Black Holes

By: Noah Axelrod and Jordan Valdez

What Are Black Holes

A black hole is a region of space from which gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping. Black Holes are formed when giant stars supernova and collapse into itself because it can't hold on to its gravity. A supermassive black hole are black holes that are millions of times more massive than the sun. They are thought to reside in almost every galaxy. A black hole is not really black, no light can escape the pull of the black hole so it looks like empty space.

Black Hole Theory

Black holes have three layers, the outer and inner event horizon, and the singularity. The event horizon is the point of no return in a black hole. Once you go in, you are not coming out. The inner region of a black hole where its mass lies, is known as a singularity. Scientist rely on radiation that is emitted from black holes as ways to locate them. Sometimes matter will ricochet off the event horizon and hurl outward into space. Bright jets of material are created. Although the black hole itself remains unseen, these powerful jets can be viewed from great distances. Using traditional physics, nothing can escape from a black hole, but when using quantum physics, there is a possibility that for every particle that is drawn into the black hole, there is an antiparticle that is created and ejects into space. The result is that the event horizon is reduced and black holes can decay.

General Relativity and Black Holes

In 1915, Albert Einstein used his theory of general relativity to show that gravity does influence light's motion. A few months later, Karl Schwarzchild found a solution to Einstein field equations which had a peculiar behavior at what is now called the Schwarzchild radius. At the Schwarzchild radius, some terms of Einstein equations became infinite, suggesting the existence of a point in space with infinite density, a black hole.

Interesting Facts

  • If you fell into a black hole, gravity would stretch you out like spaghetti
  • Black holes do not "suck" like a vacuum, instead, objects fall into them because of its gravity
  • The first black hole discovered is called Cygnus X-1
  • Astronomers estimate that there are close to 10 million stellar black holes in the Milky Way alone. Not to mention one supermassive black hole in the center.