The amount of energy given off by a black hole could be enough to support life, expanding the possibilities of where humans should search for extraterrestrials. NASA astrophysicist Jeremy Schnittman based his research on the hit Hollywood movie Interstellar, in which the main character, played by Matthew McConaughey, goes in search of a habitable planet for humans to live on as Earth is dying. In the 2014 movie, the scientists discovered planets orbiting a black hole which could sustain life. Mr Schnittman wanted to test the real-life feasibility of this.
The scientist said accretion discs, made up of materials and objects orbiting a black hole, could allow life to exist.
The friction generated by these discs as they are pushed and shoved by the extreme gravitational force is so large that it can produce a tremendous amount of energy, depending on the size of the black hole.
While the Sun gives Earth energy through light and heat, the radiation and energy from the accretion discs might prove just as valuable.
Mr Schnittman wrote in the paper published in the journal arXiv: “On the down side, the Sun provides almost all the energy necessary for life on Earth to survive. Without it’s constant heat flux, the oceans would likely freeze over in a matter of days.