- Formation: Collapse of a star
- Amount: Unknown
- Theory: No official theory, continuously changing
- Types: Kerr and Schwarzschild
- Discovered: 1783
- Properties: Mass, Electric Charge, Rate of Rotation
- Most Famous: Sagittarius A
- Size: Three categories
- Appearance: Can’t be seen
- Lifespan: Billions of years
- Formation: A Black Hole Is a Collapsed Star
- Gravity: You Would Lose Track of Time in a Black Hole
- Effects: Falling Into a Black Hole Would Make You Skinny
- Appearance: We Can’t See Black Holes – but We Know Where They Are
- Theory: One Theory Involves Us Living In A Black Hole
- Power: Black Holes Are Not The Cleaners Of The Universe
- Discovery: Black Holes Were Discovered Hundreds of Years Ago
- Life Span: Black Holes Can Disappear
- Properties: The Core of a Black Hole May Be Smaller Than an Atom
- Types: There Are Two Types of Black Holes
- Our Galaxy Has a Large Black Hole
- We Don’t Know What’s in a Black Hole
- Black Holes Can Merge Together
- Our Sun Probably Won’t Ever Turn Into a Black Hole
- Black Holes Come in 3 Sizes
- We Are 20,000 Light Years From the Nearest Black Hole
- We Still Have Much to Learn About Black Holes
A Black Hole Is a Collapsed Star
One of the first black hole facts that you should know is that these fascinating areas in space form when a large star begins to run out of energy. It then starts to collapse under its own gravity.
If the star is able to hold on to some of its energy, it may become a white dwarf or neutron star, but if it is sufficiently massive it may keep shrinking until it is the size of a tiny atom, which is known as a gravitational singularity.
A black hole is the name that refers to this region in space where the singularity’s gravitational force is so intense that not even light can get out.
You Would Lose Track of Time in a Black Hole
A black hole is incredibly dense and its gravity is very strong. Based on Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which says that time is affected by your speed, this combination actually distorts the space-time surrounding the black hole.
Remember that light cannot escape a black hole and the area that is just beyond the area where light cannot reach is known as the event horizon. Once anything crosses this point, the speed needed to escape would be greater than the speed of light, which is considered impossible with what we know from current research.
Falling Into a Black Hole Would Make You Skinny
While it is impossible for a person to survive long enough to describe the experience of falling into a black hole, black hole facts tell us what would happen.
The individual would first experience weightless as they began to free fall, but this would be short lived as intense gravitational forces would take hold as they fell close to the centre. They would be squeezed inwards and begin to stretch out.
Eventually they would turn into a long strand of single atoms.
We Can’t See Black Holes – but We Know Where They Are
One of the more amusing black hole facts is that these objects are virtually invisible. Again, with light not being able to escape it is virtually impossible to directly observe black holes.
But scientists still know where black holes are located because of their effect on other objects. For example, their gravitational force is strong enough to bend light, warping light that comes from other objects.
The gravitational force may also distort the object’s motion, allowing us to know where black holes are located in the universe.
One Theory Involves Us Living In A Black Hole
If you can wrap your head around one of the more interesting black hole facts, consider the theory that we may be living inside of a black hole. This is not one of the more widely accepted black hole theories, but it has not been completely ruled out either.
Physicists have noted that the mass-energy density in our universe is similar to that of a black hole. This has led to the idea that our entire universe is simply the inside of a black hole, which leads scientists to wonder if black holes in our universe lead to even more universes…still keeping up?
Black Holes Are Not The Cleaners Of The Universe
It’s common for people to believe that black holes have the power to suck everything into them. No need to worry though; Earth will not be sucked into a black hole anytime soon. Even if our Sun were to suddenly morph into a black hole, gravity on Earth would not be affected. A black hole only has the power to “suck” items into it if they become close enough. This depends on the location of the event horizon and the size of the black hole.
Black Holes Were Discovered Hundreds of Years Ago
The theory of black holes was developed in 1783 by John Michell and Pierre-Simon Laplace. Separately, these two were the first individuals to put the idea of black holes into the minds of astrologists.
The theory originally spoke of “dark stars” which had an escape velocity that was faster than the speed of light if compressed into a radius small enough. The term eventually changed to “frozen star”. John Wheeler is credited with naming these objects black holes in the 20th century.
Black Holes Can Disappear
Professor Stephen Hawking is credited with developing the theory of unverified evaporation process, known as “Hawking Radiation”. It is believed that black holes radiate small numbers of particles, causing them to lose mass over time.
