Black Hole

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A black hole is a region of spacetime from which nothing can escape, even light.

To see why this happens, imagine throwing a tennis ball into the air. The harder you throw the tennis ball, the faster it is travelling when it leaves your hand and the higher the ball will go before turning back. If you throw it hard enough it will never return, the gravitational attraction will not be able to pull it back down. The velocity the ball must have to escape is known as the escape velocity and for the earth is about 7 miles a second.

As a body is crushed into a smaller and smaller volume, the gravitational attraction increases, and hence the escape velocity gets bigger. Things have to be thrown harder and harder to escape. Eventually a point is reached when even light, which travels at 186 thousand miles a second, is not travelling fast enough to escape. At this point, nothing can get out as nothing can travel faster than light. This is a black hole.

Cambridge on Black Holes

Ever wonder what it would look like to travel to a black hole? A neutron star? If so, you might find this page interesting. Here you will find descriptions and MPEG movies that take you on such exciting trips. These movies are scientifically accurate computer animations made with strict adherence to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity.

Virtual Trips to Black Holes and Neutron Stars


Falling Into a Black Hole