Does time feel slow in a black hole? © Getty Images

Does time feel slow in a black hole?

Timing would be the least of your problems if you fell into a black hole.

Asked by: Reece Shanks, age 9, Scotland


No, because you have no way of ‘feeling’ the passage of time.

It is true that large gravitational forces (such as when you approach a black hole) slow down time, but you can only be aware of this by comparing your experiences with someone far away from the black hole. You will see a distant friend ‘sped up’ rather than feel yourself ‘slowed down’. They will see you ‘slowed down’ rather than feel themselves ‘sped up’.

The closer you approach the black hole’s ‘event horizon’ the more sped up you see your friend. But for you, time would ‘feel’ just as it does to you right now.


Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.