Closest black hole from Earth
The nearest black hole from Earth has just been discovered, thanks to a team of astronomers led by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), reported Universe on 11 May 2020. Using the La Silla Observatory of the ESO in Chile, the team discovered this black hole in a triple structure located just 1,000 light-years from Earth. This black hole has been named as HR 6819. ESO scientist Thomas Rivinius led the research that explains their observations, which has recently appeared in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Other team members included Spanish and German ESO physicists, the Czech Academy of Sciences Astronomical Institute, and Georgia State University’s CHARA Collection.
- Unlike the few hundreds of mass black holes that have been detected in our galaxy to date, HR 6819 is one of the very first to be found that does not actively interfere with their surroundings.
- The team has been able to distinguish its existence and measure its mass.on the basis of the impact it has on the orbit of the binary ‘s inner stellar companion.
- In almost all previous cases, the black holes were actively interacting with their surroundings, which was apparent from the powerful release of X-ray bursts.
- This interaction occurred as part of a binary black hole, where a black hole was drawing material from a companion star. This material will fall into a disk around the event horizon of the black hole and then slowly create onto its surface, releasing radiation in the process.
- Black holes are invisible to the naked eye, have no locally observable characteristics, and yet their effect on their presence makes them the ideal laboratory for physics research under intense conditions.
- Especially, they provide an opportunity for astronomers to check Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, which postulates that the space-time curvature is altered by the existence of gravity.
- A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out.
- The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.
- Because no light can get out, people can't see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars.
- Black holes can be big or small. Scientists think the smallest black holes are as small as just one atom. These black holes are very tiny but have the mass of a large mountain. Mass is the amount of matter, or "stuff," in an object.
- Another kind of black hole is called "stellar." Its mass can be up to 20 times more than the mass of the sun. There may be many, many stellar mass black holes in Earth's galaxy. Earth's galaxy is called the Milky Way.