars we are talking about are cosmic giants. Most stars that become Black Holes were originally three times the size of our own Sun. To put this in perspective our own Sun is 696,340 km – a massive size on its own.

However, the stars that become Black Holes are far bigger. This is why our own Sun, when it eventually dies in billions of years, will never become a Black Hole but rather will collapse in on itself and become a white dwarf star. 

A star dies when its nuclear power is exhausted after the star has been burning for millions of years. Although a star can live for millions of years this doesn’t mean that its energy supply is inexhaustible. In fact, all stars of a certain size will one day end up dying and turning into Black Holes simply because they cannot sustain themselves forever. 

Power cannot be generated forever and since stars are required to generate their own source of energy then they can easily end up eating up all their energy in order to sustain themselves thus causing them to implode on themselves. This is how Black Holes end up being created.

Now that we’ve addressed how Black Holes are created let’s discuss whether or not black holes can be destroyed or not. 

Can A Black Hole Be Destroyed?

You might be thinking given that Black Holes are already made up of dead imploded stars, the results of them collapsing in on themselves and thus surely pretty much indestructible as they are characterised less as normal space object but more the gap left by large stars that could no longer go on sustaining themselves. 

However, you wouldn’t be right in thinking that nothing could destroy a Black Hole – well at least in theory. Part of the issue with discussing Black Holes and whether they can be destroyed or not is due to the fact that humans have, rather naturally, never been very close to any particularly prominent Black Holes.

Indeed, all we know about them is based on discoveries made by probes charting a course through space which of course can only provide a certain amount of data back to us. 

At the moment as far as we know in practice nothing can destroy a black hole – indeed it has been stated that if two black holes collide, rather than destroying one another they would simply form a larger black hole. This seems to be the current scientific consensus. 

However, known other than the late Professor Sir Stephen Hawking theorised a way that Black Holes could in fact be destroyed; not by any act of man but rather by the nature of the Black Holes themselves. 

Hawking theories that based on the scientific principle that in quantum mechanics the space time element of any energy states naturally fluctuates in order that they can continue to exist – it is naturally self-evident that in order for something like a Black Hole to continue to exist, in the same way that a star continues to exist, it must generate power. 

Hawking theorised that during the process of continual energy production a part of the Black Hole, a particular particle that might not be able to be processed in the same ways as others might begin to drift off and seemingly break away from the Black Hole. 

This potential occurrence is known as Hawking Radiation and Hawking believed that over time the Black Hole would slowly begin to disintegrate and fall apart because it was unable to continue to draw in matter around it if its structure was weakened. This process would take hundreds of millions of years so the destruction of the Black Hole in this way would be barely perceived to most people. 

However, the issue with this is that it is simply a theory – there is no way to tell whether or not this has even happened because even if a Black Hole was suffering from Hawking Radiation it would be incredibly difficult to tell without getting close to it, something that no human being has yet done or is likely to do in the near future. 

As such the likelihood of proving Hawking’s theory one way or another is highly doubtful; it may take us millions of years to be able to see it and that is all depending on how long humanity lasts. 

Therefore, the answer is that at the moment it is theoretically possible that Black Holes could be destroyed but as yet there is no concrete evidence that such an action could ever occur. 

Why It Is Important To Know About Black Holes

Black Holes are ultimately one of the most complex occurrences in the known universe. They are unlike anything else either in terms of their recognition to the general and yet the fact that so much is unknown about them. 

Some scientists’ theories for example that rather than Black Holes simply being a vacuum that strips all life from plants and turns them into pure energy that they could in fact be gateways to other universes that we have no idea about. Whether this could be possible is again difficult to estimate as no human being has ever been that close to finding out one way or another. 

Even if this is the case, how would it be possible for the individuals that were involved in such an experiment to be able to confirm they were alive but in another universe rather than, as many conventional scientists think, turned into energy sources for the Black Hole? The obvious near impossibility of this means that it is unlikely that we will ever know the full truth about Black Holes. 

However, it is vital that we all know about the makeup of space because of how much influence it has on all of our lives. Without fully understanding the complexities of the universe in all its wonders we will never be able to truly advance and ensure that humanity has the brightest future possible.

Gordon Watts