Space

Frequently asked questions black holes answered

Black holes are the most mysterious objects in the cosmos and have intrigued us and scientists for the longest time. So, let us understand this misunderstood and mysterious phenomenon a bit better.

Black holes are interpreted in many different ways by us thanks to space movies and various science fiction. We believe them to be huge cosmic quicksand that sucks up anything if you go too close and maybe even throw you out at some other dimension. We all seem to have seen a black hole in one way or the other but do you know that we managed to capture the first photograph of the black hole in 2017. Yes, it is that recent! So, maybe everything you know about them is not exactly true. So, lets us dispel myths and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about black holes.

How do we know about a black hole if even light cannot escape through it making it virtually invisible?

Yes, it is true that no kind of light can escape from a black hole, not even x-rays. However, our super-powerful telescopes that study black holes learn more about it through the environment close to the event horizon of the black hole (event horizon is the point of no return). Matter around black holesgets heated up when they get pulled to the black hole, it is at this time that it matters glows in x-rays. The gravity of a black hole distorts space itself, is it possible that the influence of invisible gravitational pull-on objects and stars.

Can a black hole “eat” a galaxy?

No, there is no way that a black hole can swallow up an entire galaxy. The reason for it is simple, the gravitational reach of the black holes is we talk about the supermassive ones in the middle of the galaxies is quite large. But they are not large enough to swallow whole galaxies.

Would our sun also turn into a black hole one day?

What we understand from our knowledge, our sun would never turn into a black hole as it is not massive enough to explode. What would happen is that our sun would eventually become dense stellar which is called a white dwarf. But if hypothetically the sun does become a black hole which exactly the same mass it has today, it may affect the orbit of the planets as the gravitational pull would be the same. But lack of sunlight would be disastrous for life on earth.

So, do you want to know more about black holes?

Priyadarshini Kaul

Priyadarshini Kaul Mishra has two Master’s Degrees in English Literature and History. She is actively following her passion for the language by being a content creator since many years now. Besides this, Priyadarshini is a true bookworm at heart and tries to be an avid reader despite being a full-time mother now. She is also a professionally certified baker and puts on the oven mitts every now and then.
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