Resources
Q & A
Glossary
Acronym Guide
Further Reading
Outside the Site
Google Sky
WWT
Facebook
Youtube
Vimeo
Twitter
Flickr
Pinterest
Multimedia, Etc
Images/Illustrations
Animation & Video
Special Features
Chandra Podcasts
Chandra Mobile
Desktop Images
The Big Chandra Picture
High Res Prints
Presentations
Handouts
Screen Savers
Audio
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chandra Mobile
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Q&A: Black Holes

Q:
What it looks like when black holes are made, how long it takes to make them, and how do they mess with the stream of time?

A:
Black holes, because of their very intense gravity will cause light to bend around them, which will cause the appearance of background objects (like stars) to be distorted. It isn't known how long it takes for a supermassive black hole to form (this is a type of black hole found at the center of galaxies that weighs millions or billions of times the mass of the Sun). We do know it can take less than a billion years for one to reach a very large size: http://chandra.harvard.edu/press/04_releases/press_112204.html
A stellar-mass black hole, on the other hand, can likely form in seconds, after the collapse of a massive star. Finally, if you were to approach a black hole, the powerful gravity would cause time to slow down.

Index | Next