Christopher Sebela

writer, wronger, rearranger

"Scattered throughout every galaxy are black holes, regions that gobble up matter and energy. Although we can’t see black holes, scientists can infer their size, location and other properties by using sensitive telescopes to detect the heat they generate. This heat, which we see as X-rays, is produced as material spirals around a black hole faster and faster until it reaches a point of no return — the "event horizon" — from which nothing, not even light, can escape.

"In addition to a galaxy’s collection of black holes, which includes black holes up to 10 times the sun’s mass, there is a supermassive black hole embedded in the heart of each galaxy that is roughly one million to one billion times the mass of the sun. About 10 percent of these giant black holes feature jets of plasma, or highly ionized gas, that extend in opposite directions of the black hole. By spewing huge amounts of mostly kinetic energy, or energy created by motion, from the black holes into the universe, the jets affect how stars and other bodies form, and play a crucial role in the evolution of clusters of galaxies, the largest structures in the universe.”

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