This Black Hole Is So Close You Can See It Here’s How


This Black Hole Is So Close You Can See It Here’s How

This Black Hole Is So Close You Can See It Here’s How

A team of astronomers discovered a black hole lying just 1,000 light-years from Earth — and its presence may hint at the existence of many more.

Astronomers have just found the closest black hole to us yet, a discovery which suggests there could be even more black holes lurking out there in the universe. The astronomers were originally looking for a double star system called HR 6819 — a pair of stars close enough that it can be seen from the Southern Hemisphere without any optical aids on a dark and clear night. But while observing the stars, the astronomers realized that what they were really seeing was a three body system: The inner star was orbiting around something (hint, hint: a black hole) once every 40 days, while the outer star orbited the pair from much farther away. So how did researchers know that the star was orbiting a black hole? And what does this discovery mean for the future of space observation and our understanding of large stars and three body systems? Find out in this Elements.


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