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Life may possible in supermassive black holes: Cosmologist

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LONDON (PTI): Supermassive black holes are known to be absolutely uninhabitable and the most destructive force in space. But, conditions for life may exist inside them, claims a Russian cosmologist.

Vyacheslav Dokuchaev, of Moscow's Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, has even said if life did exist inside the supermassive black holes, it would have evolved to become the most advanced civilisation in the galaxy.

He further claimed that most advanced civilisation in the galaxy could already be living inside, the Daily Mail reports.

Supermassive black holes are such powerful gravitational forces that they suck in everything around them, including light, and nothing that crosses their "event horizon" is ever seen again.

But, Dokuchaev, who specialises in studying those orbits and their dynamics, said existing evidence combined with new research throws up intriguing possibilities for certain types of black holes.

Inside a charged, rotating black hole there are regions where photons can survive in stable periodic orbits.

In a paper published in Cornell University journal arXiv, he speculated that if there are stable orbits for photons, there is no reason why there could not be stable orbits for larger objects, such as planets.

The problem is that these stable orbits would only exist once you have crossed the threshold of the event horizon, where time and space flow into one another, he said.

The event horizon, at the lip of the black hole, is known as the point of no return. However, beyond the event horizon is another domain, known as the Cauchy horizon, where time and space return to stable states.

It is inside the Cauchy horizon that life could exist, Dokuchaev argued.

However, Dokuchaev stressed that the type of life that could exist in those conditions, where they would be subject to massive fluctuating tidal forces, would have evolved beyond what we see on the Earth.

The life that could exist there would likely be a civilisation ranked as "Type III" on the Kardashev Scale.

There are three levels to the scale with one being the lowest and three the highest. Humanity is still looking to attain Level 1 status; mastery of its own planet.

"Interiors of the supermassive black holes may be inhabited by advanced civilisations... invisible from the outside," Dokuchaev said.

Though that is a spine-tingling thought, Dokuchaev's proposition can only ever remain theoretical.

Because nothing can ever escape from a black hole due to its enormous gravitational pull, we will never know if it is true.

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