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What is a mini black hole?

11 Oct 2018, 13:00 UTC
What is a mini black hole?
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Black holes with masses less than their heavyweight relatives – the standard and supermassive black holes – and weighing in at less than three solar masses are dubbed mini black holes, formed in the pressure of interstellar clouds. Because they are so small, they also have a little bit of difficulty when it comes to forming on their own. Low mass also means low gravity and this directly implies that these pint-sized objects cannot completely collapse in on themselves. In comparison, black holes of more than three times the Sun’s mass are made when a star reaches the end of its life and gets crushed under its own gravity. Other black holes of greater masses are hypothesised to have formed through the merging of smaller black holes.
In order to make a mini black hole there needs to be an enormous outside pressure to offer some assistance. The theory goes that during the dense turbulent past from which today’s universe emerged the enormous crushing pressures created many mini black holes. Unusually they are likely to have been incredibly heavy but quite tiny – possibly as small as a proton (the positive subatomic particle that can be found in atoms). According ...

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