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Astronomers discover the black hole closest to Earth

Astronomers discover the black hole closest to Earth

© Gemini International Observatory / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / J. da Silva / Spaceengine / M. Zamani

Astronomy scientists Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and des Harvard Smithian Center for Astrophysics They used satellite data to discover a black hole closer to Earth than any other known black hole.

It was tracked using data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia astronomical satellite, after which it was also named. Gaia BH1 Our Sun is ten times the mass of our Sun 1600 light years away from the earth. where it revolves around a star. “Small shifts in the star’s position revealed the presence of the companion body,” According to a statement issued by the Max Planck Society.

It’s hard to detect

In the Milky Way, our home galaxy, there One hundred million These black holes, but they are only hard to watch It is hardly verifiable. Most of them orbit a companion star close enough to pull the black hole’s gravitational pull hydrogen gas from the companion star into the accretion disk surrounding the black hole.

Gaia BH1

Zoom Engine to Gaia BH1 Black Hole

Discoveries of such black holes using stellar spectra However, when looking back, it turns out that they were often wrong, according to the researchers. Because these spectra, which analyze starlight like a rainbow, provide only a portion of the information about the motions of the stars and thus about the orbit and mass of their companion. However, the data can be supplemented with the help of the Gaia satellite, which is designed to make high-precision measurements of the positions of the stars.

“Outstanding Candidate”

If the object were another star, it would inevitably be brighter than its companion, the researchers continue to write. Instead, neither the Gaia data nor follow-up observations will show the light from such a second star. The astronomer says this makes Gaia BH1 an excellent candidate for a black hole Karim Al-Badri Quoted by the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Astronomy in Communications.

Al-Badri researchers now hope to be able to discover more black holes in this way.

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