How NASA's Webb Telescope will continue Spitzer's legacy

As one window to the universe closes, another will open with an even better view. Some of the same planets, stars and galaxies we first saw through the first window will appear in even sharper detail in the one that will ...

Stellar black holes: When David poses as Goliath

Stellar black holes form when massive stars end their life in a dramatic collapse. Observations have shown that stellar black holes typically have masses of about ten times that of the Sun, in accordance with the theory of ...

On the hunt for primordial black holes

The theory that dark matter could be made of primordial black holes a fraction of a millimeter in size has been ruled out by a team of researchers led by the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe ...

page 1 from 23

Black hole

In general relativity, a black hole is a region of space in which the gravitational field is so powerful that nothing, including light, can escape its pull. The black hole has a one-way surface, called an event horizon, into which objects can fall, but out of which nothing can come. It is called "black" because it absorbs all the light that hits it, reflecting nothing, just like a perfect blackbody in thermodynamics. Quantum analysis of black holes shows them to possess a temperature and Hawking radiation.

Despite its invisible interior, a black hole can reveal its presence through interaction with other matter. A black hole can be inferred by tracking the movement of a group of stars that orbit a region in space which looks empty. Alternatively, one can see gas falling into a relatively small black hole, from a companion star. This gas spirals inward, heating up to very high temperature and emitting large amounts of radiation that can be detected from earthbound and earth-orbiting telescopes. Such observations have resulted in the scientific consensus that, barring a breakdown in our understanding of nature, black holes do exist in our universe.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA