MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Black hole swallowing Earth, computer artwork. Black holes are regions of space in which the gravitational field is so strong that not even light can escape. They form from the collapsed core of a massive star that has reached the end of its life. When all a massive star's fuel has been used up it can no longer support its own weight against gravity, and it collapses catastrophically. The collapse compresses the matter to extremely high density, increasing its gravitational field to the extent that nothing can escape. If Earth encountered a black hole, it would inevitably be destroyed.
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