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  • Writer's pictureOm Pherwani

What is a Black Hole?

Black holes are very dense as points in space that create deep gravitational cavities. Outside of certain areas, even light cannot escape the powerful attraction of black holes. Things that are too close and adventurous, like stars, planets, and spacecraft, stretch and shrink like plastic in a theoretical process commonly known as spaghettification. There are four types of black holes which are: Medium, Stellar, Supermassive, and Small. The best-known way black holes are formed is when stars die.

At the end of their lives, most stars swell, lose mass, and then cool to create white dwarfs. The largest of these blazing objects are 10 to 20 times the size of our Sun and are on their way to becoming super-dense neutron stars, or stellar black holes. In the last phase, the giant explodes in a supernova explosion. The star core is left behind in these explosions, which expel stellar material into space. The merger provides a continuous external pressure that balances the internal gravitational attraction of the star's mass as long as it is alive. However, there is no longer any force to counteract gravity in supernova stellar debris, and the star core begins to collapse on its own. A black hole is generated when a large mass collapses to a very small point. The black hole's tremendous attraction comes from packing all that mass into such a small space. There could be tens of thousands of these star black holes in our own Milky Way.

The Milky Way's supermassive black hole, known as Sagittarius A, is more than four million times the mass of our sun and is located at its heart. So far, only the tiniest members of the black hole family have been discovered. These little vortices of darkness may have erupted shortly after the big bang, 13.7 billion years ago, and then quickly dissipated. Astronomers also believe that the cosmos contains a class of objects known as intermediate-mass black holes. Even though evidence for them is so far debatable. Black holes, regardless of their initial size, grow over their lifetimes, sucking in gas and dust from objects too close. Anything that crosses the event horizon, a point from which escape is impossible, is expected to coil as gravity increases dramatically as it falls into a black hole.

Blackholes are a very unique phenomenon and are one of the best things to see in a lifetime. They are strong and very mysterious and someday in the future, we may solve the mystery of where all those objects which enter it disappear.

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