Science/Tech

White Holes: What Scientists Know About Black Hole Opposite

Milky Way
This long exposure picture taken late on November 22, 2017 shows the Orion Nebula (C), a diffuse nebula situated in the Milky Way, seen from Wundwin, near the Myanmar city of Mandalay. Astrophysicists suggest that it appears that black holes may have an opposite, and the scientific community calls it, “white holes.” Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images

Black holes remain as one of the most mysterious things in the universe. They are known for being so dense that even light cannot escape once trapped inside of them. 

But another kind of “hole” has been bothering a lot of experts who are trying to explore the outer space. It appears that black holes have an opposite, and the scientific community calls it a “white hole.”

According to ScienceAlert, a black hole's event horizon has a gravitational strength that prevents matter or even light to escape, while a white hole's event horizon prevents anything from entering. Simply put, black holes suck matter while white holes spit it out.

White holes appear as bright and incredibly energetic, hurling radiation in space. Aside from rejecting everything around it, white holes also spin the opposite way compared to black holes. 

Astrophysicists first introduced the concept of the black hole’s opposite in the 1970s. 

"Because the field equations of general relativity do not pick out a preferred direction of time, if the formation of a black hole is allowed by the laws of spacetime and gravity, then those laws also permit white holes," Erik Curiel explained in “The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.”

Formation of white holes

Some experts believe that the Big Bang was possibly a supermassive white hole. One theory suggested that the universe did not explode, expand into existence and spend over 500 million years in darkness.

Meanwhile, other astrophysicists believe a white hole might be an aging black hole. It was previously thought that a black hole loses its darkness as it reaches the end of its lifespan.

In 2017, scientists reported the discovery of the first white hole candidate. A team said they found a gamma ray burst that releases more energy in 10 seconds than the Sun can in 10 billion years.

They said it was caused by the collision of two neutron stars, an event called GW170817. Astrophysicists proposed that the gamma ray burst was potentially a white hole due to its unusual properties. 

However, more studies are required to confirm the findings. Some physicists also think that white holes are not able to exist in the universe.

White holes to date remain purely theoretical, but don’t forget that black holes were on the same page for years before scientists found evidence to prove their existence.

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