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Named Gaia BH1, this Black Hole is closest to Earth, 10 times bigger than Sun

Named ‘Gaia BH1’, the newly discovered Black Hole is three-times closer to Earth than the previously recorded ones. Read More

Saturday November 5, 2022 7:05 PM, Agencies

Named Gaia BH1, this Black Hole is closest to Earth, 10 times bigger than Sun

[Space.com rendering of Black Hole.]

Washington: In a major but scary breakthrough astronomers have detected a giant and huge Black Hole which is not only 10 times bigger than Sun but is also closest to Earth.

Named ‘Gaia BH1’, the newly discovered Black Hole is three-times closer to Earth than the previously recorded ones.

Situated about 1600 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus, the dormant black hole is around 10 times as big as the Sun, International Gemini Observatory which is run by NOIRLAB of the NSF said.

What is a Black Hole?

A black hole is an astronomical object with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it, according to NASA.

The 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.

Black holes are the most extreme things in the universe. All huge galaxies presumably have supermassive versions of these unfathomably dense objects at their centres.

Matter and radiation fall in, but they can’t get out.

Exquisite studies of the motion of the black hole's partner, a star similar to the Sun that orbits the black hole at around the same distance as the Earth orbits the Sun, allowed for the new finding.


"Take the Solar System, put a black hole where the Sun is, and the Sun where the Earth is, and you get this system," explained Kareem El-Badry, an astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, and the lead author of the paper describing this discovery.

El-Badry and his team used the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph instrument on Gemini North to study the system in greater detail.

Also Read | Astronomers detect supermassive black holes inside dying galaxies

This device accurately determined the companion star's orbital period by measuring the companion star's velocity as it circled the black hole, according to ANI.

The team was able to identify the central body as a black hole around 10 times as massive as our Sun thanks to the Gemini follow-up observations, which were essential in putting constraints on the orbital velocity and, consequently, masses of the two components in the binary system.

The astronomers estimate that the progenitor star that later turned into the newly detected black hole would have lived only a few million years.

 

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