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8 interesting facts about black holes

Last Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013 - 00:09

We keep hearing about these strange and mysterious objects in space called black holes, but have you ever thought what they actually are? Do they exist in reality or are they just fiction?

Here are eight interesting facts which throw light on black holes. Read on:

1. It was John Mitchell who actually first proposed the idea of ‘dark stars’ or object. Later, in 20th century the term ‘black hole’ was coined.

2. Black holes are actually leftovers of former stars and are so dense that nothing can flee from their dominant gravitational energy.

3. If the formation of a black hole has taken place, it can continue to grow by absorbing additional matter.

4. Generally the life cycle of most of the stars end up being a white dwarf or a neutron star, but, black holes are considered to be the last evolutionary stage in the lifetime of a star.

5. There are mainly three types of black holes namely stellar, supermassive and miniature black holes, depending on their mass.

6. Since black holes possess strong gravitational force which pulls all of the light into its center, they cannot be seen.

7. Black holes follow the laws of gravity and hence in order to affect the earth, the orbit of a black hole would have to be very close to the solar system, which is not likely.

8. Astronomers are confident that our own Milky Way galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its center.

Compiled by: Shruti Saxena

First Published: Friday, August 16, 2013 - 00:04

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