Ever heard of a black hole? No? That’s okay. A black hole is the result of a star that has exploded, leaving behind nothing but a tiny remnant called a mini-black hole.
Mini-black holes are smaller versions of black holes. They’re not as big as regular black holes, but they do have some interesting properties.
For example, mini-black holes don’t evaporate away like normal ones. Instead, they slowly shrink until they disappear completely.
This means that if you were ever unlucky enough to get sucked into one, you’d never notice that anything had happened at all.
The smallest black holes ever found are minuscule specks of matter that weigh less than an atom and orbit around supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies.
But now scientists say they’ve found something smaller still: a black hole that weighs just two millionths of a billionth of Earth’s mass.
Of course, all of this mini black hole talk is purely theoretical as there hasn’t been one discovered to date. The concept of a mini black hole was introduced by Stephen Hawking and has yet to be proven.
What Are Black Holes?
Black holes are regions in space where gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape. The only way to leave a black hole would be by rocketing off at near the speed of light.
When stars die, their cores collapse under their own weight. When this happens, it creates a massive object with such extreme density that even light can’t escape its gravitational pull.
These objects are known as black holes because their intense gravitational force makes them appear dark or black to us.
We know about these things thanks to Einstein’s general theory of relativity. It explains that the more massive an object is, the stronger its gravitational field becomes.
If you could travel faster than light, you could escape from the earth’s gravity, but not from a black hole.
Einstein also predicted that when a body collapses under its own gravity, it should form a singularity — a point of infinite density. In other words, there would be no limit to how small the thing could become.
So, Does A Mini-Black Hole Really Exist?
Scientists aren’t sure. But they think that mini-black holes may be formed during the Big Bang explosion.
It was theorized that after the Big Bang, the universe expanded very rapidly. As it did so, it started contracting again.
At first, everything was expanding outward, but then the expansion slowed down. Eventually, it stopped altogether.
This contraction created a huge amount of energy, which caused the temperature of the universe to rise. At the same time, the pressure increased, causing the universe to start collapsing inward.
As the universe collapsed, it began forming new stars. Some of these stars exploded, creating enormous amounts of heavy elements.
Scientists believe that some of these elements fell onto themselves, forming mini-black holes.
If this is true, we might find evidence for mini-black holes on exoplanets. Exoplanets are planets outside our solar system.
We know of over 3,000 of them. And many of them seem to have rocky surfaces similar to Earth. So, maybe mini-black holes exist in other parts of the galaxy too.
But Do Mini-Black Holes Actually Exist?
We don’t know if they do exist. We only see their hypothetical effects. For example, we can observe the jets of radio waves coming out of quasars. These jets are produced as matter falls toward the black hole.
The problem is that we can’t directly detect mini black holes. The only way we can tell whether or not they exist is through indirect observations.
For example, we can look at the motion of stars around the galactic center. We know that there must be a supermassive black hole there because otherwise, the stars wouldn’t orbit in such tight circles.
But we can’t see the mini black hole itself.
But What About Black Holes In Our Own Milky Way Galaxy?
Black holes are thought to reside at the centers of most large galaxies. There are several reasons why astronomers think this is the case.
First, black holes are the best explanation for the mysterious “energy source” called quasars. Quasars produce powerful beams of radiation.
Astronomers think that these beams come from material falling into a black hole.
Second, black holes explain the high velocities of stars orbiting close to the galactic core. They suggest that the stars were once part of a larger star cluster.
This cluster crashed into another one, sending the stars flying away from each other.
Third, black holes explain the orbits of stars within the galactic disk. Stars in the galactic disk move along circular paths. These orbits are almost perfectly circular.
But if a black hole exists at the center of the galaxy, it could cause the orbits to be elliptical rather than circular.
Astronomers think that all three of these phenomena can be explained by a single black hole.
How Long Do Mini Black Holes Last?
There’s no consensus yet on how long they last. However, most scientists agree that a mini black hole will last around a fraction of a nanosecond.
Some shrink out of existence almost as soon as they pop up. Others survive just a little longer.
And then there are those who say that mini black holes don’t really exist.
They point out that when a massive star explodes, its mass collapses into a singularity. A singularity is a place where space and time become infinitely small. It’s like a tiny dot in space and time.
So, if you collapse an entire star into a singularity, shouldn’t that make a miniature version of the original star?
Yes, but that doesn’t mean that the mini-star has any real substance. It just means that the singularity is now smaller. That’s all.
It’s possible that there was a mini-black hole formed during the Big Bang.
However, even though some physicists believe that mini black holes may have been created during the Big Bang, others disagree.
They argue that mini black holes would have evaporated before the universe cooled down enough to form stars.
How Do Mini Black Holes End?
Like black holes, mini black holes evaporate. But where their larger counterpart will often take a long time to evaporate, a mini black hole does it almost instantaneously.
As it shrinks, it emits energy. The more energy it releases, the faster it disappears.
The result is that the mini black hole vanishes completely.
So there you have it. Mini black holes last for about as long as they are big, which isn’t very much. And they disappear quickly.
Interestingly, the existence of mini-black holes is very hotly debated in the scientific community.
There are those who are more sure of their existence than they are sure of the fact that a Monday is the worst day of the week- and there are those who know in their hearts that mini black holes exist about as much as Santa does.
One thing is for certain if mini black holes were to exist, then life in our universe would become infinitely more scary and exciting all at once.
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