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How can anything as exotic as a black hole really exist? Would we survive a visit near one? What would we find? What can black holes teach us about what physicist John Archibald Wheeler called “the deep, happy mysteries of the universe”?

These are some of the tantalizing questions explored in this easy-to-read book.

To answer them, we trace a star from its birth to its death throes in the clutches of its own gravity, embark on a hypothetical journey to the border of a new black hole, and enjoy some of the humor surrounding the study of black holes in the scientific community.

• • • • • • REVIEWS • • • • • •

“Ferguson traces the life cycle of a star and the role of gravity in a collapsing star, takes her readers on an imaginary journey to examine black holes from various perspectives, and presents evidence of the existence of black holes. She concludes with an intriguing walk on the wild side: What if a black hole came near the earth or collided with it? A black hole as the ultimate garbage recycler? The text and illustrations, particularly the diagrammatic drawings, work well together; a glossary and a list of sources, including interviews, are appended. An excellent introduction to black hoes for students and science buffs.”
— Booklist

“Everything readers always wanted to know about black holes, but were afraid they wouldn’t understand: where they come form, how they fit into physics, what they are like, how to find them. This highly accurate, non-mathematical presentation may be their best chance for gaining a general understanding. Nothing else available offers so complete a description of the subject.”
— School Library Journal

• • • • • •TABLE OF CONTENTS • • • • • •

Burnout on the Cosmic Level: The Life Cycle of a Star
The Awesome Power of Gravity
Treacherous Voyage
Contemplating an Enormous Nothing
Evidence in the Case for Black Holes
Wild Ideas
Gravity is Patient
Glossary, Sources, Index