Whenever you read something like “The ten myths debunked” or “The truth about…”, relating to some kind of scientific topic, then there is a very high likelyhood that the rest of the text will be filled with fiction and fantasy. So an article about “six myths about black holes” will probably not give a lot of useful information.
“Most people know that a black hole is a very small volume of space with a lot of stuff in it,” Well, I have heard about this, but I don’t know it, for it’s something that happens far away. Too far away for earthlings to say anything with any level of certainty. So dr. Bauer, how do you know this? Shall we assume that you just think that this is a neat theory? For it’s a fact that it’s a neat theory.
“Instead in about 6 billion years’ time, the Sun will expand to become a red giant star” When I read this I cannot stop myself from grinning, as this is so obviously not scientific. It’s purely in the realm of fiction. Considering that nobody knows for sure how old the earth is and that even less is known about the age of the rest of the universe, this is a really funny statement. But it’s easy for astronomers to make such statements, as nobody will be able to check if it’s correct.
“Astronomers can see the effects of black holes on the space around them.” Can they really? No, all they can do is observe certain phenomena, but they cannot possibly know what exactly it is. So they cannot know either what happens in the space around them. They cannot even know if there really is any space or what that space is. It’s a lot of speculation. Nice for a scary book, but not based on facts.
“use very basic physics equations to calculate the mass of any of these stars” You see, dr. Bauer, here you go completely wrong. For you apply earthly scientific methods on things that are extremely far away. Why would physics be the same there as it’s here? I suppose it’s possible, but considering the distance and the huge size of the universe I don’t consider that very likely. But likely or not, there is no way of knowing.
“There’s nothing else we think that it could be other than a black hole.” Well, I could give you some alternatives. What about things that are way beyond our earthly understanding? What if you see things that your brain simply cannot grasp, because it’s limited to what happens on earth? Dr. Bauer, have you ever considered that option? The simple fact that you and your colleagues cannot think of another option doesn’t remotely mean that that option doesn’t exist.
“This is because you have to be very close to a black hole to feel the strength of its gravity” You would almost think she has been there and measured it. But she hasn’t of course. Nobody can ever measure things that happen at many lightyears away. “There are also hundreds of billions of stars between us and that black hole” And still you think you know what’s happening at the other side of those hundreds of billions of stars? Keep dreaming.
“Mathematically it’s possible but it’s not very likely” That goes for all the assumptions astronomers make, but let’s not confuse them with common sense. “but the way they form is more uncertain.” Again that sounds like she actually knows what’s talking about. But certainties are rare in astronomy. “Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago” Huh? Recentely another scientist said that the world is only 6 billion years old. Or maybe that was just the earth. Then the universe would have needed almost 8 billion years to form the earth. I would really like to know how they come to these conclusions.
“The universe does go through various transitions in its future but this is over trillions of trillions of years in the future” And they know that how? Considering that even the largest estimations say that the univers is only some 14 billion years old it sounds like this is not really based on a fact. “but they don’t last forever.” Well, I think that if we talk about trillions of years that pretty much equals forever. But our human minds cannot deal with such numbers, so they are completely meaningless. But I admit that it sounds impressive.
I won’t say that astronomers like dr. Bauer have a black hole in their brains, but they most definitely have a huge blind spot. And that spot prevents them from using their common sense and understand that nobody here on earth will ever know what happens far away from us. Sorry, dr. Bauer, but as long as we are earthlings our brains will be limited to earth. That’s it. Everything you say is therefore fantasy.