Astronomers have detected the closest black hole to Earth

Illustration depicting small black holes and its accompanying effects on stars – © Lauren Fenfer / Ohio State University

New observations have revealed the presence of a very singular black hole. It seems to be the smallest object of this kind yet, it is also the closest to our planet.

Un double record

As part of the work to be published in the magazine Monthly notice of the Royal Astronomical SocietyA team of astronomers fromOhio State University Identified a black hole that could set two new records. In front of his surname ” Care »The constellation in which this object is located, this object is three times more than that mass. Soleil Red giant is located near the star V723 my, Only 1,500 light years from Terre.

Previously, the smallest black hole ever detected was 3.3 solar masses, while the closest such object was about 3,000 light-years away. Last year, it was suggested that the star system HR 6819, About 1120 light years away, was home to the nearest known black hole, but further studies have cast doubt on the existence of such an object in this part of the universe.

Because of its small mass (for a black hole), the unicorn is a real curiosity: the object is actually smaller than the so-called black hole ” Stellar mass (5 to 30 solar masses), which until recently were considered the smallest.

A few weeks ago, polarized light first detected the powerful magnetic field of a black hole – photo

Since such cosmic objects are difficult to identify by their nature, astronomers have relied on the unicorn’s gravitational effect on the star that lives with it. The latter’s light appears to change in intensity at various points in its orbit, suggesting that it was being propagated by the gravity of a nearby object. In the absence of a second visible companion star, the team assumed that the object in question was the black hole at most.

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« Just as the moon can taunt the Earth’s oceans, produce high tides and low tides, a black hole can give a star a stretched shape, reminiscent of a teardrop. “, Please explain Tod thompson, Co-author of the study. ” In this specific case, this is the simplest and most likely explanation.. »

To determine the mass of the small black hole, the researchers analyzed the star’s gravitational deformation, its speed, and the duration of its orbit. Other cosmic objects with similar characteristics may be discovered over the next few years, as telescopes are more powerful and data analysis improves.

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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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