Defining Black Holes
Black holes are regions in space where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. Their existence was predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity, which was confirmed with various astronomical observations.
Formation of Black Holes
Most black holes form from the remnants of a large star that dies in a supernova explosion. If the core's mass is enough to collapse under its own gravity, a black hole is born.
Types of Black Holes
Black holes come in sizes: stellar (up to 20 solar masses), intermediate, and the colossal supermassive black holes (millions or even billions of solar masses), which usually reside in the centers of galaxies.
Contrary to their dark reputation, black holes can emit particles, known as Hawking radiation. This theoretical prediction suggests that black holes can slowly evaporate over astronomical periods.
Approaching a black hole's singularity, differential gravitational forces can stretch objects into thin, long shapes, like spaghetti. This tidal effect is scientifically known as spaghettification.
Black Holes and Time
Near a black hole, time behaves unusually. According to relativity, time dilation occurs, meaning time passes slower closer to the event horizon, the black hole's point of no return.
Black Holes' Galactic Dance
Supermassive black holes in galactic centers can interact, leading to gravitational waves. The detection of these waves provides a new way to observe the universe’s most cataclysmic events.