BYU-Idaho’s Planetarium, located in the George S. Romney Building, will begin showing Black Holes Thursdays starting Oct. 1.
“It sounds interesting that you have the opportunity to see, theoretically, what a black hole would look like,” said Jordan Mack, a junior studying business management. “You don’t really know much about black holes, so it is cool that you can learn what information is out there.”
Scientists make new discoveries about black holes weekly, according to NASA. Albert Einstein predicted black holes in 1916, but they were not officially discovered until 1971, according to space.com.
“Black holes are the cold remnants of former stars, so dense that no matter — not even light — is able to escape their powerful gravitational pull,” according to National Geographic. “With no force to check gravity, a budding black hole shrinks to zero volume — at which point it is infinitely dense. Even the light from such a star is unable to escape its immense gravitational pull. The star’s own light becomes trapped in orbit, and the dark star becomes known as a black hole.”
Astronomers have discovered that there is a black hole in the very center of our own Milky Way galaxy, according to National Geographic.
Popular science-fiction movies like Interstellar and Star Trek also depict the possible nature of black holes and worm holes, both of which are discussed during the Black Holes show, according to the planetarium’s Web page. “Black holes are pretty awesome, if you think about it,” said Logan Carpenter, a sophomore studying physics. “It’s an extreme of the universe — infinite mass in a single point. Nature is pretty neat. This is a good chance to learn that.”
Carpenter said the show starts off with a live view of the current night, with the operator identifying different constellations, then the Black Holes presentation.
He said the presentation consists of a 3D model of a black hole, a simulation of what it would be like if a person were to get too close to one and more.
Brad Dukes, a planetarium operator and a senior majoring in university studies, said the Black Holes show is one of the most popular shows put on by the planetarium because it attracts people with many different knowledge levels.
“It breaks down the science to make it accessible to those without any background on the subject and yet goes deep enough to peak the interest of any astronomy enthusiast,” Duke said.
The planetarium is located in Romney 107. If there is a high demand one particular night, the planetarium will add a second show at 9 p.m. Admission is $2 at the door. To learn more, visit the planetarium Web page.