In Brief
We might not know as much about black holes as we think we do. This video by PBS Spacetime helps to explain some common misconceptions surrounding black holes.

Black holes are some of the most extreme objects known to science.  They can be over 1 billion times the mass of our Sun, with gravitational fields that swallow whole stars (indeed, whole Solar Systems) mangle spacetime itself. Yet, despite their allure among space geeks, for the most part, many people don’t properly understand the science of black holes.  

Luckily, PBS Studios has a fix.

In a video by PBS Spacetime on Youtube, astrophysicist Dr. Gabe Perez-Giz walks viewers through the science of black holes, explaining and correcting some all-too-common misconceptions.  As it turns out, our most elemental notions about black holes — that they have event horizons from which light cannot escape, that they’re “infinitely dense,” or even that it’s possible to watch something fall into a black hole (just to name a few) — are either dramatically oversimplified or totally wrong.

Dr. Perez-Giz starts the video with a blunt promise: “I’m gonna make you rethink all of it, down to what the term ‘black hole’ even means.”  He delivers on that promise, proving beyond doubt that black holes really are among the most incredible objects in our Universe.