What’s good Hivers?! We all know that black holes have been a topic of particular interest for Astronomers and Science enthusiasts like me. The Black Holes are ever hungry and colossal entities that are said to tear stars apart and not even light is allowed a chance to escape the gravitational pull they generate! Anybody who thinks it through has to ask a question that has always been at the back of mind; How is that even possible? Since light travels at about 3x10^8 m/s!!!
I am a person with quite a wild imagination, and I had to sit back a couple of times and think about these Black Holes and I can’t seem to wrap my mind around accepting the fact that black holes actually do exist. Since mathematically, they are actually impossible.
So What Exactly Is Our Current Understanding of Black Holes?
A black hole is said to appear when a huge star comes to the end of its life cycle. At that moment the star runs out of all the resources and gases it needs for it keep itself ablaze. If this were to happen to smaller stars like the sun in our galaxy, they would simply cool off and become what astronomers call WHITE DWARFS. (BTW, don’t you think it is funny to actually know that our sun is termed a ‘small star’ when it is thousands of times bigger than our dear planet earth!)
Well, for stars that are just too big, instead of actually cooling off, they are said to burst into a huge Supernova and the remains of the huge star then collapse under the influence of their own gravity to form, an infinitely dense dot! A dot that is described as extremely massive and so tiny at the same time! Quite an Oxymoron, right? :)
Credits for the image above : ESO, ESA/Hubble, M.Kornmesser/N.Bartmann
Interestingly, this is what results into a Black Hole! Furthermore, as seen in the image above, the black hole has what is called an EVENT HORIZON: which is actually a dark area of space where the gravitational force is overwhelmingly huge that it conquers the incredible speed of light! And beyond this particular Event Horizon, we have what Astronomers and Physicists call an ACCRETION DISK; where gases are spinning at a stunningly amazing speed and are attracted to the black hole.
Moving on, behind the Event Horizon we have what is called a SINGULARITY; the point where density actually becomes infinite breaking all the Laws of Nature that exists in science! It amazes me that this is the point in the quest of humans to understand the concept of Black Holes, where even Mathematics seems not to work anymore!
Why you may ask? This is because Mathematics is not known to work very well when we deal with infinite numbers and functions. And this simply puts Singularity as something that shouldn’t be possible!
To further amaze us all, Black Holes do not only consume every bit of matter that comes their way, they also consume and digest all data and information about everything that they swallow. This according to Quantum Physics is impossible since information about matter cannot simply be deleted entirely from Reality. But then, that is exactly what black holes are said to do.
However, these black holes slowly evaporate and they have to give away their Mass and Energy but won’t return the information to the universe which should not be possible. Maybe our Astronomers see things that behave and resemble a Black Hole, because Mathematics simply shows that these holes cannot exist at all without breaking a lot of laws in nature.
Some scientists also argue that Singularity cannot form in a Supernova. They believe that a star should simply explode without the appearance of a black hole.
This leads us to another part of this amazing topic with an interesting question that goes thus;
If No Information Disappears, Then Where Do They Go In Black Holes?
To answer this question, some simulations suggest that there is actually no Singularity inside a black hole. The simulations explain that the pressure inside these Black holes grow to extremely high levels and suddenly the pressure reduces, explaining that there exists something else beyond the center of a Black hole which is called a WORMHOLE; a tunnel-like feature that goes through the space time! Unbelievable, right?
These Wormholes birthed the idea of what we call WHITE HOLES; which are actually mirrored twins of Black Holes. They are said to spew matter, energy and information all around them and to top it all off, they do not allow anything (not even light!) to come in through their Horizons!
These White Holes do exist theoretically, but are nowhere to be seen in the real Universe. It is suggested that they may be the exit point of Wormholes and we can’t see them because we can only see the entering point of black holes. These White Holes are actually said to be some sort of unreachable space! (probably in another Universe lol!)
