Imagine a huge star burning for millions of years. Through nuclear fusion, it converts hydrogen to helium. As it ages, though, it slowly runs out of fuel. There’s nothing left to burn and the temperature of the star begins to cool down. It is now very heavy and it begins to sink into itself.
Finally, sometimes with one final, huge explosion called a supernova, the star collapses in upon itself, becoming a black hole. The matter that it was made of is still there, but it has become squashed. It has a tremendous gravitational field. Imagine if you squished the Earth, with its magnetic field, into a cup. The magnetic field is still there, but it’s been made much stronger because it’s in such a small place.
Fun Facts about Black Holes for Kids
- Black holes have such a strong gravitational force that they pull anything close by into them.
- Black holes can even pull light in. Nothing can escape. If an astronaut ventured into a black hole, he would be pulled apart.
- Black holes are often surrounded by a ring of debris.
Black Hole Vocabulary
- Hydrogen: a kind of gas
- Fuel: the material necessary to create energy
- Collapse: break, implode
- Tremendous: huge
- Venture: journey, explore
Learn More All About Black Holes
Check out this cool video about a black hole:
An animated video about the black holes in space.
Black Hole Q&A
Question: Could a black hole suck up the Earth?
Answer: The thought of a black hole sucking up the Earth is interesting – and scary – to think about, but scientists say the nearest black hole is so far away that it’s virtually impossible.
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