Black Holes – Time dilation and messing with my head

My mind is getting a bit fried right now. Maybe it’s to do with this time of year, but I’ve been thinking about time dilation, black holes and that kind of thing. This has all come about from the film Interstellar where a group of astronauts try to find a new home for the human race in a far away galaxy.

They get there through a wormhole that’s in the area of Saturn and find themselves in a star system where three planets orbit a black hole. Things are ok so far, this is good old fashioned Sci-Fi stuff.


The first world they visit is closest to the black hole and they work out that an hour on the surface for them will mean seven years will pass from the point of view of their mother ship, the Endurance. This is also ok, this is now not only science fiction but thanks to the theory of relativity also science fact (or as good as becasue no one has yet verified this fact).

This time dilation was demonstrated in the story when an unscheduled delay meant that rather than the mission to the planet taking a mere seven years, it in fact took 23 years. To them they were only a few hours, but the guy left behind on Endurance had aged 23 years and Joseph Cooper’s kids had turned into mature adults who had thought he was either dead or had abandoned them.


Towards the end of the film, the pilot Cooper ejects himself and his spacecraft from Endurance. He ejects so that the rest of the Endurance can escape to the third planet carrying Anne Hathaway’s lone survivor. In the film it gets weird and there’s a kind of 3D thought / reality  thing going on and this is where I split from the plot to my thinking.



By ejecting, Cooper has essentially given himself to the black hole (called Gargantua). Our understanding is that spectacularly intense gravity would kill him, crushing anything physical completely and utterly to mere atoms. From his point of view this would happen quickly, but probably not quickly enough thinking about it.

Getting to the point here – if Anne Hathaway could watch Copper falling into the black hole and past the event horizon (again another problem with this as light has a little trouble escaping a black hole – hence it’s name) things would be happening  slowly. Whereas for Cooper looking back up things would be happening  very quickly.

The first thing is that this is a total brain fuck in itself.

The second thing kinda blew my mind away, I’ve been picking up the pieces all week! Cooper may never, ever reach the physical entity of the black hole. If time is moving so fast outside the black hole what may actually kill Cooper (he’s not going to be too bothered by this I think) is the end of the universe.

Think about it… while he’s merrily (Ha!) falling towards his doom, the universe is speeding by up there. So much so that it ends before he reaches it?!?!

Damn – my mind blew again. Sometimes I wish I didn’t think so much!


This is some purely wildly out there thinking – this would mean that falling into a black hole could be a bath to living forever. Firstly it wouldn’t you would die from the gravity crush, but it’s the possibility. When the kind of concepts can be thought of in mathematics and proved in theories on relativity it begs the question – what the hell else can we discover?

The only limits are the limits that our human mind can actually perceive and cope with and maybe even accept.

That’s kinda big.

Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on images – found on Google from the film Interstellar.



58 thoughts on “Black Holes – Time dilation and messing with my head

  1. What you have wrote is all scientific theory and none of it is fact or backed up by any tangible fact. Yes you have blown your mind, but only with your own imagination 🙂
    Interstellar is just a film loosely based on many, many weak scientific theories, some really wild which cannot and never will be proven.
    Observable evidence is king.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there, thanks for commenting. You’re right in many ways. As we understand how the universe works now these are the things we understand. While it may not be factual a good mind bending is good for one I think ☺️


      1. Hey Simon

        ”As we understand how the universe works”

        On that don’t you think its odd that we supposedly landed on the Moon (well Neil Armstrong) in 1969 and now almost half a century later humans still haven’t travelled past the moon? 50 years of technological advancement but still we are no further.

        My friend we don’t have a clue about the universe, not even an iota. You can make a theory on the spot and it will have as much credibility as Mr Science guy at NASA, technically.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m not saying we do… That’s why the phrase “as we understand”

        Just because it’s what we understand, doesn’t mean it’s right, right? ☺️


      3. Of course and more than likely we are wrong about a lot of things. Just like how scientists were so sure we evolved from apes and but have now realised that ‘maybe’ they were wrong.

        Or when we once thought the earth was flat, but realised it wasnt. As I said observable evidence 🙂


  2. Huh. This is nuts. I remember Interstellar vaguely. It’s one of the many things I watched with my ex-boyfriend and thus didn’t entirely absorb…definitely didn’t remember the whole time dilation thing till you reminded me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well this is the thing about time dilation, it is nuts. In reality, one would not know what is going on with the other, it’s a what if example but it screws with one’s mind a lot lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No kidding. Unless there was some way to measure it and send the data out…I mean it’s gotta be possible. Maybe not with current technology but someday…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Suppose so, but we could always figure out how to create a wormhole. I’m guessing that’ll happen before warp speed…I’m still not sure if there’s a scientific equivalent for antimatter, lol

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Good. I have a post planned for Science at Your Doorstep, but I’ve been up since 7am moving into college and am basically about to conk. It’ll happen tomorrow. You?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Life. I kinda lose track from moment to moment. But at the moment I finally shrugged off an impending sleep haze and got back to work organizing my dorm room. Geez I only have two days for this, one of which to get my printer fixed, and then on to classes…

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That doesn’t sound too relaxing at all. It sounds pretty full on. I never realised you were a student. What are you studying? How far down on the course are you?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Secondary ed, general science, minor in English. I’m a sophomore. And it may not be relaxing but it’s a nice change from the nothingness of summer…

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Suit yourself 😊 I’m looking forward to having a life. Besides, I like it here. Nice dose of independence before the next summer…plus the campus is great. There’s a Subway and Starbucks in walking distance from my room.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Well, the angle’s all wrong, but I can watch the customers come in. Great for business—imagine watching all those frapuccinos walk by and knowing you could be down there too in five minutes…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wooooaaah! But now you have me wondering if the slowing down of time would also slow down Cooper’s oxygen consumption. He may indeed be falling until the end of time, but he might have run out of air millions of years before! I love thinking about this kind of stuff… Makes me wish I’d paid more attention in physics at school.


      1. That’s true! And I’ve been busy enough this week… I don’t see the madness stopping until Christmas Eve evening, when I plan to collapse on my parents’ sofa with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie 😆 How are you getting on?


      1. work has been super, super busy for me and will continue to be so for about another 3 weeks then i’ll get a little breather for the holidays. of course i may very well sleep it away… lol

        Liked by 1 person

It's great to hear from bloggies - feel free to leave a comment :-)

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.