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Who discovered the first black hole?

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Quick Answer

In science, if something isn't directly observable it can't be "discovered." There is only indirect evidence of black holes. The existence of black holes has been a topic of speculation for hundreds of years, but John Wheeler is credited with coining the term, "black hole," in 1969.

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The two kinds of black holes are those amongst solar masses caused by supernovae and the larger variety at the center of galaxies. Einstein predicted the existence of black holes in his general theory of relativity, published in 1916. In 1971, Cygnus X-1, an X-ray binary star, became the first object to be recognized as a black hole.

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    How do black holes form?

    A:

    Universe Today explains that black holes are the result of objects collapsing under the force of gravity until the acceleration needed to escape from them exceeds the speed of light. Any object can, in principle, become a black hole if it collapses to sufficient density. They can also be formed from two neutron stars colliding together. According to Universe Today, there are supermassive black holes in every galaxy.

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  • Q:

    What are the types of black holes?

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    The universe contains three different categories of black holes: stellar, supermassive and miniature, which are further divided according to whether they are spinning. Non-spinning black holes are always spherical, while spinning black holes tend to be more oblate. The degree of equatorial bulge is determined only by the rotational velocity of the object.

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  • Q:

    In science, what is a medium?

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    Overall, in scientific contexts the word "medium" refers to a substance or material in which something exists or grows or through which something can move or otherwise travel. The word "medium" and its plural, "media," can have multiple applications in various areas of science, from the soils and other materials for plant growth (growing media) in agriculture to the material that is used to grow bacteria in a biology lab setting (culture media). The word may also appear in certain physics settings, such as an excitable medium or an active laser medium, or in astronomy, such as the interplanetary medium that exists alongside planets in the solar system and the interstellar medium that exists between stars in outer space.

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  • Q:

    What does neutral mean in science?

    A:

    In science, neutral means one of three things: something that is gray and without hue or zero chroma; something that does not have a charge and is not magnetized; or something that does not exhibit acid or alkaline qualities. Neutral has many meanings outside of science as well and can mean belong to a neutral state or party and not taking part or giving assistance during a dispute or war between others.

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