Imagine a region in space where the force of gravity is so strong that nothing - not even light - can escape. A region with physical conditions so extreme that they have not yet been reproduced in any terrestrial laboratory. A region so dense that an object as tiny as a walnut would have the same mass as our entire planet. This phenomenon is a black hole: one of the most exotic, mind-boggling, and profound subjects in astrophysics. Nearly everyone has heard of black holes, but few people outside of complex scientific fields understand their true nature and their implications for our universe.
No movie, novel, or other fictional treatment of black holes matches Professor Filippenko’s absorbing presentation of the actual science behind these amazing objects. Black holes are at the heart of some of the most intriguing phenomena in the universe. Not only that, they are ideal gateways to fundamental and cutting-edge concepts in astronomy.