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What is a black hole?

  • What is a black hole?

    Black holes are extremely compact space objects that were once massive stars. Sometimes a huge star begins to shrink until it is smaller than an atom. This is called a black hole. The centre of the black hole is called ‘singularity’. The gravity near this point is so strong that any object that gets too close to the black hole is pulled into it. Even light gets sucked into it, which is why we can’t see a black hole. Scientists use special instruments to detect a black hole’s presence. They examine the effects it has on the objects near it. Black hole Nobody can actually see a black hole, because the extremely strong gravity inside them does not even allow any light to escape, let alone anything else. This is an artist’s impression of what a black hole may be like.

    Dwarf stars When stars reach the end of their lives, their fires start to die out, and then they become dwarf stars due to the gravitational pull of the matter inside.

    Heavenly pictures By drawing imaginary lines between the stars in the sky, you will notice the shapes of animals or objects familiar to you. You might see a crab, a dragon, a bear or other patterns. These star patterns are called constellations. Astronomers have identified 88 constellations in all. The more famous ones are the Great Bear, the Little Bear and Orion, also known as the Hunter. The constellations also include characters from Greek mythology and the 12 signs of the zodiac.

    Try these too… Galaxies (6–7), The Sun (10–11), The Planets (12–13), The Moon (20–21), Humans in Space (24–25), Earth’s Atmosphere (26–27), Scientific Revolution (150–151), Computer Revolution (162), Matter (178–179), Light (180–181), Heat (184–185), Electricity (186–187), Forces and Motion (190–191), Communication and Satellites (192–193)