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BLACK HOLES   There are many astonishing discoveries being made these days, almost every day, mankind finds something that either affirms or prevents the already existing information of the universe. However, there still lie many mysteries that astronomers and astrophysicists are yet to uncover.    A region of space time that has an incredibly strong gravitational force, that nothing in the universe, not even the fastest entity; light, could escape. One of the most controversial topics in space science. Fascinated by the topic, scientists are still researching about them, even after well over 70 years; black holes. HOW DO THEY FORM   Black holes are areas that distort spacetime due to their incredible gravitational force. They form when a massive star collapses in on itself, this causes a supernova to form; which is when the star’s luminosity increases due to an explosion, which ejects its mass. If the core of the dying star still remains after the explosion (more than two times the mass of the sun) no known force in the universe, could push back hard enough to keep its gravity from collapsing and turning the core into a black hole.   Not only do black holes gain mass, but they also lose it. Although they are the densest objects in the universe, but even they do not live forever. Over a long period of time, black holes tend to lose their mass, which is commonly known as ‘black hole evaporation’. According to the quantum mechanical uncertainty principle, black holes should create and emit particles. As a result, black holes that do not increase in mass are expected to shrink, and eventually evaporate over the course of billions of years. Birkhoff’s theorem, states that there is no difference between the gravitational force of a black hole and a spherical object of a similar mass. That means the idea of black holes ”sucking in everything in its surroundings” is technically only accurate when an object is near a black hole’s event horizon.      THE EVENT HORIZON   Also known as ‘the point of no return’, the event horizon is a region at the surface of a black hole. Einstein’s theory of general relativity states that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Thus, any object that crosses the event horizon can never escape it, or be seen from the outside. And will continue to be falling towards its center, which is called the singularity.   Not only do black holes warp space, they also warp time. If you were to watch an object cross enter black hole, it would appear is if it were falling slower, and slower. You would never actually see the object cross the black hole’s event horizon, for the reason that the light the object is emitting, is having a harder time trying to escape the gravitational force. Instead, you would observe the object suddenly stop, continuously turn redder since its light is starting to lose energy, then slowly disappear. But as for the object that is entering the event horizon, it would be the exact opposite. The light from the rest of the universe would appear to be falling towards it.   Beyond the event horizon lies a point in the center known as a ‘singularity’, this is an area where all of the energy and matter falls into. Since the singularity has an infinitely tiny radius, you would not be able to see it. But as you fall into it, the gravitational force at this point is so intense, the object would start to rip apart, this process is often referred to as ‘spaghettification’. What lies ahead of this point is not really known. Some scientists theorize that there might be a white hole, the complete opposite of a black hole. Instead of pulling all matter and energy in, white holes tend to push them out, into other dimensions, thus creating a kind of wormhole. THE PENNROSE DIAGRAM    Named after the English mathematical physicist, Roger Penrose. The Penrose diagram is a two-dimensional diagram often used to visualize the relationship between peculiar points in space time. First discovered in 1908 by Herman Minkowski, where the horizontal dimension represents space, and the vertical dimension represents time. The Penrose diagram is mostly used to illustrate a structure of singularities in black holes.     TYPES OF BLACK HOLES   Black holes are categorized depending on their mass. It is theorized to be three main types of black holes: Stellar, supermassive, and miniature black holes. A black hole usually has three fundamental properties: angular momentum, mass, and electrical charge. STELLAR BLACK HOLES   Also referred to as collapsars, stellar black holes are the most common type, they form by the gravitational collapsing of a massive star. They also have masses less than 100 times of the sun. SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES   Supermassive black holes tend to have between a million to a billion times more mass than the average stellar black hole. Scientists to this day, have only discovered a few supermassive black holes, they are theorized to be at the center of each galaxy, including our own, the Milky way. Although stellar black holes are typically formed by a massive star collapsing, scientists still do not have an explanation on how supermassive black holes form. It is said to believe that they are formed out of massive clouds of gas, back during the early stages of the formation of galaxies. MINIATURE BLACK HOLES   Also known as quantum mechanical black holes, they were first introduced by Stephen Hawing in 1971. Due to their low mass, mini black holes tend to have a harder time trying to form. Unlike other black holes, miniature ones cannot collapse in on themselves. Instead, there needs to be an incredible outside force to help in the formation of miniature black holes.     Black holes are full of mystery, No one truly knows what lies in them. To this day, scientists continue to research about them. There are many conclusions to everything but there may never be a conclusion to a black hole. Wheeler (1998) “The black hole teaches us that space can be crumpled like a piece of paper into an infinitesimal dot, that time can be extinguished like a blown-out flame, and that the laws of physics that we regard as “sacred,” as immutable, are anything but.” (p.31)