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Black Holes

So there’s many common misconceptions about black holes.  They’re not really holes and they’re not really black and they’re not after anyone! 

No.  There’s no real danger of the Earth falling into a black hole or being gobbled up by one.  There are some relatively nearby black holes but they have a few times the mass of the sun and they’re not rogue black holes going through various solar systems, although that could happen at some point but it’s so random and so rare that it’s not really worth worrying about, so that’s one of my childhood fears put to rest!

We have a supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy and it’s about a million times the mass of the sun.  But that doesn’t mean that it was formed from a star that was even bigger than that, it means that a lot of black holes that were smaller converged and converged and merged and merged and they can create these bigger black holes and bigger black holes.  And we think that these are spinning really quickly and gobbling up all of the stuff around them.  And the biggest one that we know of right now is about one billion times the mass of the sun but that’s not in our galaxy, that’s in another galaxy far, far away…