7 Incredible Facts About The Black Hole
- Oct 24, 2016
- Sudipto Das
A black hole’s a place in space where the gravity pull is so much that even light can’t get out. Here we have enlisted 10 fascinating facts about the black hole for your reference. Let’s go through them.
Fact 1: You cannot see a black hole directly
No light escapes from a black hole. Therefore, it is impossible for us to detect the hole irrespective of the instrument used for detection like X-rays or whatever.
So how did NASA detect the presence of black holes? The key to detecting a black hole is to look for the effects. For example, if a star gets too close to the black hole, the black hole pulls on the star and destroys it to shreds. When the shred matter of the star moves to the black hole, it gets hotter, faster as well as glows brightly in X-rays.
Fact 2: The Milky Way probably has a black hole
There actually is a black hole in the middle of our very own galaxy. Thank God that we are not near to this monster. The effects are although much clear. The European Space Agency (ESA) says that this black hole is 4 million times massive than our Sun. It is also surrounded by exceptionally hot gas.
Fact 3: Dying stars produce stellar black holes
A star might easily create a stellar black hole. Let’s take the example of our Sun. Our sun will go quietly. As soon as its nuclear fuel runs out, it’ll fade into a white dwarf. This is not the case with massive stars, say a star that’s 20 times bigger than that of our Sun. In that case, the gravity of the star overwhelms the natural pressure required by the star to maintain a stable shape. When there’s a collapse of pressure in nuclear reactions, gravity overwhelms and collapses the core of the star. The other layers are thereby, thrown into space.
Fact 4: Black holes have different sizes
There are at least three types of black holes. These are:
- Primordial black holes: These are the smallest of all. These range from the size of an atom to the size of a mountain.
- Stellar black holes: This is the most common of all. These are up to twenty times bigger than our very own sun.
- Gargantuan holes: These are basically “super-massive black holes.” They are almost one million times bigger than that of the sun.
Fact-5: Unreal time stuff occurs around black holes
According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, time is affected by speed. The black hole warps space and time. So if you are at a speed of light, time will appear to tick slower and slower.
Fact-6: The 1st black hole was only discovered after the use of X-ray astronomy
Cygnus X-1’s the name. It was discovered in the 1960s. As per NASA, this black hole is ten times bigger than the Sun.
Cygnus X-1 illustration (Credit- NASA)
Fact-7: We still have no idea about the existence of wormholes
Wormholes are a popular science fiction concept. People believe that wormholes provide a passage to other parts of the Universe. The journey will occur within the blink of an eye. Traveling at the speed of light is possible through the wormholes. But like this Smithsonian magazine says here, we still have no idea regarding the existence of wormholes. Well, Nolan’s masterpiece “Interstellar” explored this concept extensively but it is still a movie.
The black hole topic is really fascinating. The mysteries surrounding black holes make the topic one of the most sought after topics in astrophysics. We’ll sign off for now. Hope you had a good read.
Sudipto writes technical and educational content periodically for wizert.com and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993
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