What exactly happens in a black hole? Who knows what lies on the other side? Despite being otherworldly phenomena that we’ve known about for over 240 years, there’s still a lot we don’t know about these strange plots in space… and studies are most certainly ongoing. Therefore, the facts we do know about black holes are certainly pretty special! Here are some fun facts about black holes to intrigue you further.
1. We’ve known about black holes for a long time now.
Black holes were discovered in 1781 by a French astronomer called Charles Messier. And yet, they are still so mysterious!
2. Black holes aren’t the easiest to find.
Black holes can be hard to find via a telescope. Observers locate them by studying the movement of stars and matter near to them. The stability of particles near to black holes is disturbed by the power of attraction to them – they have an odd effect on space, it’s said!
3. Black holes hold no end to mysteries…
It is believed by some people that black holes hide white holes located behind them and/or that via clack holes, we can eventually be led to another universe. Let’s keep exploring the one we’re in, first!
4. How close are we to a black hole?
In our solar system, Venus is the nearest planet to a black hole. Up until recently, the nearest black hole to Earth was 26,000 light-years away. It has been named Sagittarius A.
However, as of February 2022, a ‘lone’ black hole was discovered 5,000 light-years away – a space tourist of sorts!
5. Hawking’s theories helped us to understand black holes better.
Professor Steven Hawking began studying black holes in 1973. His theories evolved to suggest that despite being so named, black holes are not completely black. Also, by emitting radiation, they eventually evaporate!
Hawking theorized that black holes have temperatures – and, that by losing heat in space, they eventually evaporate. Other researchers subsequently supported this theory!
6. Are black holes really that scary?
Black holes are known to raise concern for some people! Researchers at NASA have made some profound discoveries about black holes and confirmed that Earth is situated too far away from any known vortexes for them to pose a threat to our planet. On top of this, NASA confirms that at no point during our 4.5 billion years of existence has Earth ever been at risk from a black hole!
7. What is a quasar?
Research has revealed that two black holes had been in such close proximity as they orbited that they eventually merged! This action formed a quasar approximately 10.3 billion years ago! The word quasar is now used to describe a galactic nucleus.
8. Anyone ever tried counting them…?
No one really knows how many black holes there might actually be in the universe at large. Estimates really do vary – from between ten million to billions – and we may never truly know the real figure!
9. The event horizon is an important part to any black hole.
The event horizon is a point in the proximity of a black hole beyond which there is no return! The event horizon backs up the hypothesis that black holes gobble up any matter in their path.
10. The phrase has entered everyday speech, too.
The term ‘black hole’ in casual speech is sometimes used to describe the sudden loss of an item or creature, or something that has apparently ‘swallowed’ a lost item. For example – is your a sofa a ‘black hole’ for lost change?
11. Black holes are elusive to the naked eye.
Don’t try looking for a black hole on your own – it’s just not possible. You won’t be able to see a black hole on its own even if you are looking through a telescope! However, a black hole was officially photographed as-is for the first time in 2019.
FAQs about Black Holes
What is inside a black hole?
The weird thing is, no one really knows for sure. Many believe that there may be a phenomenon called a singularity - where infinite space time exists.
Could you survive a black hole?
It’s highly unlikely that anyone could survive a black hole. If light can’t escape it - neither can anything else!
Will Earth ever be swallowed up by a black hole?
No- there are no black holes within dangerous reach of Earth, and it’s likely to be that way for some time.
Do you know any interesting facts about black holes? Share them in the comments below!