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Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

What Is a Black Hole in Space?

What Is a Black Hole in Space?

One of the strangest mysteries of outer space is a “black hole.” A black hole is a place in space where gravity is very strong as the matter is squeezed into a tiny space.

Scientists think that a black hole is what happens after a giant star dies and collapses into itself. The burned-out star gets smaller and smaller, until it turns into a kind of hole in space.

The hole has such powerful gravity that virtually nothing can escape from it, not even light. That makes black holes impossible to see. They are invisible. A black hole cannot be seen because strong gravity pulls all of the light into the middle of the black hole.

But scientists can see how the strong gravity affects the stars and gas around the black hole. Scientists can study stars to find out if they are flying around, or orbiting, a black hole.

When a black hole and a star are close together, high-energy light is made. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars.

Astronomers think there may be millions of black holes in our universe. Then again, there may not be any at all; some astronomers doubt that these mystery objects exist.

Content for this question contributed by Tom Wade, resident of Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, USA