A black hole is an astronomical concept that describes an area of space with an intense gravitational pull that basically “sucks” in its surroundings, and nothing — not even light — can escape. Scientists debate whether they exist at all. Some claim that they’re just an invented explanation for a phenomenon that can’t otherwise be rationalized, namely the disappearance of matter in space; for others, though, these areas are very real. It’s unclear exactly how the holes are formed, but most experts believe that they come about as a consequence of star death. They’re difficult to document, and researchers are usually only able to identify them by measuring force fields and energy outputs. Unlike most stars and other cosmic entities, they are all but invisible with the eyes.
These holes are usually known by their huge concentration of mass, which gives them an immense gravitational pull. Most astronomers believe that they form over many hundreds and thousands of years after stars die. When stars burn out, their energy can either explode off into the cosmos or be compressed and compacted into a very small space. The latter is what most researchers think happens at the beginning.
There are many stars in space, and up close they looks really different than the twinkles most people are used to seeing in the sky. Most of them are fireballs full of energy. The sun is the closest star to Earth, and is the most familiar one for many, but it’s actually on the smaller side — scientists do not think the sun is large enough to ever have the capacity to create a black hole upon its death. According to most data, a dying star would have to weigh at least ten times more than the sun to create such an area.
How They’re Identified
Though scientists cannot see these voids, when they find areas in space where large amounts of mass are contained in a small volume and the area is dark, chances are there is a black hole nearby. Most of the time these calculations are made mathematically rather than through direct observation. There isn’t usually anything to see, but there’s often a lot to feel. No person or human-made ship or object is ever believed to have encountered one of these holes directly, and the only evidence of their existence comes through calculations and formulaic derivations of astronomers. They are generally believed to exist near the fringes of the galaxy, very far from Earth and the other planets in the identified solar system.
The voids are usually characterized first and foremost by their gravitational pulls. It’s widely believed that nothing can escape this pull, not even light; in fact, the lack of light is what accounts for the "black" part of the name. The gravitational forces will cause the region to remain dark infinitely.
Scientists generally think that the gravitational pull radiates out from the center of the space, often extending far out into the perimeter. Though no one has come near enough to a black hole to test things out, it’s believed that any object approaching would first experience a floating, gliding sensation. This would be a more or less pleasant experience as the gravitational forces would be similar to simply orbiting the earth at first. However, as the object moved closer and closer, the hole would begin to exert more pull. Eventually, the pull would be so strong as to destroy matter by breaking it apart as it sucked towards the center of the hole. Researchers also have a number of theories about how time is conceptualized in this space, and often think that seconds and minutes essentially “freeze,” or at least dramatically slow, once the threshold into the void has been crossed.
Whether or not these spaces actually exist is a matter of some controversy in the scientific community. In part this is because there isn’t actually much tangible evidence to identify them, and there’s a lot that still remains unknown about how and why they’re formed. Most researchers who’ve spent time studying the cosmos will readily admit that there’s a lot that remains unknown. There is significant backing for the theories of gravitational space voids, but much of it is based on speculation and best guesses from numerical readings and charts.