Closest black hole to Earth found and it is terrifying! Know how big and near it is

    Gaia BH1 is a recently discovered black hole and researchers believe that it is the closest black hole to the Earth.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Nov 10 2022, 20:21 IST
    Terror in the sky! Black Hole found CLOSE to Earth; it is 10 times BIGGER than Sun
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    1/5 The black hole that is closest to planet Earth has been found by astronomers utilising the International Gemini Observatory, run by the NOIRLab of the NSF. And it is terrifying! It is not only massive, but it is also close to Earth! "It has been confirmed that a dormant stellar-mass black hole exists in the Milky Way for the first time. With only 1600 light-years between it and Earth, it is a fascinating subject for research to improve our knowledge of the development of binary systems," a report by ANI said. (AFP)
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    2/5 The closest black hole to Earth has been named Gaia BH1 by astronomers. It is three times closer to Earth than the previous record-holder, an X-ray pair in the constellation of the Monoceros. This dormant black hole is around 10 times as big as the Sun and is situated about 1600 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. (Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration)
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    3/5 The most extreme things in the universe are black holes. All huge galaxies presumably have supermassive versions of these unfathomably dense objects at their centres. There are an estimated 100 million stellar-mass black holes in the Milky Way alone, which are significantly more prevalent and weigh five to one hundred times as much as the Sun. (NASA)
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    4/5 What is a Black Hole? According to NASA, a black hole is an astronomical object with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it. A black hole’s “surface,” called its event horizon, defines the boundary where the velocity needed to escape exceeds the speed of light, which is the speed limit of the cosmos. Matter and radiation fall in, but they can’t get out. (NASA)
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    5/5 Formation of Black Hole: A stellar-mass black hole formation happens when a star with more than 20 solar masses (1 solar mass is the mass of our sun) exhausts the nuclear fuel in its core and collapses under its own weight. The collapse triggers a supernova explosion that blows off the star’s outer layers. But if the crushed core contains more than about three times the Sun’s mass, no known force can stop its collapse into itself and the birth of a black hole. The origin of supermassive black holes is poorly understood, but we know they exist from the very earliest days of a galaxy’s lifetime. Once born, black holes can grow by accreting matter that falls into them, including gas stripped from neighboring stars and even other black holes. (NASA)
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    Know all about the closest black hole to the Earth. (NASA)

    Black holes have always perplexed humans. They are the opposite of whatever we see. In simple terms, a black hole is a region in space where the gravity is so strong that not even light can escape from it. And still we only have surface level understanding of black holes. And the main reason behind that is that it is extremely difficult to spot a black hole as you cannot see it normally. As a black hole devours light, it blends in with the darkness of space. The only time we can actually see it is when it interacts with the space around it. But this might be changing soon because a group of researchers has discovered the closest black hole to the Earth.

    The researchers have published a study in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal, where they talk about their incredible discovery. This space-time singularity has been named Gaia BH1. It is located roughly around 1566 light years away from the Earth in the constellation Ophiuchus. Interestingly, the size of this black hole is ten times the size of the Sun.

    Closest black hole to the Earth discovered

    The most interesting part about the black hole is that it is not a solitary body. It is part of a system, that too with another star that it orbits around. “Take the Solar System, put a black hole where the Sun is, and the Sun where the Earth is, and you get this system. While there have been many claimed detections of systems like this, almost all these discoveries have subsequently been refuted. This is the first unambiguous detection of a sunlike star in a wide orbit around a stellar-mass black hole in our galaxy”, said lead author Kareem El-Badry in a statement.

    Black holes normally start out as gigantic stars (5-10 times larger than the Sun). As the star gets older, it keeps fusing heavier elements together during its nuclear fusion process and as a result forms an extremely dense core. After iron forms in the core, the star becomes unable to continue the fusion process and collapses inwardly. This is when an extremely powerful force of gravity is created which does not even let the light pass, and a black hole is born.

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    First Published Date: 10 Nov, 20:19 IST
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