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Understanding Black Holes and Singularity

A black hole is a region of spacetime where gravity is so strong (!!) that nothing (particles, a spaceship, or even electromagnetic radiation such as light) can escape from it.

sun in the sky during night time

Spacetime is a mathematical model which fuses the 3-dimensional space with the one-dimensional time, resulting in a single four-dimensional manifold. At the center of the black hole lies a singularity(also known as gravitational singularity or spacetime singularity). It is a one-dimensional point in space at which gravity is so intense that spacetime breaks down.

The event horizon is the other important part of a black hole. It is the outer limit of the black hole. The event horizon is the point of no return. Anything that enters the black hole is lost once it crosses the event horizon and we can never see what happens inside it. Schwarzschild radius equation proposes the radius of the event horizon.

According to the “Cosmic Censorship” hypothesis, a black hole’s singularity remains hidden behind the event horizon.

There are four types of black holes:
  1. Stellar black holes
  2. Supermassive black holes
  3. Intermediate black holes
  4. Miniature black holes

Stellar black holes:

When a massive star dies with violent supernova explosions, it gets converted into a stellar black hole. Most of the stellar matter of the star is blown away leaving behind a stellar core. If that core has enough mass, it will collapse in on itself to become a black hole.

Discovery Of Enormous Stellar Mass Black Hole Perplexes Astronomers

Supermassive black holes:

Supermassive black holes have over a billion times more mass than the Sun. How they are formed is still unknown but it seems that they lie at the center of almost every galaxy in the Universe.

How did supermassive black holes get so big and chonky? Scientists still  don't know. | Space

Intermediate black holes:

Intermediate black holes are those that have masses ranging from 102 to 105solar masses, which is more than stellar black holes but less than supermassive black holes. 


Miniature black holes:

Theory predicts that an abundance of tiny black holes was created shortly after the beginning of the Universe as the very dense matter was cooling and expanding. Because of random variations in the density, some of the chunks from the matter happened to form black holes in the beginning stage of the Universe. 

Black holes grow throughout their life by slurping gas and dust from any objects they encounter nearby. If anything passes the event horizon, the sharp increase in the strength of gravity pulls it in (the object then undergoing spaghettification), making it impossible to escape.

Famous Astrophysicist and Science Communicator Neil Degrasse Tyson described the process of Spaghettification: “While you’re getting stretched, you’re getting squeezed – extruded through the fabric of space like toothpaste through a tube.”

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