Everyday we look out upon the night sky, wondering and dreaming ofwhat lies beyond our planet. The universe that we live in is so diverseand unique, and it interests us to learn about all the variance thatlies beyond our grasp. Within this marvel of wonders our universe holdsa mystery that is very difficult to understand because of the complicationsthat arise when trying to examine and explore the principles of space.
That mystery happens to be that of the ever clandestine, black hole. This essay will hopefully give you the knowledge and understandingof the concepts, properties, and processes involved with the spacephenomenon of the black hole. It will describe how a black hole isgenerally formed, how it functions, and the effects it has on the universe. In order to understand what exactly a black hole is, we must firsttake a look at the basis for the cause of a black hole.Order now
All black holesare formed from the gravitational collapse of a star, usually having agreat, massive, core. A star is created when huge, gigantic, gas cloudsbind together due to attractive forces and form a hot core, combined fromall the energy of the two gas clouds. This energy produced is so greatwhen it first collides, that a nuclear reaction occurs and the gases withinthe star start to burn continuously. The Hydrogen gas is usually the firsttype of gas consumed in a star and then other gas elements such as Carbon,Oxygen, and Helium are consumed. This chain reaction fuels the star for millions or billions ofyears depending upon the amount of gases there are.
The star manages to avoid collapsing at this point because of theequilibrium achieved by itself. The gravitational pull from the core ofthe star is equal to the gravitational pull of the gases forming a type oforbit, however when this equality is broken the star can go into severaldifferent stages. Usually if the star is small in mass, most of the gases will beconsumed while some of it escapes. This occurs because there is not atremendous gravitational pull upon those gases and therefore the starweakens and becomes smaller. It is then referred to as a White Dwarf.
If the star was to have a larger mass however, then it may possiblySupernova, meaning that the nuclear fusion within the star simply goesout of control causing the star to explode. After exploding a fractionof the star is usually left (if it has not turned into pure gas) and thatfraction of the star is known as a neutron star. A black hole is one of the last option that a star may take. Ifthe core of the star is so massive (approximately 6-8 solar masses;one solar mass being equal to the sun’s mass) then it is most likely thatwhen the star’s gases are almost consumed those gases will collapse inward,forced into the core by the gravitational force laid upon them. After a black hole is created, the gravitational force continuesto pull in space debris and other type of matters to help add to themass of the core, making the hole stronger and more powerful. Most black holes tend to be in a consistent spinning motion.
This motion absorbs various matter and spins it within the ring (known asthe Event Horizon) that is formed around the black hole. The matter keepswithin the Event Horizon until it has spun into the centre where it isconcentrated within the core adding to the mass. Such spinning black holesare known as Kerr Black Holes. Most black holes orbit around stars due to the fact that they oncewere a star, and this may cause some problems for the neighbouring stars. If a black hole gets powerful enough it may actually pull a star into itand disrupt the orbit of many other stars. The black hole could thengrow even stronger (from the star’s mass) as to possibly absorb another.
When a black hole absorbs a star, the star is first pulled into theErgosphere, which sweeps all the matter into the Event Horizon, named forit’s flat horizontal appearance and because this happens to be the placewhere mostly all the action within the black hole occurs. When the star ispassed on into the Event Horizon the light that the star endures is bentwithin the current and therefore cannot be seen in space. At this exactpoint in time, high amounts of radiation are given off, that with theproper equipment can be detected and seen as an image of a black hole. Through this technique astronomers now believe that they have found a blackhole known as Cygnus X1. This supposed black hole has a huge star orbitingaround it, therefore we assume there must be a black hole that it is inorbit with.
The first scientists to really take an in depth look at black holesand the collapsing of stars, were a professor, Robert Oppenheimer and hisstudent Hartland Snyder, in the early nineteen hundreds. They concludedon the basis of Einstein’s theory of relativity that if the speed of lightwas the utmost speed over any massive object, then nothing could escapea black hole once in it’s clutches. **(1)The name “black hole” was named such, because of the fact that lightcould not escape from the gravitational pull from the core, thus making theblack hole impossible for humans to see without using technologicaladvancements for measuring such things like radiation. The second part ofthe word was named “hole” due to the fact that the actual hole, is whereeverything is absorbed and where the centre core presides. This core isthe main part of the black hole where the mass is concentrated and appearspurely black on all readings even through the use of radiationdetection devices.
Just recently a major discovery was found with the help of a deviceknown as The Hubble Telescope. This telescope has just recently foundwhat many astronomers believe to be a black hole, after being focused onan star orbiting empty space. Several picture were sent backto Earth from the telescope showing many computer enhanced pictures ofvarious radiation fluctuations and other diverse types of readings thatcould be read from the area in which the black hole is suspected to be in. Several diagrams were made showing how astronomers believe thatif somehow you were to survive through the centre of the black hole thatwere would be enough gravitational force to possible warp you to anotherend in the universe or possibly to another universe. The creative ideasthat can be hypothesized from this discovery are endless.
Although our universe is filled with much unexplained, glorious,phenomenons, it is our duty to continue exploring them and to continuelearning, but in the process we must not take any of it for granted. As you have read, black holes are a major topic within our universeand they contain so much curiosity that they could possibly holdunlimited uses. Black holes are a sensation that astronomers arestill very puzzled with. It seems that as we get closer to solvingtheir existence and functions, we just end up with more and more questions. Although these questions just lead us into more and more unansweredproblems we seek and find refuge into them, dreaming that maybe one day,one far off distant day, we will understand all the conceptions and wewill be able to use the universe to our advantage and go where onlyour dreams could take us.
Dave May 343 1992/12/04References For Into The Depths of a Black Hole**(1): Parker, Barry. Colliding Galaxies. PG#96