There are black holes in the Milky Way, yet you should not worry about black holes as they are too far from the Earth to absorb it and are not a threat.
This article will explain in-depth about black holes and answer your worrisome questions about them.
Should You Worry About Black Holes? (Answered)
What is a Black Hole?
A black hole is an area of space where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape from it – not even light.
Black holes are formed after a star explodes at the end of its lifecycle, which is called a supernova.
If the star has a lot of mass, it collapses into a small size.
This creates strong gravity as the mass is so compact and the matter squeezed into a tiny space.
Black holes are made up of mass, electric charge, and momentum.
Besides this, they have no features and are a black body, reflecting no light.
Black holes can grow by absorbing mass from objects around them.
There are different sizes of black holes:
- Miniature – the smallest black holes can be as small as one atom.
- Stellar – these black holes are made from dead stars and have mass up to 20 times more than the sun.
- Supermassive – these are the largest black holes and can have a mass of more than a million suns. Each galaxy has a supermassive black hole at the center. Our Milky Way has a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A.
Should You Worry About Black Holes?
There is no need to worry about black holes as even those at the center of our galaxy are too far from the Earth, and do not have a strong enough gravitational pull, to ever absorb it.
None of the black holes in the Milky Way are anywhere near close enough to the Earth or our solar system to be a concern.
The closest black hole to Earth is 1,500 light years away.
Our sun is not a big enough star to become a black hole, but even if a black hole took the place of the sun, the Earth would not be sucked into it but would continue to orbit it just as it does now.
Are Black Holes Real?
Black holes sound like they are made up for a science-fiction story, but they are very real.
Scientists themselves used to wonder if black holes could exist in space or if they were Einstein’s solution to the theory of relativity.
Einstein himself did not believe that black holes could form.
Yet scientists were able to prove that black holes were real.
How Do Black Holes Form?
Scientists believe that the first black holes formed when the galaxy began.
Black holes form when giant stars die at the end of their lifecycle.
When the center of a giant star collapses in on itself it causes a supernova.
Black holes absorb mass from their surroundings to grow, such as absorbing stars or joining together with another black hole.
How Were Black Holes Discovered?
As black holes do not reflect light, they are invisible and cannot be seen, which made it difficult for scientists to discover them.
The way that scientists discover black holes is by using NASA’s telescopes to look at the environment surrounding the black hole.
The material around the black hole such as matter will become heated up to millions of degrees as the black hole pulls it towards it.
This means the matter will glow in x-rays radiation.
As black holes have such strong gravity, they distort space and scientists can see the gravitational pull on surrounding stars and other objects.
Einstein predicted the existence of black holes in his theory of general relativity.
His equations showed that if the core left behind when a star dies is around three times the mass of the sun or more, the gravity will become too strong and create a black hole.
What Black Hole is in the Milky Way?
As there is a supermassive black hole at the center of each galaxy, there are black holes in our Milky Way.
The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy is Sagittarius A*.
Scientists have also discovered many stellar black holes throughout the Milky Way.
Are Black Holes Dangerous?
Black holes are scary because they are invisible and can absorb everything around them.
The black holes in the Milky Way are not close enough to the Earth to be any danger to us.
Black holes would be dangerous if the Earth approached it for the following reasons:
- The temperature around a black hole can reach up to millions of degrees Celsius, producing x-rays and energy radiation.
- Outside the black hole is a photon sphere, where the gravitational pull is really strong and gets stronger towards the center, stretching objects out until they look like spaghetti – scientists call this spaghettification.
Can Black Holes Kill You?
If the Earth was pulled into a black hole all people on the planet would be killed, due to:
- The million-degree temperatures.
- The high levels of radiation.
- The strong gravitational pull which would stretch you out during spaghettification.
Can a Black Hole Eat the Earth?
The thought of black holes is so scary because if one got too close to the Earth it would absorb it. Yet no black holes are close enough to the Earth to be a threat to us.
A black hole could not absorb a galaxy as the gravitational pull is not strong enough in those black holes at the center of each galaxy.
Black holes sound scary, but there is no need to worry about them as even the black holes in the Milky Way are too far away from the Earth to be dangerous.
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