We often hear that our universe started as an infinitely hot and dense point which we assumed to be a black hole. Since then, black holes have been perhaps the most mysterious phenomenon is this universe.
Just a few days ago, we got to see the first ever image of a black hole. This made us curious to know more about them.
Here are a few facts about this strange phenomenon.
1. It isn't possible to see a black hole directly.
A black hole is black because no light can escape from it. Although scientists cannot see a black hole by any means, they get to know about its presence from its effects on the surrounding environment.
2. Apparently, our Milky Way galaxy also has a massive black hole.
Astronomers believe that apparently there's a huge supermassive black hole lurking in the middle of our galaxy. According to the European Space Agency, although it is four million times more massive than our Sun, we face no danger as Earth is millions of light years away from it.
3. The death of large stars leads to the formation of black holes.
When a star dies, it starts compressing under its own gravitational pull and finally collapses into a spot of infinite density and almost no volume.
4. Black holes don't suck things into them.
Contrary to popular belief, black holes aren't like cosmic vacuums that suck everything around them. They are just like any other object in space with a very strong gravitational field.
5. Black holes produce immense amounts of energy.
Black holes can generate more energy than any other object in the universe. They orbit very rapidly, transforming 10% of their mass into energy.
6. Black holes can shrink and ultimately vanish over time.
In 1974, Stephen Hawking theorized that black holes radiate high-energy particles. This process can lead the black hole to shrink over time and ultimately to vanish completely. However, the process is so slow it would take about 10^67 years for a black hole weighing equal to the Sun to evaporate.
7. If you fall into a black hole, its gravity can stretch you out like spaghetti.
The way in which gravity acts in a black hole, it is said to be able to stretch a person out, like spaghetti. This phenomenon is also called 'spaghettification'.
8. If a star passes too close to a black hole, it can be torn apart.
A star that gets too close to a black hole doesn't stand a chance as the incredible gravitational pull from deep within the black hole tears it apart.
Scientists all over the world are still researching this fascinating phenomenon and it'll be really interesting to know more about it.