Black Hole Closest to Earth

The newbie black hole may be the closest black hole to the earth. 

Thousand light years away from the Earth exists a black hole. Located in the southern constellation of Telescopium, belongs to a system HR 6819 of two bright stars which can be observed with the naked eyes itself. Since the black holes have immense gravitational power, not even letting the light to escape it, one won’t be able to see the black hole itself.

So, when this black hole was right in our backyard, how has it eluded astronomers for so long?

How has it eluded astronomers for so long?

Black holes aren’t visible. The only way to find these dark bodies is by looking for the luminous clues around them. One of the stars of the system HR6819 is moving periodically with an interval of 40 days, which is unusual. So, the only way to understand the interval and the high speed of the star (60 kms-1) is to acknowledge another massive body which is not visible. Basically, a black hole formed from the gravitational collapse of a star with five times mass of the sun.

There are almost two dozen known-black holes in the Milky Way. The intriguing thing about this massive body is that it is truly dark. It doesn’t shine very brightly in X-rays.  

Theoretically, our Milky Way consists of 100 million to 1 billion black holes. Discovery of HR 6819 has shed light on another suspected system LB-1. Baade said, “We are finding a tip of an iceberg.” Dr Ziri Younsi is an expert on black holes at University College London said, ““It’s remarkable that a black hole has been found so close to Earth,” noting for context that the centre of our galaxy is about 25,000 light years from Earth.”

He also added, “This new study hints at the exciting prospect of a whole population of stellar-mass black holes lurking in our Galaxy. It also offers a potential new means to detect many more systems comprising such quiescent black holes in our galactic neighbourhood in the near future.”

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