Here the hole looks flat, but is it actually spherical and just the disc of matter makes it look flat? In either case it clearly has "poles".
When you see a black hole from a distance, then you don't actually see the black hole itself but only the agregation disc around the hole, and the jets of matter. The actual hole is so small you cannot see it from that distance.
A black hole, or rather it's event horizon sphere is sperical. Or if it's rotating perhaps flattened a little, I don't think you can see the flattening thou.
Originally posted by Palynka Accordion to Wikipedia it's not just the singularity, but the "[b]region of space in which the gravitational field is so powerful that nothing, including light, can escape its pull."
I'm no expert, though. What was on your mind? That a singularity has no volume? (Does it?)[/b]
Well, that is just a matter of definition I guess. You can regard the singularity as the "center" of the black hole, but once again I am no expert. But yes, a singularity has no volume.
One of the many programs circulating on the Science/Discovery channels about black holes was copyrighted 2009 and mentioned that some astronomer somewhere had detected a "bulge" in a black hole, making it less than spherical. Since a black hole can't be seen, I don't know how he came to his conclusion about the bulge, but then again, sometimes I watch these shows just for the background space music...
Originally posted by KazetNagorra But yes, a singularity has no volume.
I am not sure if there is actually any evidence that zero volume singularities actually exist. However, for the purpose of this discussion I will assume we are talking about the event horizon not the singularity.
Also black holes are not necessarily spherical - and are almost certainly never perfectly spherical. They probably all have some amount of bulge along their equators (as do most rotating bodies), and some variation too.
I suspect that it is even possible for binary stars to collapse into a single black hole yet still rotate around each other within the hole creating a rotating oblong shape.
I read in scientific american that 'naked black holes' could occur. I believe this means singularities without an event horizon, but I didn't really understand it all.
The swirl effect we see in the disk is created by magnetic fields within the black hole - inside the event horizon? So if only magnetic fields can escape from a black hole, can we presume that the only distortion we see is from matter outside of the black hole just prior to the event horizon? But, isn't the event horizon a spherical event? It must be surely - so we have a spherical event which causes matter to rotate around it in a flat disk?
Originally posted by divegeester I'm no expert either by any means!
The swirl effect we see in the disk is created by magnetic fields within the black hole - inside the event horizon? So if only magnetic fields can escape from a black hole, can we presume that the only distortion we see is from matter outside of the black hole just prior to the event horizon? But, isn't the event ...[text shortened]... vent which causes matter to rotate around it in a flat disk?