Introducing a very spacey list: 20 Black Hole Facts To Blow Your Mind. Space truly is the final frontier. There’s so much we don’t know yet about the universe. And we especially don’t know much about black holes, but we’ve managed to compile these 20 Black Hole Facts for you.
Scientists have been theorizing about black holes for almost a century. As the days and years go by we learn more and more about black holes that prove many theories proposed by famous scientists such as Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking.
While we still have a lot to learn about black holes, technological advancements are making it easier to understand the mystery that surrounds them. So, without further ado, here are 20 Black Hole Facts To Blow Your Mind!
Black holes are formed when large stars run out of fuel and collapse in on themselves. If the star is large enough it will shrink down to the size of an atom known as a gravitational singularity. The term “black hole” refers to the gravitational pull that this singularity has.
Black holes come in many sizes. Primordial black holes being the smallest. Followed by Stellar-mass black holes which are the most common type of black holes. The largest type are called Supermassive black holes, these black holes tend to be four-million times larger than the sun and are located at the center of galaxies.
Not only do black holes vary in sizes but astronomers have found that there are also different types of black holes. There are spinning black holes, electrical black holes, and a combination of the two. The type is determined by the amount of energy the black hole gives out.
The Accretion Disk
The area around the black hole where gas, dust, stars, and planets fall into orbit is known as an accretion disk. This area is where objects go as they are being pulled closer to the center of the black hole.
The Event Horizon
The event horizon is the region of the black hole where gravity becomes overwhelming for any object. Any material that crosses the event horizon has no chance of escaping the black hole. For this reason, the event horizon is also known as “the point of no return”.
Black holes are virtually invisible. This is because the gravitational pull of them is so powerful that no light can escape from the center of the black hole, resulting in the completely black center point that we’ve come to know and fear.
Too Many to Count
Our galaxy alone contains around 100 million stellar-mass black holes. That’s not even counting how many smaller black holes there might be in our galaxy.
The Sun Will Never Become a Black Hole
Our star, the sun, will one day explode, but will it turn into a black hole? Fear not, while in relation to us the sun is massive, it is relatively small compared to other stars in the universe. Our sun is not nearly large enough to form into a black hole.
According to scientists, black holes hold entire galaxies together. They also believe that every galaxy has a supermassive black hole at the center of them that holds them together. The black hole at the center of our galaxy is known as Sagittarius A, it’s 30,000 light years away and it’s four million times larger than our sun.
While many depictions of black holes show them as a funnel, this isn’t the case. Black holes are just like any other object in space, they just happen to have an immensely strong gravitational pull. Making it seem as though things are falling into it.
As objects get closer to the center of a black hole, the faster they will move towards it. For instance, if your feet got to close to the center they would be pulled towards it but the upper part of your body would remain intact. Thus causing an object to stretch or “Spaghettify”.
First Known Black Hole
The first object considered to be a black hole is Cygnus X-1. In 1971, scientists detected radio emissions coming from Cygnus X-1, and a massive hidden object was found and identified as a black hole.
Cygnus X-1 was the subject of a 1974 friendly wager between Stephen Hawking and a fellow physicist Kip Thorne.
Hawking bet that the source was not a black hole and Thorne thought it was. Decades later in 1990, Hawking finally admitted he was wrong and that Thorne was right.
Black Holes Can Disappear
“Hawking Radiation” is a theory developed by Stephen Hawking that describes a process of evaporation. It is believed that because black holes radiate small particles, the black hole loses mass over time.
If the theory is correct, the black hole will cease to exist after they lose all their mass.
We Are 20,000 Light Years From the Nearest Black Hole
Early research revealed the nearest black hole was a mere 1,600 light years away from earth. However, later research showed that the nearest black hole was actually 20,000 light years away from earth.
It’s a common theory among scientists that black holes have the potential to create entirely new universes. This theory comes from the knowledge that black holes create elements needed to sustain life.
We know that most black holes are indeed destructive, but there are many theories that suggest otherwise. Some scientists believe that we can harness energy from a black hole and use it for space travel.
Gravitational time warps are caused by the black hole’s effect on gravity. This time warp would cause the time to move at a faster rate than on earth, and they’re actually quite common in the universe.
We Can Hear Them
In 2015, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory detected a small chirping sound that originated from a point in space where two black holes collided. It’s believed that this collision was created nearly 1.3 billion years ago.
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