Question: If you had a space ship fast enough to orbit around a black hole, would you eventually accelerate to a speed faster than light?

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  1. Good question. Black holes are tricky beasts, but unfortunately they still have to obey the speed limit of the Universe!

    The speed of light (in a vacuum) is the fastest that anything can travel, so if your space ship came close to a black hole (and survived) you would accelerate closer and closer to the speed of light, but you would never quite reach it! And in the meantime, you would feel heavier and heavier the closer you got.


  2. An addendum that you might be interested in : the speed of light is a limit that you can’t cross. But there has been speculation that there can be particles that can travel faster than the speed of light – it is just that they can never slow down *below* the speed of light if they do exist! Physicists have called this speculative type of particle “tachyons” – but as yet there is no evidence that such things exist. And in fact there are some other theoretical problems with them. But who knows?


  3. wow interesting – great question tannedtuna


  4. Great question – isn’t the universe amazing! 😀