‘Almost on our doorstep’: Scientists discover closest black hole to earth so far
London (England) | Jagran News Desk: The European Southern Observatory (ESO), while studying about a double star system in the galaxy called HR 6819 in the Constellation Telescopium, has discovered a new black hole which is almost like earth’s neighbour.
ESO scientists were inspecting the motion of a double star system i.e. very close to our planet, just 1000 light-years away, and were surprised to find out the presence of a third body, the black hole.
Commonly, in a double star system, two stars revolve around a common centre known as Barrycentre. But in HR 6819, one star revolves around the black hole while the other one orbits around the pair.
“The observations needed to determine for 40 days. This was only possible thanks to ESO’s pioneering service-observing scheme under which observations are made by ESO staff on behalf of the scientists needing them,” Emeritus Astronomer at ESO and co-author of the study Dietrich Baade said, as quoted by News 18.
Black holes are usually circled by dust and gases, but the newly discovered black hole is not interacting with its immediate environment which makes it completely black and difficult to detect.
The residence of this black hole was discovered by certain calculations, as this stellar structure was one among the first few black holes that do not react with its immediate environment. “An invisible object with a mass at least 4 times that of the Sun can only be a black hole,” said, ESO scientist Thomas Rivinius, who was also a part of this study.
The scientist believes that the discovery of this black-hole and star amalgamation will make way for locating other systems that exist in the universe. Marianne Heida who is a postdoctoral and a co-author of the study says, "We realised that another system, called LB-1, may also be such a triple, though we'd need more observations to say for sure."
As black holes are nothing but a post-reaction product of rare stars (rare stars are eight times bigger than the sun,) that was once a potential supernova, scientists feel that this discovery will intimidate human curiosity to find out more about black holes and supernovas.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma