5 Things About Black Holes | How Are Black Holes Formed

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With the release of a picture of the Black Hole, everyone is asking How Are Black Holes Formed. It surely has made a really huge impact on Astro fans around the world. And not only the astronomy lovers but everyone around the globe wants to know more about these black holes. Everyone wants to know what the black holes are, and how they are formed. I, myself, am very intrigued and wanted to know about. So, I did a little study about black holes to get a basic understanding of how it works. 

So far, I have understood that Black Holes are the objects in the universe which do not have a surface like planets or stars. It is a region in space where matter collapsed in on itself. This collapse has resulted in a huge amount of mass to concentrate in an incredibly small area. The gravitational pull of this area is so strong that not even light can escape it.

The image that we got was the first ever image that could be captured of a black hole which allowed us to have a clear image of how it looks like. Before this, only human imagination, theories, and Christopher Nolan’s take on Black Holes were the only ideas that hinted about how black holes must look like. But now, with this achievement, we all know how the unobservable cosmic abyss might look like.

Black hole

The first image released by Astronomers taken using the Event Horizon Telescope on 10th April 2019. It is the first ever image that could be taken of the black hole. The supermassive black hole has a mass 7 billion times the Sun’s and is at the core of the supergiant elliptical galaxy Messier 87. 

What Is A Black Hole 

A region of spacetime that exhibits strong gravitational effects. The gravitational pull of this region is so powerful and strong that not even light could escape from inside it. The general relativity theory predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole. The boundary, from which no escape is possible, is called the event horizon. In many ways, the black hole acts like an ideal black body that reflects no light.

Nasa has provided a video explaining how the black holes are formed in the space science for kids on YouTube –

How Big Are Black Holes

According to NASA, black holes vary in sizes but basically, they are of three types – Primordial, Stellar, and Supermassive Black Holes.

Primordial Black holes

These ones are the smallest and scientists believe that the size of these black holes could range from as small as a single atom with mass near that of a mountain.

Stellar Black holes

These medium-sized black holes are most common ones, they can have mass up to 20 times of the Sun in our Solar System. There are dozens of such Stellar Black Hole within Milky Way Galaxy.

Supermassive Black holes

Then we have supermassive ones, which as the name suggests are the largest of them all. They can have masses up to 1 million times our Sun and diameter even more than the size of our Solar System. A supermassive black hole in Milky Way Galaxy is called Sagittarius A. The mass of Sagittarius A is about equal to 4 million Suns and would be able to fit inside a ball of diameter equal to the size of the Sun.

It is said that every big Galaxy has a Supermassive Black Hole in the center.

Sagittarius A

How Are Black Holes Formed In Simple Terms

Now, coming to the point. I wanted to know how a black hole is formed so I visited NASA’s web page on “black holes” and did a little reading. According to them, the smallest black holes, Primordial ones, might have been formed just after the big bang. Stellar ones form when a star collapses and its center collapses in upon itself. The collapse causes what we call a Supernova, or an exploding star. Scientists believe that the supermassive black holes are formed along with the galaxies they are in, considering their sizes are relevant.

So, in simple terms, if we explain how black holes are formed then it will go something like this – When a giant star explodes, part of that star is blasted into space. This explosion is called Supernova. Now, if the start had enough mas, its center will collapse on itself to a very small size. With such a small size and huge mass, the gravity of this region will be very strong. It will absorb light due to high gravitation pull and will become a black hole. Black holes keep on absorbing light and mass around them and that is why they grow incredibly huge.

How Many Black Holes Are There

According to Hubblesite, there are some 100 billion stars alone in our Milky Way Galaxy and about 100 million black holes. There are many distant galaxies apart from Milky Way Galaxy, and each probably has millions of black holes of various sizes and masses. So it is impossible to count the number is black holes in the Universe.

Black Hole Theory

5 Things About Black Holes | How Are Black Holes Formed 2


I liked reading about it a lot, I got to know various facts that I didn’t know before like Cygnus X-1 is an object that was considered as a black hole for the first time. And that if any start passes really close to a black hole, it might get torn apart. And that if a human ever fell into a black hole, they might turn into noodles.

Which part of Universe baffles you? Share in the comments. And do not forget to share if you liked this piece.