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Black Holes 2008

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 10 months ago

Black Holes

 

Black Holes are areas of extremely dense, condensed matter with an enormous gravitational pull. All its mass is centered at a tiny point called its singularity. This point is thought to be much smaller than an atom's nucleus!

Black Holes suck everything in, including light, in a spiral motion. Light that doesn't get sucked in is bent and distorted around the hole.

A scientist called Stephen Hawking used Einstein's quantum theory and his theory of Relativity to show that the escape velocity of a black hole (the amount of speed an object needs to escape from the black hole) exceeds the speed of light, and since nothing exceeds the speed of light, nothing can escape the black hole - not even light.

Black holes are measured in 'solar masses' - one solar mass is the same as the mass of our Sun.

 

Black holes form when a massive star runs out of fuel and its core collapses because it can't support itself. - When a star burns fuel, it creates an outward push that counters its inward gravitational pull. But when the star runs out of fuel, its own gravity sucks itself in and it collapses.

 

 

Nobody knows what is in a black hole. However, some scientists think that the center of a black hole contains a connection to another universe, (called the "worm theory"), like shown in this drawing:

Image illustrating: What is inside a black hole?

"A wormhole can provide a short-cut connection between two distant points in the curved space-time of the Universe, as this diagram shows"

 

Here is an interesting movie about wormholes:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=wogZN94-5QU

 

Sources and Links

http://www.nasa.gov/worldbook/blackhole_worldbook.html#backToTop

http://hubblesite.org/explore_astronomy/black_holes/encyc_mod3_q10.html

"21st century Astronomy". 2nd Edition. Hester, Jeff et al

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