In 1969, the American astronomer John Wheeler coined the term "black hole." But, the existence of black holes has been a topic of speculation for hundreds of years. Einstein's general theory of relativity (published in 1916) predicts these kinds of objects. In this lesson, you will learn more about black holes and the space telescopes that provide data to support current hypotheses.
Your class has constructed an initial definition of black holes. Read the article Gravity Betrays Black Heart of Milky Way. As you read this article, think about this question: "How does this add to or change the class definition of black holes?" You will discuss this question as a class.
Now go to and explore the online module No Escape: The Truth about Black Holes. You should use this resource to answer the questions on the Black Holes student sheet.
Before you begin, first visit How to Use this Site for information about how to use the module. Then, begin your exploration of black holes by going to the section, Is a Black Hole Really a Black Hole? Scroll your mouse over the black hole image on the left-hand side of the screen and jot down the information asked for on your student sheet.
Now go to See a Black Hole in Action. Describe what you see on the student sheet.
Once you are done with that section, go to What Types of Black Holes Are There? Read about the three types of black holes and describe each one in your own words on the student sheet.
Then proceed to Hubble Hunts Black Holes. Read about the parts of the Hubble Telescope, then click on the four images on the right-hand side of the screen. Describe the images that you see. What do they tell you about black holes?
Now go to Hubble Images: Find Out More. Explore the four topics on the left-hand side of the page. As you do so, list three examples of the types of things that the Hubble Telescope has helped us learn about black holes.
Go back to Is a Black Hole Really a Hole? Use it to help you fill out the chart on the student sheet.
Finally, go to What Do You Know About Black Holes? Check your answers to the chart by taking the quiz. Correct any wrong answers and explain why they were wrong in the space provided on the student sheet.
Answer these questions about black holes in your science journal.
- What does a black hole look like?
- Are there any pictures of a black hole? If not, why not?
- Could a black hole suck up all the matter in the universe? Why? Why not?
This esheet is a part of the Black Holes lesson.