Scientists from the European Southern Observatory have discovered a black hole just 1,000 light years from Earth. The black hole, which is the closest black hole to Earth detected so far, could be detected thanks to two stars around it. Two stars in the black hole system called HR 6819, are visible to the naked eye from Earth.
One of the stars orbits around the black hole for 40 days
The black hole, the third celestial body in HR 6819, began to be observed by the FEROS spectrograph on the MPG / ESO 2.2 telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile. During the observation, it was understood that one of the two stars revolved around an invisible object in 40-day periods. The other star in the system continues to spin in a larger orbit than the first. Dietrich Baade, one of the researchers at ESO, said the observations had to continue for several months to determine the star’s 40-day turn.
The discovery of the invisible black hole in HR 6819 provides an important clue that there may be many undiscovered black holes in the Milky Way. Thomas Rivinius, one of the researchers, said: “There must be hundreds of millions of black holes out there. But we know very little. Knowing what to look for will make us in a better position to find black holes.”