What are black holes?
Today’s Video of the Day from the National Science Foundation features astrophysicist Joe Pesce as he explains what scientists know about black holes.
Pesce describes two different types of black holes. Stellar black holes form when stars explode, and have a mass of about 5 to 30 times that of the sun.
It is unclear how supermassive black holes form, but it is believed that they accumulate multiple black holes and other material over time. These enormous black holes grow to become millions to billions times the mass of the sun.
Black holes contain a gravitational pull that is so strong that nothing can escape, not even light. According to Pesce, a common misconception is that our planet could be sucked into a black hole. He says that we are at a safe enough distance from a black hole that this will not happen.
Video Credit: National Science Foundation