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What a Black Hole Is

A black hole is one of the many mysteries of space that scientists still have a lot to learn about. Even so, we do know some things, but this knowledge doesn’t always match the ideas that sci-fi movies depict.

5-Minute Crafts is telling you what a black hole really is and what myths about it we shouldn’t believe anymore.

What a black hole is

A black hole is a special zone in space where the matter has been squeezed into a tiny space, making the gravity extremely strong. It is so strong that even the light entering there cannot escape, which is why black holes are invisible to the naked eye.

This cosmic object can only be seen with the help of special telescopes as well as by the stars located very close to them (stars behave differently from others in such cases).

Scientists manage to see this so-called high-energy light with the help of satellites and telescopes. It is formed when the distance between the black hole and the star becomes small. This light cannot be seen with the naked eye, but it helps us to study the nature of black holes.

What a black hole consists of

Scientists normally distinguish the following compounds in the structure of black holes:

  • The event horizon is the point of no return, after passing through which, the matter and light can go only inward toward the mass of the black hole, and there is no way to turn back. If any event occurs within this horizon, an outside observer won’t be able to see it and say for sure whether it really happened.
  • Singularity is the center of a black hole toward which the matter that has passed through the horizon strives. It is believed that the spacetime curvature becomes infinite at this point in space, while the singular region has zero volume and contains all the mass of the black hole solution.

How black holes are formed and what sizes they can be

It is believed that black holes can form when a star completes its life cycle.

Black holes can be of different sizes. Depending on the dimensions, there are some nuances in the theories of their occurrence.

If there’s a black hole in our galaxy

Scientists discovered that there is a supermassive black hole in the center of each big galaxy. Such an amazing space phenomenon is in the center of the Milky Way too. The hole named Sagittarius A* weighs around 4 million solar masses. It’s 27,000 light-years from Earth and resembles a doughnut in shape.

For the first time, the photo of Sagittarius A* was published on May 12, 2022. It looks like a dark central region surrounded by a glow. Since the black hole doesn’t reflect any light, it is not visible in the photo, however, the bright ring-like structure made up of glowing gas lets us know it’s there. Sagittarius A* emits energy in the form of radio waves that are detected by a special telescope. It registers them as a bright halo around the black hole. As a rule, several shots are taken, then a mix of various images is created.

Myths about black holes

Contrary to fantastic scenes from movies, black holes are not capable of harming Earth because they actually don’t move around the universe, eating space objects.

Our planet cannot fall into these holes since none of them are located close enough to the solar system to let it happen.

Finally, our sun also cannot turn into a black hole, as it is too small a star for this.

5-Minute Crafts/Science/What a Black Hole Is
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