Special Reviews

Evidence for Black Holes

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Science  20 Jun 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5627, pp. 1898-1903
DOI: 10.1126/science.1085334

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Black holes are common objects in the universe. Each galaxy contains large numbers—perhaps millions—of stellar-mass black holes, each the remnant of a massive star. In addition, nearly every galaxy contains a supermassive black hole at its center, with a mass ranging from millions to billions of solar masses. This review discusses the demographics of black holes, the ways in which they interact with their environment, factors that may regulate their formation and growth, and progress toward determining whether these objects really warp spacetime as predicted by the general theory of relativity.

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