Astronomy

A look at Black Holes



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The Birth of a Black Hole

A star a billion light years away from our own galaxy, and which contains nine solar masses and is ten times bigger than our own sun suddenly explodes with cataclysmic force. In fact, this star has gone supernova. The death of that sun and the violent forces it has unleashed will eventually mean that it will implode in on itself thus, the birth of a Black Hole, the most destructive force in the whole of the universe is formed.

What are Black Holes, and do they really exist?

Bigger than any other known object that is in the universe - and also the densest object as well - Black Holes exert so much gravitational pressure that nothing escapes them...not even light itself. Meteors, planets, and stars all suffer the same fate when faced with the pull of a Black Hole. This is the reason why they are actually called 'holes', because once in, nothing comes out. We shall look more closely at the formation of a Black Hole and the forces that act in its formation.

There are, in fact, three different ways in which Black Holes are formed. The first is if a star contains more than 9 million solar masses, when it eventually dies {goes Supernova} then it will collapse in on itself and become a Black Hole. When a Neutron Star stops collapsing it is exactly because of the very powerful nuclear forces that actually stops the star from collapsing in the first place. Once a star becomes so big though, the force of gravity {the gravitational force working on the star} means that the star is overwhelmed and collapses its own atom. At this point, there is now nothing to hold the star back, as it continues to collapse into a ring, or point of the most intense infinite density.

The second way in which Black Holes are formed is that sometimes two Neutron Stars will become 'locked' together in a 'binary relationship'. The energy that has been lost because of the gravitational radiation means that the two stars begin to spiral inwards toward one another {in a sort of dance of death scenario}. From this galactic dance, they merge which in turn means that a Black Hole is formed.

The third and final way in which Black Holes are formed was considered by Steven Hawking {the quantum cosmologist}. His theory was that at the beginning of time, {the Big Bang Theory} Black Holes were formed {some of which are still around. remnants of the Big Bang}. This is only an idea though, but was less well-received than the other two.

The Sizes and Types of Black Holes
Stellar and Supermassive

Spin, Mass and Magnetic Field, these are the properties that define a Black Hole. At the moment there are only two recognised mass-classes of Black Holes: Stellar and Supermassive. The Stella Black Holes are always star-shaped and can range in the 10 -100 Solar Mass range. However at the core of every galaxy are the Supermassive Black Holes, which seem to be at the core of every large galaxy - this includes even our own Milky Way. The range of these Black Holes are anything from the millions to even billions of solar masses.


Schwarzschild Black Holes

The most simple type of Black Hole known is what is called the Schawarzshild. The components that make up this Black Hole come in two main parts - a Singularity and an Event Horizon. What is left of the collapsed star is called the Singularity {which is a point of 0 dimension}. This has infinite density but finite mass. The region of space that acts as the boundary for the Black Hole is called the Event Horizon, this is not a physical boundary as you would understand it but rather a mathematical boundary. Within this Black Hole the Escape Velocity is faster than even light itself, so once past this point there is no escape for anything.

Reissner-Nordstrom Black Holes

The Reissner -Nordstrom Black Holes have the Singularity and two Event Horizons. The outer Event Horizon is a boundary in which time and space flip. What this means is that the Singularity is no longer a point in space but one in time. The Inner Event Horizon flips space time back to normal.

Kerr Black Holes

There is another feature added to the anatomy of a Black Hole...an ergosphere. The ergosphere survives outside the Event Horizon, in an ellipsoidal region. It is the last stable orbit - with the outer boundary being called the static limit. The faster a Black Hole spins the larger the inner Event Horizon becomes while the outer Event Horizon remains the same size. This only happens when the rotational energy equals the mass energy of the Black Hole. However, if the rotational energy were to become more than the mass energy, it would mean that the Event Horizons would vanish leaving just a naked singularity.


What Would Happen if A Black Hole Where in Our Neighborhood?

The question remains, will one day our Earth fall victim to a Black Hole? Whose to say? But the probability of this happening is not as far-fetched as some of us may like it to be. While we on Earth rush about here and there, busy getting on with our own lives, out in space, the majority of us are unaware that there lurks monsters. If we, on this planet were ever unlucky enough to come face to face with a Black Hole, what would be the consequences? Well for this meeting to happen it would begin far out in space. There are many rouge Black Holes in space and this one is one of them. It is heading straight for our Solar System as it smashes into a stream of comets that surround our Solar System.

Having smashed into the comets the Black Hole catapults them toward Earth with a force unimagined. Comets are hurled across space to enter our atmosphere at enourmous speeds. They crash into cities, oceans, ice and sand deserts, lighting the sky up with their fiery destruction. The impacts from these comets are the very first warning signs that we would get about our fate here on Earth.

As the Black Hole approaches Jupiter, the gas giant, the planet, is ripped apart as strands of the planet begin to unravel to be sucked into the gaping mass of the black hole. And even from so far away, we on Earth begin to feel the effects of the Black Hole's gravitational energy, as earthquakes, tidal waves, and typhoones begin to spread chaos around the world.. Our civilizations are being dismantled as Earth begins to rock due to the forces and gravitational pull of the Black Hole.

The Black Hole continues on in its path, heading straight for the source of all life on Planet Earth...our own Sun. The Sun is ripped to shreds as the Black Hole drags it down into its gaping dense mass. At this point, the Moon and all the other surrounding planets would have fallen to the same fate as our Sun. The Black Hole then turns its attention to Planet Earth. At this point all life on Planet Earth has gone by the time the Black Hole arrives, due to the Earth being unbearably close to the Sun. The Earth begins to melt as she simply disintegrates before being swallowed by the Black Hole.













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