Prelims level : Science and Tech Mains level : Technology, Economic Development, Bio Diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management
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Why in News:

  • Scientists are expected to unveil the first photo of a black hole. US national science foundation has scheduled a news conference to announce “ground breaking result from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project.

Details Black holes:

  • A black hole is a region in space where gravity pulls to an extent that even light cannot escape. The gravity is so powerful because matter is compressed into a little space. This may occur when a star die.

How Big Are Black Holes?

  • Black holes may be either big or small. According to scientists, the smallest black holes are as small as an atom. These are very small but have the mass (amount of content in an object) of a mountain.
  • A different type of black hole is stellar whose mass can be upto 20 times greater than mass of the sun. There can be many stellar black holes in Earth’s galaxy which is known by the name Milky Way.
  • The biggest black hole is known as ‘supermassive’, and their masses can be 1 million suns together. According to Scientists, every large galaxy includes a supermassive black hole in the center. This supermassive black hole which exists in the middle of the Milky Way galaxy is known as Sagittarius. Its mass is same as about 4 million suns.

Event horizon:

  • It is one of the most violent places in the universe, and a point of no return beyond which anything such as stars, planets, gas, dusts, all types of electromagnetic radiation including lights gets sucked into it. The point within the black hole which nothing can escape from is called its event horizon.

Event Horizon Telescope

  • It is an international collaboration that aims to capture images of black hole areas by linking up various radio dishes from around the world that together create a virtual telescope roughly the size of planet Earth. The project began capturing data in 2006.
  • the Event Horizon Telescope project aims to generate enough magnifying power to bring black hole environments into focus, allowing for the study of their characteristics. Because black holes do not emit light, they cannot be seen and are technically invisible.
  • The Event Horizon Telescope looks to study areas surrounding a black hole, namely the gas which radiates around it due to its intensely strong gravity pull, in an attempt to capture images of its general dynamics.

How Do Black Holes Form?

  • Primordial black holes are considered to have formed in the early universe soon after the big bang. Stellar black holes were produced when the middle of a massive star collapsed by itself. This collapse also created a supernova or an exploding star that blasts part of the star in the space

Is There Any Danger to Earth from Black Hole?

  • Black holes do not move around in space swallowing planets, moons and stars. Earth will not drop into a black hole because no black hole is near enough to the solar system.
  • Even if black hole of similar mass as sun were taken to the place of sun, Earth would not fall in. The gravity of black hole would be the same as sun and Earth would revolve the black hole as it orbits the sun.


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