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What to Know About Black Holes

Written By: Lucas Miller This is part of a spotlight on Freshmen article writing in Sarah Grimesey's class

Oh no! I’m getting sucked in. If only I knew how I could have known this black hole was here! Wait, what even is a black hole anyway? In this article, you will learn what black holes are and how black holes get created. This way, if you do find yourself in this situation, you will know what is happening.

According to Britannica, a black hole is defined as,

“an invisible area in outer space with gravity so strong that light cannot get out of it.”

This means that under no circumstances will anything be able to get out of a black hole. A black hole is also only invisible because light gets absorbed and can’t bounce off of them, but according to NASA,

“Scientists use satellites and telescopes in space to see the high-energy light.”

High-energy light is the light that comes off of a star when it is close enough to a black hole. This high-energy light is from when a star gets close enough to the black hole that a light that is invisible to the human eye is created, but using telescopes and satellites that are in space scientists can detect where the light is coming from. But what happens to create black holes?

Black holes are created when a massive star dies and the core of the star collapses on itself. This blows the outside of the star away creating a point of zero volume but infinite density called the singularity. So think of a singularity as a sphere that takes up no space at all but is so heavy that it has its own gravitational field.

But, no worries! The sun in our solar system is not a big enough star to become a black hole, but even if it did, it would have the same gravity as our sun, and all the planets in our solar system will stay aligned. Also, it is thought that most of the smaller black holes in the universe were created at the same time as the universe and some of the supermassive black holes that are at the center of different galaxies were created at the same time as those galaxies. So, have no worries about the Earth just one day randomly getting sucked into a black hole because the odds of that are very unlikely.

Even though black holes are not entirely dangerous, they can still cause problems. When something gets sucked into a black hole there is no way for it to be taken out. So if a person were to end up in a black hole, yes, they could see if there is something on the other side, but they would not be able to say what is on the other side because they would never be able to get out, nor would they be able to send a message to anyone outside the black hole.

Now that you know what a black hole is and how they are created, if you ever find yourself in space, you can be cautious about them!

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