What are Black Holes?

Have you ever wondered what lies at the center of our Milky Way, what happens to stars when they die, or what may lie in the darkest spots of the observable universe? The answer to all of those questions is black holes. Albert Einstein was the first one to suggest that black holes existed in 1926; he used it in his general theory of relativity. An actual black hole was discovered in 1971.

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Ever since black holes have been known to exist, people have always tried to imagine what may be beyond the surface of a black hole, or the event horizon. The event horizon is where you start to enter into the black hole and pass its surface.

Scientists still do not know what lies beyond the event horizon because it is impossible for someone to get past it. That is if we are able to see the black hole. It is backed up with mathematical proof that at the middle of our galaxy there is a black hole. But, we are still unable to see it with the naked eye. This is because of the black hole’s strong force of gravity. Their gravity is so strong that it is not possible for light to escape its gravitational pull. There are three different kinds of black holes: steller, supermassive, and intermediate. They are all formed in different ways. They have also been known to form into different sizes. Stellar black holes are smaller in size when compared to the rest of the types of black holes. This is because stellar black holes are formed from collapsing stars. Stars collapse when they run out of fuel and have nothing else to burn. This means that when the stars collapse into themselves, they form a black hole.

The black hole it forms has a radius of a small city but has the mass of two to three times our sun. This explains why they have such a strong gravitational pull. Most stellar black holes do not stay small; their gravitational pull pulls in gas and dust which makes them grow even larger and larger. They may even become supermassive black holes. This form of black holes can range from a million to a billion times larger than the sun in our solar system. They are found in the middle of every single galaxy in the universe, including the one in the Milky Way.

Supermassive black holes are not always formed from stellar black holes. They may be the result of smaller black holes colliding and merging together, or result from a stellar collapse which involves a group of suns falling at the same time. Intermediate black holes exist but they are very hard to find. They fall in between the sizes of supermassive black holes and stellar black holes. These seem to be formed when a cluster of stars collide into each other. People have been curious about these phenomenons for several decades. Scientists continue to discover things about black holes and what else may lie in the undiscovered abyss of space.

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