Science: Discovering a Black Hole

Even though it is based on Einstein's general relativity equations, the concept strains belief. If a star is large enough —at least three times as massive as the sun—it will eventually die in a grand cataclysm. As its nuclear fires begin to burn out, the stellar gases, no longer supported by heat and radiation, begin falling toward the star's core. Moving at tremendous velocities, they crush together, forming a sphere only two or three miles across, so dense that each cubic inch of material weighs trillions of tons. The small sphere has a...

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