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A black hole is an object so compact that nothing can escape its gravitational pull Not even light On Earth an object needs to be launched with a speed of km s if it is to escape the planets gravity and go into orbit But the escape velocity of a black hole exceeds the speed of light Since nothing can travel faster than this ultimate speed black holes suck in everything including light which makes them utterly dark and invisible In this image we can see a black hole but only because it is surrounded by a superheated disc of material an accretion disc The closer to the hole the material gets the more and more of its light is captured which is why the hole grows darker towards its centeMark GarlickScience Photo Library

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