A black hole in Earth’s backyard?

This new black hole is 1.600 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus So far scientists have discovered 20 black holes in the Milky Way. About 100 million more are estimated to be present in our galaxy.

A new black hole has been discovered very near to Earth, closer than any other previously found. Christened Gaia BH1, this dormant blackhole is 1.600 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus.

This new black hole is ten times as massive as our sun. To date, scientists have found 20 black holes in the Milky Way galaxy whilst 100 million more are estimated to be present in our galaxy. The newly discovered one is three times closer than the earlier black hole which sat about 3,000 light-years away in the constellation Monoceros.

Since there are more undetected black holes, even this newly discovered one wouldn’t hold its spot of “closest to Earth” for too long.

The discovery was mentioned in a paper in the peer-reviewed Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The black hole was discovered by “Kareem El-Badry, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and his colleagues.

They found evidence of the existence of this dormant black hole using the data from the European Space Agency’s GAIA (Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics) spacecraft. After they noticed a star in the constellation Ophiuchus moving in unexpected ways, they understood that it was a result of the gravity of an unknown, massive object. Using the observation from other telescopes, they confirmed that the object causing this was a black hole.

What is a Black Hole

A black hole is a celestial body that has an immensely huge gravitational pull, so huge that nothing escapes it. Not even light can escape i it!

The black hole grows by accumulating matter that falls in it. Black holes are formed at the end of the life of a big star. When a massive star collapses after its nuclear fuel depletes, it will collapse onto itself and become a black hole.

It was in 2019 that an image of a black hole was captured for the first time. It was an international collaboration and the astronomers used the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), networking eight ground-based radio telescopes.

Picture Credit : Google 

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