Fascinating and misunderstood, black holes are regions in space with surface gravity so powerful that not even light can escape. Its boundary is called the event horizon and is considered the point of no return. Once matter gets to the event horizon, it will be sucked into the black hole's singularity, which, scientists theorize, is an infinitely small and dense point where the laws of physics no longer apply. Black holes aren't visible, so scientists can only discern their presence by how surrounding matter is affected.
Albert Einstein is sometimes mistakenly credited with discovering black holes, but it was John Michell, a Cambridge University professor, who came up with the idea back in 1783. Michell eventually starting asking about how fast a projectile would need to move to escape the gravitational pull of a star with 500 times the diameter of the Sun. This idea was revived by Albert Einstein, who took it to another level with his theory of relativity. Later, Carl Schwarzschild used Einstein's theory of relativity to calculate that any mass can become a black hole if compressed tightly enough.
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