Most dying stars go out with a bang — a supernova, more specifically. But scientists recently observed a star that went out with a whisper, skipping the supernova phase and going straight into a black hole. The discovery not only teaches us more about stars, but it could also uncover the mysteries behind some of the universe’s most massive black holes.
Let’s face it: Black holes are terrifying. A point in space with so much gravity that not even light can escape? Human beings don’t stand a chance. But before you go worrying over what it might feel like to be sucked into the gaping maw of a black hole, we’ve got news for you: Black holes are so lethal that you could die in a handful of ways before you even reach the event horizon. Below, we’ve laid out four options for death by black hole, courtesy of theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack. Sweet dreams!