Few things are as terrifying as black holes! They gobble up everything, including
massive stars, dust, errant spaceships, etc.! Their appetite is so insatiable that they also
swallow light! However, the opposite of black holes exists, and they are no less
terrifying! These massive objects are called white holes, and their discovery has set off
excitement in the astronomy community! What are white holes, and how do they come
about? Can they affect you as a person? Join us as we dive into how scientists' first
discovery of white holes changes everything!
You don't want to get too close to a black hole because you will end up inside its belly!
The most common black holes, the stellar black holes, are formed when the center of a
very massive star collapses in upon itself. This collapse also causes a supernova, or an
exploding star, that blasts part of the star into space. Scientists believe supermassive
black holes formed simultaneously as the galaxy they are in, meaning most galaxies,
including our dear Milky Way galaxy, have a black hole at their core. The size of the
supermassive black hole is related to the size and mass of the galaxy it is in.
The black hole at the center of our galaxy is known as the Sagittarius A* and can
swallow up 4 million of our Sun with room to spare. We could have ended up in its belly,
but we are far away enough to be safe! The strong gravity that black holes exert on
objects near them is due to an enormous amount of matter having been pressed into a
tiny space. This compression can take place at the end of a star's life. Yes, exploding
stars are actually dying stars! And, no, the Sun will never become a black hole simply
because it is not big enough. It will only become a red giant star, after which it will
transform into a glowing ring of gas called a planetary nebula. Finally, all that will be left
of the Sun is a cooling white dwarf star
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