Every day we look out upon the night sky, wondering and dreaming of what lies beyond our planet. The universe that we live in is so diverse and unique, and it interests us to learn about all the variance that lies beyond our grasp. Within this marvel of wonders, our universe holds a mystery that is very difficult to understand because of the complications that arise when trying to examine and explore the principles of space. That mystery happens to be that of the ever elusive, black hole.

This essay will hopefully give you the knowledge and understanding of the concepts, properties, and processes involved with the space phenomenon of the black hole. It will describe how a black hole is generally formed, how it functions, and the effects it has on the universe.

By definition, a black hole is a region where matter collapses to infinite density, and where, as a result, the curvature of space-time is extreme.

Moreover, the intense gravitational field of the black hole prevents any light or other electromagnetic radiation from escaping. But where lies the "point of no return" at which any matter or energy is doomed to disappear from the visible universe?

The black hole's surface is known as the event horizon. Behind this horizon, the inward pull of gravity is overwhelming and no information about the black hole's interior can escape to the outer universe. Applying the Einstein Field Equations to collapsing stars, Kurt Schwarzschild discovered the critical radius for a given mass at which matter would collapse into an infinitely dense state known as a singularity.

At the center of the black hole lies the singularity, where matter is crushed to infinite density, the pull of gravity is infinitely strong, and space-time has infinite curvature. Here it is no longer meaningful...