There is indirect evidence that a great many
stars and planets have been swallowed by black
holes. Astronomers believe that there are
enormous black holes (millions of times heavier
than the sun) at the centers of many galaxies, and
smaller black holes scattered about within
galaxies. However no one has ever directly seen
a black hole swallow a star. In fact, no one
has ever directly seen a black hole! So far
they have only be "seen" by the effect of their
gravity on nearby stars and gas clouds.
To this date we have never observed to the
satisfaction of absolutely every astronomer that
black holes exist, although those who think
that black holes do not exist are a fringe group.
We think that black holes sometimes form by the
collapse of super massive stars in a hypernova
(basically a supernova on steroids) . Black
holes almost certainly exist, and we have
observed their gravitational effects on other
objects (that is the only way to observe them),
but we have never managed to take a photograph of
a black hole showing us the event horizon itself.
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