A black hole is a mathematically defined region of spacetime exhibiting such a strong gravitational pull that no particle or electromagnetic radiation can escape from it. The theory of
general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole. T... More
A black hole is a mathematically defined on of spacetime exhibiting such a strong itational pull that no particle or tromagnetic radiation can escape from it. theory of
general relativity predicts a sufficiently compact mass can deform etime to form a black hole. The dary of the region from which no escape ossible is called the event
horizon. ough crossing the event horizon has mous effect on the fate of the object sing it, it appears to have no locally ctable features. In many ways a black acts like
an ideal black body, as it ects no light. Moreover, quantum field ry in curved spacetime predicts that t horizons emit Hawking radiation, with same spectrum as a black
body of a erature inversely proportional to its . This temperature is on the order of ionths of a kelvin for black holes of lar mass, making it essentially ssible to observe.
Objects whose itational fields are too strong for light scape were first considered in the 18th ury by John Michell and Pierre-Simon ace. The first modern solution of general ativity that would characterize a black was found by Karl Schwarzschild in 1916, ough its interpretation as a region of e from which nothing can escape was first ished by
David Finkelstein in 1958. Long idered a mathematical curiosity, it was ng the 1960s that theoretical work showed k holes were a generic prediction of ral relativity. The discovery
of neutron s sparked interest in gravitationally apsed compact objects as a possible ophysical reality.
Black holes of lar mass are expected to form when very ive stars collapse at the end of their cycle. After a black hole has formed, it continue to grow by absorbing mass from
surroundings. By absorbing other stars merging with other black holes, rmassive black holes of millions of solar es (M☉) may form. There is general ensus that supermassive black
holes t in the centers of most xies.
Despite its invisible interior, presence of a black hole can be inferred ugh its interaction with other matter and electromagnetic radiation such as ble light. Matter falling
onto a black can form an accretion disk heated by tion, forming some of the brightest cts in the universe. If there are other s orbiting a black hole, their orbit can sed
to determine its mass and location. observations can be used to exclude ible alternatives (such as neutron s). In this way, astronomers have tified numerous stellar black hole didates in binary systems, and blished that the radio source known as A*, at the core of our own Milky Way xy, contains a supermassive black hole of t 4.3 million M☉.
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