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Fortnite: Black Hole event compared to real black holes

(Image Credit: Live Science)
(Image Credit: Live Science)
Izaak
ANALYST
Modified 02 Oct 2020, 21:39 IST
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To almost no one’s surprise, the Black Hole event in Fortnite is inspired by the existence of real black holes which drift aimlessly across the æther, as if wandering lost amongst the stars. Or, if you prefer something less poetic, the move according to the effects of the forces gravity upon them through space while having an equal and opposite reaction upon everything else.

What the Black Hole event did to Fortnite

The Black Hole event was one of the most important events for recent Fortnite. The Black Hole heralded the end of Fortnite Chapter One and the beginnings of Fortnite Chapter Two. But it raises the question of what exactly do black holes do in the universe. It’s easy enough to guess that black holes do not actually function as portals or warps, at least not that we know of.

How do black holes do?

It’s mostly incorrect to imply that black holes “do” anything. They don’t operate with any kind of intent or conscious effort, they simply exist according to the rules of physics, and their existence affects the space, time, and matter around them.

They are composed of much the same matter as stars, though their exact composition is largely unknown in part due to the difficulties inherent to making observations about an object which does not allow for light to escape its pull.

It’s probably more accurate to say that the black hole in Fortnite has about as much to do with real black holes as building in Fortnite has to do with real construction.

Due in part to their size and extreme impacts, black holes tend to affect matter on a galactic scale, and not merely a solar scale. Or more simply, our sun orbits a black hole at the center of our galaxy in the same manner that we, a mere planet, orbits our sun.

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Current estimates suggest that it takes our sun roughly 230 million years to make a complete orbit of our galactic black hole, Sagittarius A*. This means that in the sun and earth’s lifetime, both have made roughly 20 complete orbits around the galaxy.

Black Holes exist at a scale beyond comprehension

This galactic scale is where black holes have their unavoidable impact. While it’s true that Sagittarius A* has a gravitational pull on you here on Earth, that pull isn’t going to be the most meaningful gravity in your life. Instead, Sagittarius A* simply keeps our solar system here, in orbit, and gives us a familiar night sky to look at, in which we can draw shapes to entertain ourselves.

But recently, scientists have discovered a somewhat more intriguing black hole in the sky. It’s not the biggest, not the most massive, but it is central in what is referred to as a “cosmic web” which holds at least six galaxies together, all while it siphons celestial gas out of each of them, thus growing the black hole even further.

This structure, believed to have formed a mere 0.9 billion years after the big bang, has grown into a connective web over 300 times larger than the Milky Way.

To bring it back to a human scale, the Black Hole in Fortnite, though not given an actual “size,” was only seen swallowing up the Fortnite island, a mere 6,250 km², smaller than the island of Cyprus. 

However, if you’re ever in a position to travel outside the Milky Way, be sure to make a stop by this cluster to see this once in a lifetime tourist attraction.

Published 02 Oct 2020, 21:39 IST
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