The amount of amazing scientific discoveries being made nowadays is incredibly high. Almost every day, humanity discovers something that either confirms or denies the existing understanding of the Universe. However, there still are a number of mysteries that astronomers are on the cusp of solving. Among such mysteries are black holes—being perhaps the most popular and well-known (due to mass culture) space phenomenon—which are one of the least researched.
Generally speaking, a black hole is a space object possessing extreme density; its mass is so enormous, and the respective gravitational attraction is so powerful, that even light cannot escape its trap. This is why they are called ‘black holes’—you cannot see them without special devices, since there is no light in the point where a black hole is. The first person to have predicted this phenomena was Albert Einstein, and the term ‘black hole’ appeared in 1967, introduced by the American astronomer John Wheeler. But, only in 1971 was the first black hole discovered (Space.com).
But how do black holes appear? Science offers us the following explanation: when a large star burns the last of its ‘fuel,’ it may start collapsing under its own mass, falling in on itself until it shrinks to an object much smaller than the original star, but with the same mass—the stellar black hole (Space.com).
No one knows exactly what is going on inside black holes. A popular science-fiction topic (raised in the recent film ‘Interstellar,’ for example) refers to what happens if somebody falls into a black hole. Some believe black holes to be the predicted wormholes to other parts of the Universe. Others make less fantastic suggestions. Either way, what is truly amazing about black holes is how they distort time and space. If a person ‘falls’ into a black hole, for an outsider, the movement of this person will be slowing down, unless it finally freezes (universetoday.com). Moreover, according to Stephen Hawking, the incredible gravity of a black hole will be endlessly stretching this person in length. However, for the person ‘falling’ into a black hole, time will seem to pass as usual—and, respectively, this person will not notice any spacial distortions either.
Another popular question is, “What happens if a black hole gets too close to Earth?” Black holes do not move around space. Nothing bad will happen to Earth, because no black hole is close enough to the solar system to consume our planet. However, if theoretically a black hole, possessing the same mass as the sun, took its place, nothing would happen anyways. The same mass means the same gravity, so the planets of the Solar System would keep orbiting the black hole as if nothing had happened (nasa.gov).
Black holes are quite the space phenomenon, with its properties being mysterious. Although predicted and described a century ago, they still possess one of the biggest conundrums for scientists. Originating from collapsed stars, black holes possess such an enormous gravity that they are able to distort time and space. However, as scientists claim, Earth is not in danger—yet.
Redd, Nola Taylor. “What is a Black Hole?” Space.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.
“10 Amazing Facts about Black Holes.” Universe Today. N.p., 22 Jan. 2015. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.
Dunbar, Brian. “What is a Black Hole?” NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.
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Writing an Expository Essay
Black holes are sites or location in the space where gravity is too high compared to any other force. These black holes are formed from remnants of massive former stars. Once anything is trapped (light inclusive) in the black hole gravitational circle, it is impossible for it to escape. Recent discoveries have led to the realization of how the black holes are formed, why they exist in different sizes and what are the repercussions of getting trapped into one. Although the black holes are of significant threat to any neighboring object or object, there is no need to worry as the nearest black hole is many light-years away from the earth. For the formation of the black hole to happen, instead of massive stars reducing into neutron or dwarf stars in their final stages, they remain active thus forming black holes.
Overview of black holes
Massive stars denote into neutrons in their final stages of their lifetime via a process commonly known as supernova. Once the enormous stars reach their final stages, they explode and scattered all over the void but a dormant cold remnant is left behind. Unlike in the cold remnants left behind after the scattering, much younger stars can maintain the inward and outward gravitational pressure due to star’s mass. But as a result of the supernova, the dormant remnants lack the ability to maintain these forces at the check and thus begin to collapse.
The lack of this balance between the inward and outward pressure make the black hole shrink to zero volume. This inward force exacted by the cold remnants is so strong that even the light they produce cannot escape but get trapped in an orbit and, as a result, the star turns into a black hole. For objects, light and planets to be pulled towards the black, they must pass as close to the black as possible. Although the black hole’s pull energy is massive, it is not of equal strength compared to other stars’ and cosmic objects’ of the same mass.
Nature of black holes
Although black holes are small in size, they are very powerful. A black hole of medium size would have a radius of approximately three kilometres in width. It is almost impossible to observe the black holes with ordinary telescopes are they are very small, dark and distant. The black holes pose a great danger to all flying and floating vessels like the aeroplanes, satellites and spaceships.