Anyways, going back to the Singularity concept, some scientists are of the opinion that we should replace these impossible singularities with something that we can relate to and is actually more imaginable. They believe Black holes are fully packed with another mystery of the Universe known as the DARK ENERGY. Their claims actually solve two problems at once, but there are just so many things we don’t know about Dark Energy to rely on their claims. And that will be a topic of discussion for another article, smiles**
Next in line to replace the concept of a Singularity in Black holes is the PLANCK STAR! As having such a star in black holes actually makes more sense and is more tangible than just an infinitely dense dot. A Planck Star would actually contain all the information that is lost beyond the Event Horizon of a Black hole. But how is this possible, one might wonder?
Well, while a Planck Star loses mass with time, it becomes bigger and at some point in time it will meet with the Event Horizon and in turn, make the Black hole disappear with any leftover mass and information. Seems to make some sense, hmmm?
So what exactly are the usefulness and Functions of these Black holes?
One certain thing is that our Universe would definitely not be the same without Black Holes because every Galactic center that exists out there in space has a massive Black hole in it. There is a possibility that these huge Black holes came into existence quite long ago when galaxies started to form. Some researchers are of the opinion that these holes may serve as anchors that help keep the galaxies together and give them their shapes. Without these black Holes, Galaxies would be completely different from what we know today or shockingly might not even exist!
Alternatively, they could have been formed after the galaxies were formed causing a lot of disruptions and destructions while they grow bigger. They got so massive only because they had a lot of new stars to swallow in the center of the universe where these stars are actually formed all the time.
Another point worthy of mention is that if massive old stars didn’t burst into the Supernovas in the process of becoming Black holes, then rare elements would not be able to spread across the universe! This is the only reason why our planet Earth contains elements such as Nitrogen or Phosphorus which are essential for life and our very existence on the planet! Absolutely amazing right?
Some scientists are also of the opinion that Black Holes can eventually swallow all of the Universe! If this was true, then it might be a good thing if these holes were not real! But then the fact remains that the Universe as it is, is simply just too big and even the Largest Black Hole will not be powerful enough to attract faraway Stars to itself! If you ask me, that surely calls for celebration, I must say, lol! We should know that a Black hole without matter to feed on around it is totally harmless!
Black holes also help astronomers to observe the far reaches of our Universe since their strong gravitational fields attract light to them and help them function like a magnifying glass. They distort the image though, but it is certainly not beyond recognition and these help us to map out our dear Universe.
A fun fact to know is that these black holes were first predicted by none other than the genius scientist Albert Einstein! This was back then when he developed his famous Theory of General Relativity between 1905 and 1915. He sure was an outstanding genius!
According to him, Black holes should exist, but they are hard to see with any kind of telescope. So instead of searching for black holes themselves, Astronomers simply search for gas clouds and stars that are affected by the Black Holes since they are known to disturb and distort the space around them by attracting every tiny thing with their gravitational force.
Astronomers have sometimes seen stars spinning around highly visible massive objects and consequently emitting x-rays which seems to suggest that they saw Black Holes. If it were to happen that two Black holes collide with each other, they would release ripples across the Universe known as GRAVITATIONAL WAVES. Luckily for us, astronomers have been able to detect these!
And in 2019 with the unimaginable rate at which science and technology keeps growing, we all witnessed a breakthrough when scientists were able to take a photo of a Black Hole!
This and the points discussed above leave us with quite a bunch of evidences that Black holes actually do exist! Although Mathematics currently show that they are impossible, I believe it is only because we still have many misconceptions about them and we are clearly yet to figure them out in Scientifically.
In addition, since it is currently impossible to know what is actually inside a Black Hole, I find it quite unfortunate for the scientific world. This is because even if we figure out a way to get a Probe close enough to one, it will simply get crushed due to the strong gravitational force in these black holes! And if we get lucky that the Probe goes beyond the Event Horizon, we definitely won’t get any information back from the probe since it will be swallowed and never to be seen again!! Quite sad, right?! Moody**
Finally, to round the article off, I like to believe that as humans we have evolved and survived based on our ability to make what was deemed impossible become possible. And I am of the opinion that someday, science will completely figure out the mystery behind Black Holes and who knows what amazing things will then unfold! But till then, we keep on researching and hope for the very best!
Thanks for reading through guys. I hope you found it interesting till the very end. Be sure to drop your comments and suggestions below guys! I eagerly look forward to them! Cheers
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AS COMPOSED BY QUE