Formation of Black Holes Explained

Surprisingly, a few years prior, scientists were able to take a picture of a black hole. What they did was to capture the silhouette of the black hole, which could be seen by the surrounding matter. Well, what are black holes that we tried so hard to capture an image of?

Image of a Black Hole

When we think of black holes, people tend to imagine a massive nothingness. However, black holes are everything but nothingness. In fact, they are just like massive vacuums that attract every matter, including light. Therefore, they are named “black holes”.

Let’s talk about what “black holes” are. However, for that, we need to first take a look at stars. The journey to black holes begins with the birth of stars. The start of that process starts with clouds of gasses and dust in outer space called Nebula. The movement of these gasses and dust creates regions with great density. When those regions have enough mass, they begin to collapse because of the gravitational pull. The pressure created with gravity causes the temperature in the core to heat up, creating an early form of star called a protostar. When the form of this core continues to heat up, it can eventually become a star with the start of fusion. And by fusion, meaning that hydrogen combines to form atoms with heavier nuclei and continues to do so. Of course, not every blob of gas and dust has to form a star. They can create a variety of different matter, or not create anything at all and stay as dust and gas.

There is a balance between the force of gravity that pushes towards the center and the force of pressure pushing out of the center. When the temperature of the core decreases, this balance gets disrupted and the star collapses into itself. The outcome of these explosions, also known as supernova, may end up creating neutron stars -incredibly dense and compact stars created by collapsed cores of stars- or black holes. Therefore, unlike the popular belief that black holes are empty, black holes are a transformed version of stars with unbalanced cores. Since the unbalance happens when the force of gravity overpowers the force of pressure, matters are dragged into black holes. And that the strength of that gravitational field is even inescapable by light.

Well, if not even light can escape black holes, how do we see or study them? Actually, we cannot see them with electromagnetic force or its variations. However, as I mentioned before, black holes are like a vacuum cleaner, meaning that they exert a great amount of gravitational pull. Therefore, by studying nearby matters, we can just deduce the location or presence of a black hole since we can observe those nearby matters that emit electromagnetic radiation as they accelerate towards the black hole.

Now, next time someone mentions the term ‘black hole’ instead of a vacuum that sucks up everything; you can think of the lifetime of a star, and its collapse into itself that creates one of the most interesting phenomena we encounter in space.

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