Is a black hole eating us?

Once our universe appeared from “nothing”.  Is it possible that “nothing” wants it back? — Dr.Surprise

MAGNETAR

Magnetar

                                           Image: NASA

A magnetar is a star that’s like a big magnet. But it is millions of times stronger than any man-made magnet. It rotates (turns around) almost once every 10 seconds. After about 10,000 years it loses its energy.  

SUPERNOVA

Keplersupernova

                                  Image: NASA


OUR UNIVERSE is full of unknown things! Did you know that there are such things as magnetars? Maybe you know something about black energy? Maybe you are VERY smart and know everything! But I want to tell you about amazing, strong, tiny, black dots. I think everyone who loves science fiction or astronomy knows that these dots are black holes. Our universe is full of them! Fifty years ago black holes were just science fiction. But today scientists have proved that they exist.

     Black holes appear after a supernova. A supernova is a star that explodes. A black hole is like a huge vacuum cleaner. It uses gravity to clean up the mess made by an exploding star. A black hole’s gravitiy is so strong that it could pull even our Sun’s rays into it. The word nova means “new” because it seems like a new star. But it’s really a star that has started to collapse, or fall in on itself, until it becomes smaller than an atom! When a thing becomes smaller, its gravity becomes stronger. So now think how much gravity a huge star has when it becomes the size of a dot! One teaspoon of black hole matter can weigh 100 thousand times the weight of our Sun.    

     Scientists think that black holes are at the center of most galaxies. You can’t see a black hole, but scientists can see things around it disappear into it. When a black hole “eats up” the things around it, it spins. The black hole in our Milky Way spins 1150 times each second, pulling things into it. So it’s nice that we live in a far corner of our galaxy! But don’t worry, only black holes in the center of what are called quasars, eat a lot. The black hole at the center of our Milky Way has to spit out (throw out) a lot in order to eat just a little! 

Dr.Surprise

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 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com