Black Hole : Astronomers Identify Closest to Earth

Black hole is incredibly dense objects with gravitational pulls so powerful that not even light can escape. The illustration provided by the European Southern Observatory in May 2020 shows the orbits of the objects in the HR 6819 triple system.

European astronomers mentioned that they had found the closest black Hole to Earth ever discovered. The group is made of an inner binary with one star, orbit in blue, and a newly discovered black hole.

It is believed that the black hole is at least 4.2 times the mass of the sun. It sits about 1,000 light-years from Earth, or about 9.5 trillion kilometers away. Researchers discovered the it from the European Southern Observatory.

The research recently appeared in the publication of Astronomy & Astrophysics. Scientists have found it using a telescope based in Chile.

Thomas Rivinius, who has led the research for the European Southern Observatory. In his interview with Reuters news agency, he admitted it is still very far from Earth. He also found that we should consider the new find “just around the corner,” in terms of the universe and the galaxy.

Rivinius told the next closest black Hole to Earth is probably about three times further, about 3,200 light-years away. That black Hole is 4 million times the sun’s mass. Some of them are enormous, like the one at our galaxy’s center, 26,000 light-years from Earth. The newly discovered entity is gravitationally attached to two stars in a so-called triple system.

Night Sky

Black Hole sits in the constellation Telescopium in the sky’s Southern Hemisphere. Astronomers theoretically found that there are between 100 million to 1 billion of these small but dense objects in the Milky Way. But usually, they cannot be seen. Scientists can only find them when they are eating away at parts of a partner star, or something else falls into them.

Astronomers think most of them remain unseen because they do not have anything close enough to swallow up. Astronomers found the new one because of the triple system formation. They say their telescope observations confirmed that there was an object about four times the mass of the sun of our solar system pulling on the inner star. They decided it could only be a black hole.

Other astronomers say the theory makes a definite sense. “Black Hole findings will motivate additional searches among bright, relatively nearby stars,” said Ohio State University astronomer Todd Thompson. He was not part of the research.

Black Hole

Rivinius said these are young, hot stars compared to the 4.6 billion-year-old sun of our solar system. They might be 140 million years old, but at 15,000 degrees Celsius, they are three times hotter than the sun. About 15 million years ago, one of the stars got very big and too hot and went to become a supernova, turning into the Black Hole in a violent process, he added.

Rivinius said the two stars are far enough away from it that it is not pulling away material from them. But in a very few million years, the closest star is expected to grow as part of its life cycle.