Back in the year 5021CE, I was 10 years old. Being interested in space, I had lobbied my parents to visit a black hole, only to be refused. So, imagine my delight, when for our science project, we were asked to visit one.
We were to draw diagrams of a black hole and make a presentation on it. Reluctantly, my parents booked a ship to QX-33, a newly discovered black hole. It was right in the Milky Way, so we reached quickly. The QX-33 spaceport was a few hundred million kilometers away from the actual hole. I hurriedly disembarked, and ran to the observation deck. QX-33 was only as large as Corsica, yet, it was devouring a gargantuan blue giant. It had a mass equivalent to 15 Suns. We were told the story of QX-33. It was born when a large star died in a supernova explosion. The black part was the event horizon. If one crossed the event horizon, there was no chance of returning. At the very center was the singularity, a place where matter is compressed down to an infinitely tiny point, and time breaks down. Around the event horizon was the accretion disk, made up of hot, glowing gases. I frantically noted everything down. Even my parents, usually uninterested in everything space, didn’t seem too bored.
Soon, the time came for me to return. I packed up my notes and took my seat on the ship. This science project had morphed into a memorable excursion.