We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Black Holes?

Michael Anissimov
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Black holes are points in space with so much gravitational pull that not even light can escape from them. The "point of no going back" around a black hole is referred to as its event horizon. Black holes are formed either when a star greater than 20 solar masses collapses, or when the entire core of a galaxy collapses. Galaxy-collapse black holes release tremendous amounts of energy which can be observed from billions of light years away. This energy comes from the friction of infalling matter against itself — no radiation can emanate from the black hole itself.

Black holes are among the most intriguing astrophysical phenomena in the universe. They have captured the imagination of the public and dedicated study by many famous physicists, including Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Black holes are interesting from the perspective of physicists because they can be characterized exhaustively by only three values: their mass, rotation, and charge. Slightly different theories are used to describe the behavior of black holes that are rotating vs. non-rotating, charged vs. neutral.

The biggest distinction among black holes is not their rotation or charge, but their mass. Known black holes cluster around two mass levels: the stellar mass black holes, ranging from 1.5 to 14 solar masses, and the supermassive black holes, with millions or billions of solar masses. Stellar black holes are created every time a star with more than 20 solar masses depletes all its nuclear fuel and collapses.

Supermassive black holes were likely formed billions of years ago, early in the universe's history, and remain around today. It is currently thought that every galaxy has a supermassive black hole in its center, and at least 30 are suspected to have been observed. Most astronomers believe that Sagittarius A*, a solar system-sized area containing 2.6 million solar masses, is the Milky Way's supermassive black hole.

There are two additional categories of black hole which may exist. The first is intermediate black holes, with masses somewhere between 14 solar masses and millions. Ultra-luminous X-ray sources, sustained sources of x-rays in other galaxies, are possibly intermediate mass black holes in the process of accreting matter. If these really are intermediate mass black holes, they have a mass in the neighborhood of a hundred thousand solar masses. Some astronomers have also observed an object near the center of our galaxy theorized to be an intermediate mass black hole with 1,300 solar masses.

The second type of unconfirmed black hole would be micro black-holes, which would either be created in particle accelerators or by the Big Bang. None have been observed yet, though some astrophysicists suspect they exist, and are designing telescopes to search for them

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Anissimov
By Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated All The Science contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, and futurism to his articles. An avid blogger, Michael is deeply passionate about stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and life extension therapies. His professional experience includes work with the Methuselah Foundation, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Lifeboat Foundation, further showcasing his commitment to scientific advancement.
Discussion Comments
By MsClean — On May 24, 2011

@supern0va – You have to have an interest in astronomy to understand the importance of black holes. It’s a fascinating subject with so many theories and unanswered questions.

Black hole formation is still fairly new to science so what it’s useful for may still be unknown other than the useful role it plays in forming galaxies and the universe.

That seems to be pretty significant to me.

By supern0va — On May 25, 2008

Amazing..black holes are the wonders of the universe. Shame we can't take a picture of them since not even light can escape them..maybe someday we can observe them from a billion light years away with advanced telescopes and computer technology. However, developing technology that could be invested in other relevant astronomical matters would be better...how can black holes ever be useful to us?

Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated All The Science contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology...
Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.