Black Holes

(Courtesy of the National Air and Space Museum)

When a supernova explosion leaves behind a remnant core over three times more massive than our Sun, the remnant becomes a black hole--a body whose gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape from it.

Although invisible, a black hole can be detected by its gravitational influence on companion stars or on the gas orbiting around it. Friction heats the dust and gas to hundreds of millions of degrees, causing it to radiate x-rays and gamma rays.

A service of the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics at Goddard Space Flight Center

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Web Curator: J.D. Myers

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