Black Hole – Gravity’s Relentless Pull


A black hole can be defined as a celestial object that has a gravitational field so strong that is believed to be created especially in the collapse of a very massive star. Since no light can escape from it, people cannot see black holes.

Black hole image
On the left, an optical image from the Digitized Sky Survey shows Cygnus X-1, outlined in a red box. Cygnus X-1 is located near large active regions of star formation in the Milky Way, as seen in this image that spans some 700 light years across. An artist’s illustration on the right depicts what astronomers think is happening within the Cygnus X-1 system. Cygnus X-1 is a so-called stellar-mass black hole, a class of black holes that comes from the collapse of a massive star. New studies with data from Chandra and several other telescopes have determined the black hole’s spin, mass, and distance with unprecedented accuracy.

Different Sizes of the Black Hole

There can be small or big black holes. Small black holes are just as small as one atom according to scientists. ‘Stellar’ is another kind of black hole. Its mass, i.e., amount of matter or stuff in an object can be twenty times more than mass of the sun.

‘Supermassive’ are the largest black holes. They have masses more than one million suns together. A supermassive black hole is present at the center of every large galaxy. Scientists have proved this fact. Sagittarius is the supermassive black hole at the center of Milky Way, i.e., earth’s galaxy.

Black Holes Formation

Scientists have suggested that small black holes formed during the time when universe began. ‘Stellars’ occur when center of a huge star falls on itself. This event leads to supernova. Supernova is described as an exploding star that blasts part of star into space. Supermassive black holes are made at the same time as the galaxy they are placed in.


The idea of a black hole was put forward by John Michell for the very first time in 1783. This idea was further promoted by Pierre Simon a mathematician in 1796. A modern solution that characterizes a black hole was found in 1916 by Karl Schwarzschild. But its interpretation was first published in 1958 by David Finkelstein.

Properties and Structure

According to no hair theorem, black hole has three independent physical properties: mass, charge and angular movement. Closer to black hole space-time starts to deform. More number of paths go towards the black hole than move away. This is due to the most defining feature of black hole, i.e., the event horizon. It is a boundary in space-time through which matter and light can only pass onwards and towards the mass of the black hole.

Finding its Presence

Black hole’s interaction with other matter and with electromagnetic radiation help in inferring its presence. Scientists can study stars to find out if they are orbiting a black hole. Black holes and stars, when they are close together, a high energy light is made which is not visible to the human eye but scientists can track this light through satellites and telescopes in the space.

Also check out our article on “NAVIC – The Indian GPS“.

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