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Black Holes (Grade 2)

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Black Holes

Have you ever put your hand over the end of the hose from a vacuum cleaner? If you have, you may have noticed that the vacuum started to suction your hand. A vacuum hose also grabs on to and suctions up everything around it.

In outer space, there's something that works like a giant vacuum hose. It's called a black hole.

A black hole's job in space is kind of like a vacuum cleaner's job on Earth. It sucks up all the rocks, dirt, and other debris floating around in space. However, instead of using a suction, the black hole uses gravity.

The gravity in a black hole is stronger than any other area of space. When stuff flies over a black hole, the force of the gravity soon stuffs it into the hole. Few objects can resist the pull of gravity coming from a black hole.

Of course, all of the objects pulled into a black hole have to go somewhere. Where do they go? They stay in the hole. That's right, a black hole isn't really a hole. It's actually like a giant garbage bag. Everything gets squashed up inside of it.

You'd think that because it can pull in so much that a black hole would be really big. Actually, black holes are pretty small. They're formed when stars run out of fuel to support their weight. Gradually, the hydrogen in the stars presses them smaller and smaller. The smaller they are, the stronger the pull of gravity they gain. This turns them into black holes that take up less space than a small atom. That's pretty small!

Despite being so small, they're still powerful. No space ship, meteorite, star, or even beam of light can resist the pull of a black hole in space. As black holes pull items in, they get a little bigger, but not much. Even if a black hole pulled in all of Earth, it still wouldn't be bigger than the average fingernail.
1. 
Why does the author use the example of a vacuum cleaner?
  1. To explain what a black hole looks like
  2. To describe how a black hole works
  3. To sell a vacuum cleaner called Black Hole
  4. To introduce a new paragraph about vacuum cleaners
2. 
Why isn't a black hole really a hole?
  1. The opening is too big.
  2. Things can fall into it.
  3. There is too much darkness in it.
  4. It is not hollow.
3. 
Which object best describes a black hole?
  1. a water bucket
  2. a garbage bag
  3. a garden hose
  4. a laundry chute
4. 
What pulls objects into a black hole?
  1. a vacuum cleaner
  2. suction power
  3. gravity
  4. air
5. 
Which word best describes the size of black holes?
  1. enormous
  2. large
  3. tiny
  4. small

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