The closest black hole to Earth has been discovered in our cosmic backyard
By examining data from the Gaia space observatory, scientists have managed to identify the closest black hole to Earth in our cosmic backyard.
The closest black hole Named "Gaia BH1", it has 10 times the mass of the Sun and is located 1,600 light-years away in the constellation Ophiuchus. This object is considered a dormant black hole and was discovered based on the behavior of the star that revolves around it. According to a research team, this black hole is three times larger than the closest black hole discovered previously, which is located in the constellation of the Unicorn. is closer to the ground. Gaia BH1 is so close that the US National Science Foundation's Center for Astronomy calls it "our cosmic backyard". Kareem El-Badry, astrophysicist at the National Science Foundation's NOIRLab "While there have been many reports of the discovery of systems like this, almost all of them have been rejected by further investigation," he said. "Wide around a black hole with the mass of a star in our galaxy." Compared to the supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies, stellar black holes are only five to 100 times the mass of our Sun.
Al Badri is the lead author of a paper about the black hole that appears this week in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. of the Royal Astronomical Society) was published. The long list of the authors of the article shows how complex and challenging this research has been, and the discovery of this black hole is a multi-layered scientific victory. , played a prominent role in this discovery. In the data of this observatory, the researchers observed a star very similar to the Sun, and by examining its gravitational vibrations, they noticed the presence of a black hole.
Their sleeping black holes are only cooling and do not cause drastic changes in their surroundings. Therefore, it is difficult to distinguish them. Tineke Roegiers, a member of the Gaia team, said: "The only reason this black hole was discovered was Gaia's accuracy and ability to see the position of the star that is orbiting the black hole. As it moves around the black hole, the star wobbles in its orbit.
But this look by Gaia was only the beginning. The research team also took help from the North Jumna telescope in Hawaii and accurately measured the orbit of the star. "We found no plausible astrophysical scenario that could explain the observed orbit without at least one black hole," Al Badari said of the black hole detection.
Black holes like these are formed from the collapse of massive stars, so Gaia BH1 and its companion star form a binary system. The formation and evolution of this star system is a little mysterious. According to Rogiers, "This black hole is different from all known black holes and is difficult to explain with standard models of binary star evolution." NOIRLab estimates that there are about 100 million stellar-mass black holes in the Milky Way. exist but only a few of them have been confirmed. Now, the discovery of Gaia BH1 is an important step towards finding more and understanding dormant black holes, and it can also provide a new understanding of the evolution of binary star systems. Credit: International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. da Silva/Spaceengine/M. Zamani