Here is a primer on black holes, about which Albert Einstein had predicted and which we can now observe in real terms
On April 10, 2019, scientists in Brussels unveiled the first-ever image of a black hole. The pictured black hole lies at the centre of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the constellation of Virgo. It is located 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5-billion times larger than our sun. Image: European Southern Observatory
A black hole is a region in space where the pulling force of gravity is so strong that light is not able to escape. The strong gravity occurs because matter has been pressed into a tiny space. This compression can take place at the end of a star's life. Some black holes are a result of dying stars. For instance, the black hole named Cygnus X-1, shown here, formed when a large star caved in. Image: NASA
Sometimes, black holes can shred a star, setting off a chain of events. These violent events are called tidal disruption events. Shown here is an artist's concept of a tidal disruption event. Image: NASA
The term 'black hole' was first coined by astronomer John Wheeler in 1967 and the first actual black hole was discovered by astronomers in 1971. In December 2017, scientists found the farthest known supermassive black hole. It is 800 million times the mass of our Sun. Shown here is an artistic impression of the hole. Image: NASA
Shown here is the illustration of a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy known as 1H0707-495. Image: European Space Agency
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