Astronomers have discovered the closest black hole to Earth

Astronomers have discovered the closest black hole to Earth
Mark Garlic/Science Photography Libra/Getty Images/Science Photography Libra Artwork of a black hole. A black hole is a region of space-time where gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape from them. They are created when massive stars die. It is surrounded by an accretion disk of material from which light is deflected by strong gravity. Both the front of the disk and the region behind the black hole are visible, as well as the lower part of the disk (the upper arc), which curves over the hole toward the observer.

Mark Garlic/Science Photography Libra/Getty Images/Science Photography Libra

Astronomers Discover Closest Black Hole to Earth (Description of What an Active Black Hole Must Look Like)

Space is a thrilling and somewhat terrifying discovery. On Friday, November 4, astronomers announced their discovery A new black hole The interstellar mass is now very close to our planet. Reported by The New York TimesThis celestial object ” A vacuum shell 10 times larger than the Sun, Earth orbits far from our star. “.

If the last known close black hole is 3000 light-years away, in the constellation Monoceros, this new object is in the constellation Ophiuchus, almost half as far away: 1600 light-years from us.

In addition to being close to Earth, this black hole has another peculiarity: it is inactive. In fact, he does not attract his star towards him and does not absorb what is near him. Last July, Such a black hole has been identified in the Magellanic CloudA dwarf galaxy near the Milky Way, after six years of observation by the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT). Chile.

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How to detect the invisible

Stellar-mass black holes – incomparably smaller than their supermassive brothers – are massive stars (5 to 50 times the mass of the Sun) that collapse in on themselves at the end of their lives. These objects are so dense and their gravity so powerful that even light cannot escape: they are invisible by definition. However, except for a black hole, scientists can observe matter orbiting it before it is swallowed up. sleep »in food.

But how do you know such an object exists? ? “Imagine two dancers holding hands and looking at them in the dark. One has a black dress, the other a bright dress: you only see the second dance, but you know he has a dance partner, thanks for reading the movement.AFP Hugues Sana of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium was briefed in July.

In fact, Karim El-Badri, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, discovered this new black hole while analyzing data from the European Space Agency’s GAIA spacecraft. Explained by The New York TimesThe scientist and his team found a star, practically like our sun, which vibrated strangely. The gravitational influence of an invisible partner. To further their research, the researchers commandeered the Gemini North Telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

According to recent models, about 2% of the massive stars in our galaxy have black holes orbiting them, or about 100 million, says Hughes Sana. “At the moment, we only know about ten of them, all thanks to their X-ray emissions, so some are missing! »

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