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Black Holes - Try This!

Black Holes

Imagine this!

A black hole is nothing more than the extreme limit of gravity. It's a very large collection of matter taking up a very small space.

Think of it this way. Einstein showed us that all matter curves space, right? Well, because it's so hard to visualize this curvature (because space-time occupies the accursed 4th dimension with width, height, length, and time) scientists have come up with as easy way to think about it.

Imagine space as being on 2 dimensional... like a piece of paper or a sheet of plastic. Then, with nothing in it, the space would be flat, like this:

Space-Time Image

Try this!

Look at the images below of objects in our Universe positioned in space-time. Choose the image that nest represents the result of a) our Earth, b) the Sun, c) a white dwarf, d) a neutron star, and e) a black hole as it would appear making a "dent" in space-time.

second deepest dent

second smallest dent

medium dent

smallest dent

deepest dent

This activity was developed by Jacqueline Slay, Largo High School, Largo, MD


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration