Astronomy

Black Holes: What happens and how they form



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Black Holes are one of the most powerful and amazing phenomenons that can happen in space. They have such a strong gravitational pull that anything they suck in has no chance of escaping. Black Holes suck in things like matter.

Black Holes form when a star that is much, much greater in mass than the sun, explodes as a supernova and is being squeezed down to an incredibly small size. The result of this squeeze is a very strong gravitational pull that can suck matter, light, and time and not let any of this escape. One astronomer working for NASA puts it, "If the total mass of the star is large enough (about three times the mass of the Sun), it can be proven theoretically that no force can keep the star from collapsing under the influence of gravity. However, as the star collapses, a strange thing occurs. As the surface of the star nears an imaginary surface called the "event horizon "..."

Since Black Holes cannot be directly observed, it is difficult to pinpoint where exactly a Black Hole is located. So how do scientists tell where a Black Hole is at? Them simply look at how the objects, such as stars, are affected.

So what happens to the matter inside the Black Hole? Well, a strange thing occurs, a phenomenon called "Spaghettification" occurs, according to some theories. The Oxford definition of spaghettification is "the process by which (in some theories) an object would be stretched and ripped apart by gravitational forces on falling into a black hole." Or in other words, the matter and light that is sucked into the Black Hole is stretched into long and thin strands of light and matter that are eventually broken apart.

There are two kinds commonly known Black Holes: the Stellar-Mass Black Hole and the Supermassive Black Hole. Stellar-Mass Black Holes get their start when a star goes supernova and sucks in matter that forms a disc-like shape. Stellar-Mass Black Holes can be found throughout the galaxies. Supermassive Black Holes happen the same way as the Stellar-Mass Black Holes, as a supernova. The difference is that matter is sucked into it, then heated and compressed and then is blasted out into space. Supermassive Black Holes can be found in the center of galaxies, and one in particular can be found in the middle of our galaxy.

The structure of the Black Hole has three main and important components. The first component is the "singularity". Everything in the black hole is in this small point called the singularity. The next key component is the "event horizon". The event horizon is a point at which the matter entering has absolutely no chance of escaping the doom of the Black Hole. Finally, the last important component is the photon sphere which is merely photons that are trapped by the Black Hole that continue their orbit around it.

All in all, Black Holes are something that should not be messed with and show just how amazing the universe we live in actually is.

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/black-holes/
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.space.com/19339-black-holes-facts-explained-infographic.html
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://amazing-space.stsci.edu/resources/explorations/blackholes/lesson/whatisit/types.html