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Compact Cosmos

13 12 BLACKHOLES through the event horizon With bizarre physics and gravitational fields so high that light is trapped, black holes are awesome matter vacuums, concentrating enormous amounts of stuff into the tiniest of spaces. Massive black holes are thought to anchor most galaxies. Millions of times the suns mass, they may coevolve with their galaxy, one shaping the other. Supermassive holes, of 10 to 100 billion solar masses, may lurk at the cores of active galaxies and power the fantastic outpourings of quasars. Stellarclass black holes are lightweights of 3 to 14 times the suns mass, the collapsed remains of large stars. Some evidence of rarer intermediatemass holes has also been found. Those foolhardy enough to approach a black hole 1 would first notice Einstein rings,as light from background stars is lensed by the increasing curvature of spacetime 2. The point of no return is the event horizon, where light is pulled into an endlessly orbiting photosphere and all within is forever hidden 3. To those outside, the traveler seems to slow to a stop at the horizons edge, frozen in time, redshifting, and fading 4. The gravity gradient can become so steep that the unwary undergo spaghettification,with head stretched miles from toes 5. Inside a black hole,time warps into a spatial dimension,spacetime compressing to an infinitely dense, inescapable singularity 6. Ripping the fabric of the universe,wormholes may funnel through to other universes. After a massive radiation burst at the wormholes mouth,a white hole might come as light relief 7.
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