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Neutron Stars and Black Holes

Neutron stars and black holes evolve from old, dense stars.

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Black Hole Music

Black Hole Music

Credit: NASA
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black_Hole_in_the_universe.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

A few things about black holes: Black holes are the monsters of the cosmos. They eat stars, but they don’t spit them out. If you entered a black hole, you would stretch out and die.

Why It Matters

  • In the early-middle of the 20th century, black holes were only known mathematically.
  • Although we can’t see black holes, there is a lot of evidence for their existence.
  • Black holes form when a giant star runs out of fuel and collapses under its own weight.
  • Nothing that enters a black hole can escape, including light.
  • Black holes and singularities are at the edge of what modern science can understand.
  • New observations have been made through the European Souther Observatory to provide evidence for a black hole in the Milky Way galaxy.
  • Credit: ESO/S. Gillessen
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Images_of_gas_cloud_being_ripped_apart_by_the_black_hole_at_the_centre_of_the_Milky_Way_ESO.jpg
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    A gas cloud being torn apart by the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy - ESO's Very Large Telescope (Observations in blue from 2006, green 2010, and red 2013) [Figure2]


Explore More

With the link below, learn more about black holes. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What happens to a star that gets too close to a black hole?
  2. What are the properties at the center of a black hole?
  3. How does a black hole destroy space?
  4. How many black holes are in the Milky Way Galaxy? Where are they?
  5. Where and what is a singularity?

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