The sky above is filled with sparkling lights which we called stars. But, beyond the stars there emerges a small space packed with rather a huge amount of matter and an enormous gravitational pull. Think of a star shrunk to the size of a small city but ten times as massive as the star. Heard of a gravitational pull, so strong, that even light cannot escape. This space is the famously known Black hole, first predicted by one of the greatest minds of all times – Albert Einstein in his general theory of Relativity which came in existence in 1916. The first idea was rather proposed in 1783 by an amateur British astronomer. The irony of the fact is that Einstein himself didn’t believe in the existence of black holes, though his own theories predicted the contrary.
When massive stars lose all of their energy in a supernova explosion, it collapses and continuously compresses which is in the form of a small, dense core. According to the theory of relativity, if the mass of the dense core is greater than three times of the mass of Sun, gravitational force surpasses all the forces thus forming a black hole. They grow continuously by absorbing the dust and energy around them.
Observation of black holes rather has been a matter of subjectivity. They are not directly observable through telescopes that can detect X-Rays, light or any other form of electromagnetic radiation. However, the presence is possible to be studied through the effect on the matter in its vicinity. One of the evident examples to portray this is the passing of black hole through a cloud of interstellar matter as it draws the matter inwards. The pull accelerates the matter and heats them up, eventually radiating x-rays into space. But, the first observation of black hole was obtained recently on 11th April 2019. The researchers captured 4 images of a black hole through Event Horizon Telescope. In order to capture the images, a virtual telescope was created with a size equivalent to that of earth by linking up radio telescopes located around the world. The discovered black hole lies in the galaxy M87 and is about 55 million light years away from earth.
Space is full of mysteries waiting to be revelled of which one was recently explored, the presence of black hole. The journey ahead awaits to discover the core of black hole, a step much closer to knowing what lies ahead.