DID YOU KNOW?
The black hole in Interstellar was originally much more scientifically accurate. It factored
in the Doppler effect, which affects the colour and intensity of the light in the “accretion disc” surrounding
the hole. Artistic licence was employed, though, and the result is pictured here.
What is a black hole?
Black holes are the remnants of stars that ended
their lives as supernovae. They are characterized
by a region of space in which gravity is so strong
that not even light can escape. Pictured right
is a ground-breaking rendering of a black hole,
painstakingly created by the makers of the movie
Interstellar (USA, 2014) in collaboration with the
US theoretical physicist Kip Thorne.
First “rogue” black hole discovered Markarian 177 is a dwarf galaxy some 90 million light years away.
Studies using Hawaii’s Keck Observatory in Jun 2013 strongly suggest that the bright object SDSS1133,
associated with the galaxy, is a super massive black hole that has been ejected from the galaxy’s centre.
Densest objects in the Universe
A “stellar” black hole (i.e., a black hole created from the gravitational collapse of a massive star) can be
around 20 times the mass of our Sun. At its centre is the “singularity”, where the mass of the dead star
from which the black hole originated is compressed to a single point of zero It is this singularity that
generates the powerful hole. Many thousands of them are thought to exist in our galaxy alone. Scientists
believe that super massive black holes reside in the centres of most, if not all, galaxies and weigh more
than a million Suns.
Closest black hole to Earth
A0620-00 is a binary system containing a low-mass star and a stellar black hole. The
system is located approximately 3,000 light years away from Earth, in the constellation
Monoceros. The black hole in this star system has a mass at least 3.2 times that of the Sun
and could be much as 15 times heavier.