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Q&A: Black Holes

Q:
In regard to the recent black hole flare, something occurred to me. If light cannot escape the black hole, what happens to it? Is it bright somewhere within? Or are the photons destroyed or changed?

A:
You are correct in your assumption that light cannot escape from a black hole. This is why the recent report on the flare from the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy emphasize that the flare was from the vicinity of a black hole. The event horizon of this black hole has a radius of about 10 million kilometers, and the flare is thought to have occurred at a distance of about about 100 million kilometers.

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