Black Holes

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In 1916, the German astronomer Karl Schwarzchild attempted to theorize how a star could shrink to become what he called a "Black Hole". Schwarzchild predicted that our sun would have to shrink to less than two miles in radius. He also predicted that even though the sun had shrunk its mass and weight would remain the same, which means that the planets would continue on their orbits, uneffected. Schwarzchild still questioned if stars could become this compact. In 1934 W. Baade and F. Zwicky predicted that the collapse of a star, strips the atoms of their electrons, thus making it a Neutron Star. He also predicted that these are only 10-15 miles in diameter with a density of about a billion tons per cubic inch. The American physicists R. Oppenheimer and H. Snyder, in 1939, realized that Schwarzchild theory was only possible if the star was much bigger than our sun; approximately 3.9 times or larger. In the early seventies, a x-ray source was located in the Constellation Cygnus. The x-ray source couldn't actually be precisely located but was narrowed down to a relatively small area. At this time it was very puzzling for the scientist. Steven Hawking, in the seventies, came up with theoretical arguments demonstrating that black holes aren't entirely black and that it is possible for them to evaporate because they emit radiation. The radiation from a black hole comes from the mass of it, hence the black hole insinuatingly shrinks. While the radiation tediously increases, the mass slowly decreases. So as the radiation from the black hole increases the black hole shrinks and evidently vanishes. In 1972, scientist pinpointed a radio emission in the same area. This is still puzzling to scientist today but all they knew was that it was originated from the same area as the x-ray source and apparently came from open space. The scientist watched this area for months and finally waited until the spot in space came over the star next to it. When it did there was startling results. The spot in space eclipsed the star next to it. The spot was then named Cygnus X-1 and was officially the first Black hole discovered. Even back in Isaac Newton's time, scientist speculated such an object existed. So many questions had been answered by the discovery of this mysterious object, yet so many more generated. A Black Hole is an object that is so dense not even light can escape its gravity.

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