After enough time has passed, a black hole should eventually vanish. However, many scientists don’t agree with this theory and it has yet to be proven because the process is so slow. Only the smallest of black holes would have been able to evaporate in the universe’s life so far.
The Core of a Black Hole May Be Smaller Than an Atom
One of the more confusing black hole facts shows just how much still needs to be learned about black holes. The core of a black hole may be smaller than an atom, which can be hard to comprehend.
However, the gravitational force is so strong that scientists are still trying to find a quantum theory of gravity that would make sense when applied to black holes. The centre of black holes have been described as an area where all laws of physics no longer apply.
There Are Two Types of Black Holes
There are two types of black holes. The first is known as a Schwarzschild and is a non-rotating black hole. The other type, known as a Kerr black hole, does rotate. The Schwarzschild is fairly basic and its core stays still.
It is only made up of a singularity and an event horizon. A Kerr black hole though is more common and rotates because the star that it was formed from rotated. As the star collapsed, the momentum continued in the black hole.
This type has more parts as well, including a singularity, event horizon, ergosphere and static limit. The ergosphere can allow an item to be ejected from a black hole, as long as it doesn’t cross the event horizon.
Our Galaxy Has a Large Black Hole
Our galaxy, the Milky Way, has a large black hole in its centre. Scientists have discovered evidence that would lead us to assume every large galaxy has a super-massive black hole in the centre.
Ours is called Sagittarius A and has a mass equal to about 4 million of our Suns. It would fit inside a ball that would be able to hold millions of Earths. But Earth is not threatened by this black hole and there are still scientists who doubt it truly exists.
We Don’t Know What’s in a Black Hole
Scientists are still trying to figure out what’s inside a black hole. These objects usually have a ring of rotating material around them. These materials will eventually fall into the black hole, traveling at high speeds.
The gravity inside of a black hole is theoretically infinite, which means that time should slow down and would eventually stop. Scientists have a difficult time trying to figure out what happens to items inside a black hole and until we find a way to actually see inside one, we may never know.
Black Holes Can Merge Together
According to black hole facts, there really isn’t anything too large for a black hole to consume. A black hole can even swallow up an entire galaxy. It is speculated that most galaxies have a large black hole in their centre.
If two galaxies with centre black holes were to collide, they would spin around each other and feed off of each other’s energy. The closer they get, the faster they spin, until eventually the black holes combine into one large black hole.
Our Sun Probably Won’t Ever Turn Into a Black Hole
Black holes are stars that have run out of energy. We know that our Sun will eventually run out of energy but the good news is that black hole facts tell us that it will most likely not turn into a black hole. This is because a star needs to be a little larger to transform into a black hole.
Our Sun will most likely turn into a white dwarf, but this is not expected to happen for at least four billion years. The more dangerous part of this transformation involves the Sun expanding before it shrinks, which would cause the Earth to become inhabitable.
Black Holes Come in 3 Sizes
Black hole facts tells us that there are three types of black holes when it comes to their size. The smallest type of black hole is known as a primordial black hole. These range in size from one atom’s size to a mountain’s mass.
The most common sized black hole is called a stellar black hole, and these are as large as 20 times more massive than our own Sun. The largest types of black holes are known as super-massive black holes and are usually found at the centre of galaxies.
We Are 20,000 Light Years From the Nearest Black Hole
Early measurements of the distance between our planet and the closest black holes led to reports that we were only a mere 1,600 light years away from our nearest neighbouring black hole.
While this isn’t dangerous, the much lower than anticipated number surprised scientists enough to lead them to re-measure and recalculate.
New measurements show that we are actually more than 20,000 light years away from the nearest black hole, which should make it much easier for scientists who fear a black hole consuming our galaxy to sleep.
We Still Have Much to Learn About Black Holes
Like many other objects in space, there is still plenty of research to be done in regards to black holes. Black hole facts tells us that theories are constantly changing as new facts are discovered and previous thoughts are ruled out.
Even though black holes are often depicted in movies and stories as an evil presence that could mean the end of mankind, most scientists agree that at the moment we have nothing to fear. As we learn more about these mysterious objects, we are sure to remain fascinated by black holes.
Black Hole Facts – Facts about Black Hole Summary
Black hole facts will tell all about these mysterious objects in our Universe. Learn how they form and the effects that they have on objects that get too close. Discover how close Earth is to black holes, and if we have anything to fear.
Learn if our Sun will ever become a black hole and about the different types and sizes of these awesome physic defying ingredients of our universe.