Astronomers find black hole just 1,000 light years from Earth

Science

In a major achievement, astronomers have succeeded in discovering a black hole just 1,000 light years from Earth. The black hole was found in a system called HR 6819, in the constellation Telescopium. When watched through a telescope, the system looks like a single bright star, but the light emitted previously from the system revealed there to be two stars present.

Astronomers claim that after detailed analysis of the data they located another body within the system: a black hole with a mass over four times that of our sun, and just 1,000 light years from Earth. The black hole is unusual. “The hallmark of this black hole is that it is truly black,” he said. “Almost all the other black holes that we know are in the Milky Way – and there are only two dozen of them – shine very brightly in X-rays. This star is not so massive that it loses a lot of gas and therefore the black hole is starving and that makes it so dark.”

According to Baade not many similar black holes had been found in the past and they called for more scrutiny. “It may also be the first ever [black hole of this kind],” he said. Baade added that HR 6819 and its stars can be seen by the naked eye. “If you want to see it really overhead, you need to be at the southern tip of South America,” he said.