The black holes that we see and hear so often in science fiction series or movies are often presented as if we knew the whole thing. But what exactly is a black hole?
Indeed, although its name is not really its strong point, the study of this celestial body is one of the main interests of many scientists around the world for good reason. Whether because of its interesting structure, or its effect on the space around it, this mysterious object appears to have had a primordial effect on life on Earth.
Let’s start by dissecting it from the “center” outward. First, the center of a black hole is called a singularity and here we find all the energy and light that makes a black hole so heavy (much like the core of Earth). Simply imagine that a black hole is an enormous mass of energy and light being compressed into a very limited space that is familiarly called a black hole.
In fact, (the largest) supermassive black holes are billions of times more massive/heavier than our neighbor the Sun. Then, the black part we see in the image above is called the event horizon and is a delineation (surrounding the singularity) which marks the point of no return for light and energy being absorbed by the black hole. Also, the part that defines the singularity which we see as the colored part (yellow/orange) on the image (see image) is called the accretion disk. This outline is just a pile of debris in the form of gas orbiting the black hole at immeasurable speeds, like the famous rings of Saturn.
Basically, if you know a friend or someone else who eats constantly but doesn’t seem to gain weight due to a fast metabolism, then the black hole is that friend in the celestial body family. There is even a phenomenon of body expansion when approaching a black hole which is appropriately called the spaghetti or noodle effect.
In short, we can only say that black holes are greedy giants who seem to be fundamental to the functioning of the universe, but also seem to hide many secrets…
Oscar Makki, second prize
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