A physicist offered a serious warning regarding the possibility of a black hole completely devouring Earth. According to the physicist, there’s a chance the planet could get thrown in the middle of a black hole in the future.

During a previous Ted Talk, physicist Fabio Pacucci of Yale University, discussed the nature of black holes and how they affect the regions surrounding them. He also talked about the possibility of black holes swallowing planets, Express reported.

According to Pacucci, the chances of a planet getting devoured by a black hole depends on the latter’s size and location. The smaller ones, known as stellar-mass black holes, have a mass up to 100 times larger than that of the Sun. They are also known to wander through space. Pacucci noted that the gravitational pull of stellar-mass black holes is often not strong enough to swallow planets.

Supermassive black holes, on the other hand, have masses that are millions or even billions of times greater than that of the Sun. Unlike their stellar counterparts, supermassive black holes don’t wander off and can often be found sitting at the center of galaxies, such as the Milky Way. For Pacucci, these are the types of black holes Earth should be worried about due to their immense size and strong gravitational pull.

“These giants have grown to immense proportions by swallowing matter and merging with other black holes,” he said, according to Express. “Unlike their stellar cousins, supermassive black holes aren’t wandering through space. Instead, they lie at the center of galaxies, including our own.”

Although Earth is relatively safe for now, the planet could fall into the Milky Way’s black hole if the galaxy collides with another galaxy, which scientists predict will happen billions of years from now.

“If our galaxy collides with another, the Earth could be thrown towards the galactic center, close enough to the supermassive black hole to be eventually swallowed up,” Pacucci said.

“In fact, a collision with the Andromeda Galaxy is predicted to happen four billion years from now, which may not be great news for our home planet,” he added.

Black Hole
Scientists continue to study the nature of dark matter. Pictured: In this handout from NASA/ESA, an artist's concept illustrates a quasar, or feeding black hole. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) revealed millions of potential black holes in its survey of the sky in 2011. NASA/Getty Images