black hole

Swallowed by a Black Hole - Discovery History Science documentary (www.youtube.com)

Black holes are one of the most destructive forces in the universe, capable of tearing a planet apart and swallowing an entire star. Yet scientists now believe they could hold the key to answering the ultimate question - what was there before the Big Bang? The trouble is that researching them is next to impossible. Black holes are by definition invisible and there's no scientific theory able to explain them. (www.youtube.com)

Broadcast 2009. Black Holes are one of the most destructive forces in the universe, capable of tearing a planet apart and swallowing an entire star. Yet scientists now believe they could hold the key to answering the ultimate question - what was there before the Big Bang? The trouble is that researching them is next to impossible. Black holes are by definition invisible and there's no scientific theory able to explain them.

Astronomers are closing in on the proof they've sought for years that one of the most destructive objects in the universe—a supermassive black hole—lurks at the center of our own galaxy. Could it flare up and consume our entire galactic neighborhood? Join NOVA on a mind-bending investigation into one of the most bizarre corners of cosmological science: black hole research.

A black hole is a region of spacetime whose gravitational field is so strong that nothing which enters it, not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that marks the point of no return. It is called "black" because it absorbs all the light that hits the horizon, reflecting nothing, just like a perfect black body in thermodynamics.

Discovery documentary about Supermassive Black Holes. A black hole, according to the general theory of relativity, is a region of space from which nothing, including light, can escape. It is the result of the deformation of spacetime caused by a very compact mass. Around a black hole there is an undetectable surface which marks the point of no return, called an event horizon.

From a distance, our galaxy would look like a flat spiral, some 100,000 light years across, with pockets of gas, clouds of dust, and about 400 billion stars rotating around the galaxys center. Thick dust and blinding starlight have long obscured our vision into the mysterious inner regions of the galactic center. And yet, the clues have been piling up, that something important, something strange is going on in there. Astronomers tracking stars in the center of the galaxy have found the best proof to date that black holes exist. Now, they are shooting for the first direct image of a black hole.

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