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Unraveling the Mysteries of Black Holes: IELTS Reading Passage with Questions & Answers

Updated on 07 November, 2023

Bulbul Sharma

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

Mysteries of Black Holes Reading Passage

The enigmatic nature of black holes has long tantalized scientists and laypeople alike. These celestial entities, characterized by their intense gravitational pull from which not even light can escape, are a subject of great intrigue and mystery. In the scope of the IELTS reading test, a passage about black holes not only challenges one’s ability to comprehend complex scientific information but also tests the ability to analyze and deduce from given data.

Black holes are regions in space where the pulling force of gravity is so strong that light cannot escape. The boundary beyond which no escape is possible is known as the event horizon. This is not a physical surface but an invisible threshold. Black holes form when massive stars collapse under their own gravity at the end of their life cycles. The core shrinks, and the outer layers are ejected. The resulting compression creates a singularity, a point of infinite density and zero volume, where the laws of physics as we know them cease to operate.

Contrary to popular belief, black holes do not ‘suck’ objects in but rather pull them towards the singularity if they come too close, much like any other object with gravity. However, the strength of the gravity near a black hole is immensely more powerful due to the concentration of mass in a small area.

Scientists have categorized black holes into three types based on their mass: stellar black holes, which are up to 20 times more massive than the Sun; supermassive black holes, which are millions or even billions of times more massive than the Sun and are often found at the center of galaxies; and intermediate black holes, whose mass falls between stellar and supermassive black holes.

Despite their name, black holes can be detected using special tools. As dust and gas are drawn toward a black hole, they form an accretion disk that spirals around it, heating up to very high temperatures and emitting X-rays and other forms of radiation that can be detected.

Recent advancements in technology have allowed scientists to better understand these mysterious objects. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project has even captured an image of a black hole’s event horizon, providing visual evidence of their existence and opening a new era of astronomical discovery.



Q1. What is the defining characteristic of a black hole?

A. Its ability to emit light

B. Its strong gravitational pull

C. Its event horizon

D. Its infinite volume

Q2. Fill in the blanks: Black holes form from the remnants of ______ stars.

Q3. True or False: The event horizon of a black hole is a physical surface you can touch.

Q4. Multiple choice: A singularity is defined by:

A. Infinite volume and zero density

B. Zero volume and infinite density

C. Zero gravity

D. Infinite mass

Q5. Fill in the blanks: Black holes can be categorized into _______, _______, and _______ based on their mass.

Q6. True or False: Black holes can be detected because they emit X-rays from their accretion disks.

Q7. Multiple choice: What does the Event Horizon Telescope project aim to capture?

A. The sound of a black hole

B. The image of a black hole’s event horizon

C. The temperature of a black hole

D. The mass of a black hole

Q8. Fill in the blanks: Black holes have such strong gravity because mass is concentrated in a _______ area.

Q9. True or False: Intermediate black holes are the smallest type of black holes.

Q10. Multiple choice: What happens to the laws of physics at the singularity of a black hole?

A. They become stronger

B. They are inverted

C. They cease to operate

D. They are unaffected


A1. B. Its strong gravitational pull

A2. Massive

A3. False

A4. B. Zero volume and infinite density

A5. Stellar, supermassive, intermediate

A6. True

A7. B. The image of a black hole’s event horizon

A8. Small

A9. False

A10. C. They cease to operate

In preparing this article and the accompanying questions, the aim has been to encapsulate the grandeur and complexity of black holes in a manner that is approachable for IELTS learners. The passage is crafted to challenge comprehension while the questions are designed to reinforce understanding and encourage critical thinking, skills that are vital for success in the IELTS reading section.

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

Bulbul is a self-driven professional and an expert writer & editor. She has been a part of the ed-tech industry for the past 2 years now and is motivated to provide study abroad aspirants with factually correct and relevant information. Her knack for impactful writing makes her blogs worth a read!

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