Scientists May Have Found the Black Hole Closest to Earth
The smallish black hole dwells in a triple system and does not devour other stars, making it all but invisible to instruments.
GARCHING, GERMANY — Scientists may have spotted a black hole so close to Earth that its two companion stars are visible to the naked eye, according to a paper in Astronomy and Physics.
Writing in a news release, researchers at the European Southern Observatory say the black hole is 1,000 light-years distant in the system HR 6819 system, which is part of the constellation Telescopium.
According to the paper, the black hole is 1,000 light-years distant in the system HR 6819 system, which is part of the constellation Telescopium.
Scientists say a black hole is usually identified by the accretion disk it forms as it devours a nearby star and the energy that it releases into space.
However, the black hole of HR 6819 exists peacefully with its stellar companions, and astronomers used the orbits of the two stars to infer that an object with four times the solar mass is in the system, which can only be a black hole.
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