Here's a piece of good news for deep space voyagers.
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If you feel you are in a black hole, Stephen Hawking believes all hope is not lost.
The famed cosmologist presented his new theory about black holes at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, on Tuesday. While being sucked into a black hole would spell doom, Hawking said black holes aren't as dark as they seem, allowing some information to escape.
"I propose that the information is stored not in the interior of the black hole as one might expect, but in its boundary, the event horizon," Hawking said, referring to the line beyond which theories suggest even light cannot escape.
Before entering the point of no return in the black hole, information is encoded in a two-dimensional hologram on the event horizon, he said. The stored information is then emitted in quantum fluctuations in "chaotic, useless form," Hawking said, noting that "for all practical purposes the information is lost."
Hawking's latest theory relates to the decades-old quandary of reconciling general relativity, Albert Einstein's groundbreaking framework for explaining gravity, and quantum mechanics, which explains the forces of nature on the sub-atomic level.
Hawking also theorized black holes might also be passages to other universes -- but with a caveat. Anyone who enters one wouldn't be able to come back to our universe.
"So although I'm keen on space flight, I'm not going to try that," he joked.