black hole


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black hole

1. A theoretical object in space, the mass of which is so great and dense that nothing, not even light, can escape its gravitational pull. Black holes have always fascinated me. If even light can't escape them, who knows what they might really contain?
2. Any place, region, or thing in which something (items, people, etc.) are irretrievably lost. My desk is just a black hole of papers and things, and I can never find anything in it! Alzheimer's is a terrible disease, like a black hole in one's mind.
3. A prison cell or area of confinement, especially that which is in notoriously poor or hostile condition. Refers specifically to the so-called "Black Hole of Calcutta," a prison in West Bengal where, in 1756, 146 Europeans were said to have been imprisoned and all but 23 suffocated overnight. Sebastian was sentenced to 30 days of solitary confinement in a tiny black hole, where the only light came from the slot for his food.
See also: black, hole

black hole

1. A wretched prison cell or other place of confinement. For example, The punishment is solitary confinement, known as the black hole. This term acquired its meaning in 1756 with the event known as the Black Hole of Calcutta. On the night of June 20, the ruler of Bengal confined 146 Europeans in a prison space of only 14 by 18 feet. By morning all but 23 of them had suffocated to death. Although historians since have questioned the truth of the story, it survives in this usage.
2. A great void or abyss. For example, Running a single small newspaper ad to launch a major campaign is useless; it amounts to throwing our money into a black hole . This usage alludes to a region, so named by astronomers, whose gravitational field is so intense that no electromagnetic radiation can escape from it. [Late 1970s]
See also: black, hole
References in periodicals archive ?
Since the Big Bang black hole is still active, the cosmic material that it is continuously absorbing becomes part of the growing universe.
Black holes are formed following the collapse of stars and possibly supernova explosions.
What this means is that there is a point beyond the region of a black hole that not even light can escape the black hole's gravity.
Igor Chilingarian (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory) and colleagues added to the debate when they used X-ray observations to confirm 10 black holes (out of a larger sample of 305 candidates) with between 36,000 and 370,000 Suns' worth of mass in nearby dwarf galaxies.
While most black holes remain solitary, some capture passing stars in their huge gravity fields, creating a binary system in a process dubbed "mating".
However, in 2018, scientists plan to take a picture of a black hole, specifically the one in the middle of the Milky Way Galaxy.
The detected black hole is 200 million light years from the Earth and is aligned with the constellation Eridanus.
The unified theory of active, supermassive black holes, first developed in the late 1970s, was created to explain why black holes, though similar in nature, can look completely different.
Astronomers at Durham University observed a black hole - with mass 10 million times that of our Sun - at the centre of a spiral galaxy 500 million light years from Earth.
Scientists don't yet understand why the jets are ejected into space, but the Durham experts believe that their power could be linked to the spin of the black hole.
In research reported in the latest issue of the science journal Nature, researchers have concluded that a "monstrous" (or "super-super massive," choose your adjective) black hole exists in a galaxy named NGC 1277 in the constellation Perseus, 250 million light years from Earth.
A brisk run through from Michell's precursor of the black hole through Einstein to Kerr gets the reader up to speed with the concepts, particularly of the rotating black hole.
According to the Einsteinian general theory of relativity [17] and its Schwarzschild solution [18], the gravitational field (or acceleration) at the surface of a black hole is inversely proportional to its mass or radius.
Could our universe be located within the interior of a wormhole which itself is part of a black hole that lies within a much larger universe?
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