CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – Astronomers have discovered the closest black hole to Earth, which is only 1,600 light years away.
On Friday, scientists reported that this black hole is 10 times more massive than our sun. And it is three times closer to the previous record holder.
It was identified by observing the motion of its companion star, which orbits a black hole at about the same distance as the Earth around the Sun.
The black hole was initially identified using the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft, said Karim El-Badri of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
El-Badri and his team turned to the Gemini International Observatory in Hawaii to confirm their findings, which were published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Researchers are not sure how the system formed in the Milky Way. Named Gaia BH1, it is located in the constellation Ophiuchus, the serpentine bear.
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