What is a black hole in space?
  • Scientists believe that a black hole forms when a star stops giving out energy and dies out. That makes it collapse in on itself.
  • The collapsing or imploding causes a very strong gravitational pull (think about how strong the Earthís gravitational pull must be to keep our feet on the ground.)
  • Gravity in a black hole is so strong that anything that goes into a black hole can never come out.
  Did You Know?
  • Scientists that study stars are called astronomers.
  • Although no one has ever seen a black hole astronomers use Einsteinís rule of General Relativity which is that everything has a gravitational pull and the bigger the objectís mass the stronger the pull.
  • Earth has a smaller gravitational pull than the sun because itís much much smaller.
  • Earthís moon is much smaller than Earth so it has a smaller gravitational pull.
  • Albert Einstein is a famous scientist and his theory of relativity helps to explain things like gravity, speed and force.
Spread out two sheets of newspaper in front of you. Look at how much room a piece of newspaper takes up. Place your hands in the middle of one of the sheets and start scrunching the paper up, drawing it in with your fingers towards the middle. Keep scrunching until itís a tight tiny ball and you canít scrunch it any smaller. Put the ball of newspaper in the middle of the other sheet of newspaper and compare the size of them.

Thatís what happens to a star when it implodes or collapses inwards. Instead of spreading outwards like a fireworks display it collapses inwards so that although thereís still the same amount of paper there it doesnít take up as much room.
Next time you have a bath leave a few bath toys floating in the water when you pull the plug. Have a good look at the water as it rushes down the plughole Ė does it go straight down or does it swirl down in a spiral? Do the bath toys stay where they are or are they pulled towards the plughole with the water? Thatís how a black hole is supposed to work. The pull of gravity in the black hole is so strong that things near it are pulled towards it and into it.

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