Black Holes

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When I hear the words Black Hole, I feel scared, but I also want to know more about it.

What is a black hole?

A black hole is a region of space time exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing – not even particles or electromagnetic radiation can escape from inside it.



How many black holes are in the space?

In total, our galaxy contains some 100 billion stars and 100 million black holes. Any small patch of the sky shows many distant galaxies. Each probably contains a super massive black hole and millions of stellar-mass black holes. There are so many black holes in the Universe that it is impossible to count them.

How many types of black holes are there?

According to theory, there might be three types of black holes: stellar, super massive, and miniature black holes – depending on their mass. These black holes would have formed in different ways.

Stellar black holes form when a massive star collapses. Super massive black holes, which can have a mass equivalent to billions of suns, likely exist in the centers of most galaxies, including our own galaxy, the Milky Way. We don’t know exactly how super massive black holes form, but it’s likely that they’re a byproduct of galaxy formation. Because of their location in the centers of galaxies, close to many tightly packed stars and gas clouds, super massive black holes continue to grow on a steady diet of matter.

No one has ever discovered a miniature black hole, which would have a mass much smaller than that of our Sun. But it’s possible that miniature black holes could have formed shortly after the “Big Bang,” which is thought to have started the universe 13.7 billion years ago. Very early in the life of the universe the rapid expansion of some matter might have compressed slower-moving matter enough to contract into black holes.


How is a black hole formed?

Stellar black holes form when the center of a very massive star collapses in upon itself. This collapse also causes a supernova, or an exploding star, that blasts part of the star into space. Scientists think super massive black holes formed at the same time as the galaxy they are in.

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