Astronomy Wonder Assignment

How does a black hole function, how are NASA and other organizations studying black holes, and can we trust that they know what they are doing?

how does a black hole form and how does it function?

Stellar black holes form when the middle of a very big star collapses in upon itself. This causes a supernova, or an exploding star, that explodes parts of the star all over space.

Scientists think supermassive black holes formed at the same time as the galaxy they are in. The size of the supermassive black hole is related to the size of the galaxy it is in.

The most common black holes are stellar black holes which are made from medium stars. The mass of a stellar black hole can be up to 20 times bigger than the sun.

A black hole cannot be seen because the black hole sucks up all the light so there is no light to see the black hole. But you can see the effects of the gravity on the stars and other stuff around it such as gas. If a star is orbiting a certain point in space, scientists can study the stars motion to see if they are around a black hole.

When a black hole and a star are orbiting close together, high-energy light is made, and scientists can see this with the technology they have.

how are NASA and other organizations studying black holes and can we trust that they know what they are doing?

A black hole’s gravity can sometimes be strong enough to pull off the outer gases of the star and grow a disk around itself called the accretion disk. As gas from the accretion disk spirals into the black hole, the gas heats to very high temperatures and lets out X-ray light in all directions. NASA telescopes measure the X-ray light. Astronomers use this information to learn more about black holes.

NASA is learning about black holes using spacecraft like the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Swift satellite and the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Fermi launched in 2008 and is observing gamma rays. The most energetic form of light in search of supermassive black holes. Spacecraft like these help scientists answer questions about the universe, how it started and how it evolved.

I think we can trust what they are doing because I don’t think they would post all this on their website if it was all false and I think that they would make sure that everything they are doing is 100%correct with no flaws before they let the world know about it. Also, NASA is the biggest space exploring company and they posted this on their website, so if they aren’t doing it right then no one is.



1.      What questions did you need to research in order to research your topic? 

I had to research how black holes function, and how NASA is studying black holes and               the technology they use.

2.      What new or familiar digital tools did you try to use as you worked through this project?

I used to google and my laptop.

3.      What was the process you used to investigate the topic? 

I really just researched my project and wrote down the best information I found in my own words.

4.      How did you verify and cite the information you found? 

I listed the sources under a citations category.

5.      How did the process of completing this challenge go? What could you have done better?

The process went very smoothly, I think I could have used my time a bit better than I did though.