BLACK HOLES

When the biggest stars explode as supernovas, their cores collapse in on themselves under gravity to become black holes. These regions have so much gravity that not even light can escape their incredibly powerful pull. Astronomers can’t see black holes, but they can detect them. This is because matter spiralling into a black hole emits X-rays, which can be seen by X-ray telescopes.

SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES

Supermassive black holes seem to be responsible for the exceptional energy output of active galaxies such as quasars. They have a mass millions of times greater than the Sun’s. Matter drawn in from surrounding gas clouds or stars forms an accretion disc, which emits light and other radiation. A central jet emits energy too.

SPAGHETTIFICATION

If you were unfortunate enough to wander near a steep black hole, its enormous gravity would pull you in, in the same way that it sucks in light and matter. As you got nearer, the strength of gravity would increase so rapidly that it would tug at your feet more than your head, and you would stretch out long and thin, like a piece of spaghetti.

FIND OUT MORE

Galaxies
Gravity
Nebulas

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

highlights

Teens and E-Cigarettes: 6 Things You Must Know
For the first time in a generation, tobacco use has risen among the nation's youth, due to the rising use of e-cigarettes. Learn more about the dangerous and addictive e-cigarette trend, and get tips to talk to your teen.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, brought to you by Galactic Hot Dogs.

Printable Lists of the Top 100 Baby Names
Need help with baby name ideas? Use our printable list of the top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2015 to help you brainstorm and narrow down your favorites.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks