CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Black hole, computer artwork. The black hole is shown as a gravitational well or depression in a grid representing spacetime. Surrounding gas and dust are spiralling into the black hole, attracted by the immense gravitational forces. The extreme conditions cause the gas and dust to heat up and glow. A black hole is formed when the core of a star collapses under its own weight, increasing its gravitational field to the point where nothing can escape, not even light. A star only forms a black hole if its mass is sufficiently large. The concepts of space-time and gravity as a distortion in spacetime caused by mass, come from Einstein's theories of Special and General Relativity.
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