Black Holes: Get Sucked In!

A future astronomer gets hands-on knowledge of how a black hole works courtesy of the River Bend Astronomy Club participating in the 5th Annual Children's Carnival in Edwardsville, Illinois. Photo Credit: Mark A. Brown

Hollywood has its own ideas about how black holes work but if you want to know the truth then you might want to visit one of the clubs in the Night Sky Network.

The River Bend Astronomy Club took part in the 5th Annual Children's Carnival in Edwardsville, Illinois where children were able to get hands-on experience using the Night Sky Network's Black Hole Survival Toolkit. Mark Brown was one of the club's presenters for this activity and reports, "The black hole tool kit was very successful and received a number of comments for being "hands on" and explaining an abstract topic in simple terms."

Other astronomy clubs that have used the Night Sky Network's black hole reported similar success in getting the word out about black holes. For example, Linda Prince of the Amateur Observers' Society of New York reports, "The children (and the adults as well) enjoyed experimenting with the marbles revolving around the massive objects in curved space. They had a competition to see who could make the longest-lasting orbit. A more fierce competition ensued when they were competing to find the hidden black holes by rolling the marbles. After the activity, the children seemed to understand the basic idea of how black holes are detected in space." Andy Oliver of San Angelo Amateur Astronomy Association entertained hundreds of visitors at one of their public events with the Black Hole Survival Kit. "We discussed gravity, and how we detect black holes, and what would happen if one were near us."

If you would like to learn more about black holes, contact one of the clubs in the Night Sky Network. Just click on the Club Directory.