Astronomers have discovered the closest ever black hole to Earth

Greg Evans
Wednesday 06 May 2020 15:15
Science and Tech

Astronomers have discovered a black hole which is just 1,000 light-years away from Earth, the closest ever found to our planet.

The black hole was detected by scientists working at the European Southern Observatory in Chile but due to it being a black hole it is almost impossible to see with any instruments that we have down here.

Therefore, the researchers had to make an estimation on the location of the black hole by observing the movement of two nearby stars that had recently been acting unusually.

Their findings can be read in a study published in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Thomas Rivinius who was the lead scientist told The Verge:

We could exclude any type of star with that mass being present​. So if there’s something with that mass in the system, it must be a black hole​.

We only know of a few dozen black holes, but we suspect there might be a billion in the galaxy. The fact that it’s so close actually means that it cannot be very uncommon.

Although we cannot see the black hole with the naked eye the system that is in is close enough that we can at least see the stars that are near the black hole.

That being said the black hole far enough away that it doesn't pose any danger to us here on Earth but that hasn't stopped people either worrying or longing to be consumed by this astrological phenomena.

Although it's pretty cool that we have a black hole as a space neighbour it is rather small in comparison to other black holes, such as the one in the middle of the Milky Way galaxy which is 4.6 million times bigger than the sun. We can't even begin to comprehend how big that is.