The most intriguing, the most inspiring and the most elusive thing in the entire universe known to mankind is the Black Hole. There are hundreds of questions about Black Holes that are yet to be answered. Some of them have been answered while some others are still within theoretical frameworks and remaining keep giving birth to numerous science fictions we encounter on a day-to-day basis. So, what exactly are these Black Holes? What do we know about these entities? Here are 30 interesting facts about Black Holes that will make your jaws drop but before we give you the rundown, it is necessary that we start with the basic question of ‘what is a Black Hole?’
Black Hole Explained!
Black Holes are nothing but remnants of dead starts. Not all stars convert into Black Holes. Our sun will never become one! Only stars those are 10 to 15 times bigger than sun become Black Holes. We will not really attempt to explain what really happens but we will only say that bigger stars explode at the end of their life (that is, when the burn out all the fuel they have) and this phenomenon is known as Supernova Explosion. When a star dies and this explosion occurs, the majority of the total mass of star is thrown out into the void of the space while only a cold remnant stays back. This remaining part of the star does not experience any fusion reaction that used to give it life.
In a typical star, nuclear fusion is responsible for generation of energy and pressure. This is an outward pressure that neutralizes the gravitational pull created by the star’s own mass. After the supernova explosion, fusion reaction is completely absent. This means no outward pressure is created. As a result, the cold remnant starts collapsing on itself because of its own mass. Because there is nothing that opposes this gravitational pull, the cold remnant eventually collapses on itself and becomes infinitely dense. At this point the gravitational pull becomes so intense that even light fails to escape from it. Because light cannot escape, it becomes completely dark and invisible, giving rise to what we call Black Hole.
Now that we have a fair idea of how a Black Hole is formed, it is time that we learn some interesting facts about Black Holes. Are you ready? Let’s go for a ride.
Black Hole Facts: 1-10
1. The force of gravity is so high in Black Holes that it leads to gravitational time dilation. This is a phenomenon where time slows down because of gravitational pull. Interesting fact is that time dilation can also occur when velocity increases. This is known as velocity time dilation and is generally experienced by astronauts. We will cover this in some other list. Coming back to Black Holes, time completely stops at the center of Black Holes.
2. Black Holes have something known as event horizon! There is some heavy scientific explanation behind this but let us put it in simple words. Event horizon refers to a ‘point of no return’. Every Black Hole has a boundary. Any object outside that boundary is perfectly safe. But if, an object crosses the event horizon, it will have no other option but to fall into the Black Hole. Once sucked in, that object can never reappear.
3. Black Holes are literally the densest objects to live in universe (at least that’s what is known to humans). So, how dense can a Black Hole get? Imagine what kind of density you will get if you try to squeeze in the entire mass of Earth in a small (we mean miniscule) sphere with a DIAMETER of 9 millimeters! That’s the type of density we are talking about.
4. Black Holes can keep growing because anything (gas, liquid or solid matter) that enters the event horizon gets sucked in. Thus, Black Holes can grow infinitely large and they are known as supermassive Black Holes.
5. Stephen Hawking theorized that even Black Holes emit something and that they emit radiation. This radiation is emitted by the mass of the Black Holes. According to Hawking, Black Holes keep losing their mass in form of radiations and eventually they evaporate!
6. Black Holes eventually shrink down to the size smaller than the size of an electron (a sub-atomic particle). At this stage it reaches a size what is known as Planck Length. This length is actually the quantum size limit. Theoretically nothing can become smaller than this and there is actually no instrument available that can measure Planck Length. The value of Planck Length is 1.61619926 x 10-35 meters.
7. The event horizon is just the beginning of the Black Hole. It is not the core of the Black Hole. The core of the Black Hole is called Singularity. This point of Singularity is the ultimate destruction point. Absolutely nothing can survive at that point.
8. Closer to a Black Hole, things simply get distorted. The immense gravitational pull of the Black Holes have the ability to distort even space. This distortion gets profound because Black Holes spin rapidly. This distortion is nothing but an infinite regression of distortions.
9. Stars spin and they continue doing so even after their death. This means they keep spinning even when they become Black Holes and these Black Holes in turn keep spinning faster and faster as they keep evaporating and eventually shrink to Planck Length. Even when they achieve the Planck Length, they keep spinning. Along with this spin and their gravitational force, they distort everything around them (actually within their event horizon).
10. If something travels faster than light, it can actually escape Black Hole. Unfortunately, there is no such thing known to mankind.