Curious about Black Holes?
With 400 other individuals at Astronomy Day with the Von Braun Astronomical Society in Alabama,
a young man is shown what black holes are all about by a club member.
(Credit: Gena Crook)

In the dense center of our Milky Way Galaxy, there is evidence that a supermassive black hole exists with over 2 million times the mass of our Sun! Scientists have proof that most large galaxies contain giant black holes in their centers. But we can't point a telescope at a black hole and see it directly. We only see their effect on the things around them, like stars and gas. Hear what these astronomy club members had to say about finding and explaining black holes.

At a Girl Scout Star Party in Kansas, Janelle Burgardt from the Northeast Kansas Amateur Astronomers' League Inc. said: "We used Night Sky Network materials on Black Holes from information you provided us to answer multiple questions! Girls sure can 'get' astronomy, if given half the chance!"

JanaRuth Ford of the Barnard-Seyfert Astronomical Society in Tennessee, noted: "We learned where black holes are located in the night sky and handed out 'Where are the Black Holes?' star maps to help you find them." While we can't see black holes directly, you can use the star maps to find out where they are in the night sky.

Terry Menz of the River Bend Astronomy Club in Illinois, commented: "All the children were fascinated by the black hole board with the magnetic marbles and enjoyed 'finding the black hole.' The bucket demonstrations of gravity and the effect of black holes allowed children to predict which marble would fall first, and then test their predictions. The Director of the Edwardsville Children's Museum was so impressed with the Night Sky Network presentation that she asked if I would be willing to teach a children's summer astronomy camp to include these materials!"

Find out about this month's International Year of Astronomy
Featured Observing Object: Black Holes by using this guide.

Find your local astronomy club to help you learn all about Black Holes too.