Considering we do know some things about the Universe, we probably started to get accustomed to the idea of infinity but even so, black holes are too big.
- There are luminous disks that form around black holes
- Black holes can collide with each other
- After reaching the size of 50 billion suns, a black hole stops ‘eating’
A black hole may be difficult to observe because, well, it’s black and the Universe is mostly dark despite of the multitude of stars that float in it. But it seems that a black hole doesn’t become more visible when it gets bigger. As it engulfs more space, the black hole represents a huge discrepancy as its margins are lit up by stars, while the center looks like a huge circle of nothing.
The dust and cosmic objects which surround the hole are circling making it look like a drain as there is a very high probability that the objects will eventually be swallowed by the black hole. But before reaching their end, the dust and gas heat up and shine, which makes the hole more visible.
However, the disk doesn’t last for long because it gets swallowed as the hole gets bigger. And the biggest black hole observed by scientists so far is about as big as 50 billion suns. But as amazing as this may seem, it’s not actually the maximum size of a black hole. It’s simply the maximum size we are able to see. In fact, scientists claim that if two gigantic black holes would happen to collide, they could form a hole the size of 100 billion suns.
However, when a black hole reaches the size of 50 billion suns it becomes almost inactive. We say ‘almost’ because although it can grow further, or as we said, collide with another black hole and double its mass, it will no longer have the luminous disk around it. Why? Because it has swallowed it entirely and no longer has a source of food.
Although they are indeed one the biggest things we have ever heard of, black holes are not infinite and their growth is after all limited. Although we can’t really enjoy the sight of a black hole, the findings are quite interesting and amazing enough to attract attention even to people who don’t necessarily have a passion for the infinite Universe.
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