Scientists Discover Closest Black Hole To Earth | Eastern North Carolina Now | A new study has discovered a black hole roughly 1500 light years from Earth, the closest such object on record.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Michael Whittaker.

    A new study has discovered a black hole roughly 1500 light years from Earth, the closest such object on record.

    The dormant black hole, known as Gaia BH1, is 10 times as massive as the mass of the sun and is orbited by a Sun-like star. BH1 was identified using the European Space Agency's Gaia spacecraft, and it and its stellar companion can be found in the night sky in the constellation Ophiuchus.

    "This is the nearest known black hole by a factor of three, and its discovery suggests the existence of a sizable population of dormant black holes in binaries," Dr. Kareem El-Badry, an astrophysicist at the Max Planck Center for Astronomy and the primary author of the paper outlining the discovery, said in a press release.

    Black holes are superdense concentrations of matter that exert a gravitational force so strong that not even light can escape it. Because of that, they are often difficult to spot: Albert Einstein posited their existence as early as 1916, alongside his theory of general relativity, but they remained purely theoretical until astronomers discovered the first observed black hole, Cygnus X-1, in 1964.

    Because they emit no light, astronomers rely on a black hole's gravitational influence on other nearby celestial bodies to observe them. Black holes can consume nearby stars and nebulae - ripping them apart in a bright and violent spectacle before their mass passes the black hole's 'event horizon', the point where its gravity becomes so strong that light can no longer escape.

    Gaia BH1 is considered 'dormant' because it is not consuming anything at the moment - its stellar companion seems to be in a stable orbit outside the event horizon.

    "I've been searching for dormant black holes for the last four years using a wide range of datasets and methods," said El-Badry. "My previous attempts - as well as those of others - turned up a menagerie of binary systems that masquerade as black holes, but this is the first time the search has borne fruit."

    Scientists have observed 20 black holes within the Milky Way Galaxy, but, because of how difficult it is for most 'dormant' black holes to be identified, scientists believe the true number is much higher. Astronomers believe there could be 100 million black holes in our galaxy alone.

    Black holes form during the collapse of exceptionally large stars (>8 solar masses). Stars form when accretions of gas are massive enough that the heat and pressure at their cores is high enough to cause nuclear fusion, which transforms lighter elements such as hydrogen and helium into heavier elements, with high mass stars being able to produce every element up to and including iron via such fusion. A star 'survives' so long as the energy and internal pressure produced by its core can counterbalance the pull of its own gravity.

    Conventional fusion can only go so far and last for so long, however - even high mass stars can only fuse elements up to iron. Once a star has exhausted the fuel in it collapses into itself and 'dies.' The outer layers of the star are expelled in a massive explosion called a supernova - which produces minute amounts of heavy elements like gold, lead and uranium - and form new stellar nebulae that will coalesce into the next generation of stars. The remnant of the core condenses into a super dense form until a new force counterbalances the force of gravity: a star the size of our Sun would become a 'white dwarf', while more massive stars would collapse into 'neutron stars'.

    A black hole only forms when the force of gravity is so strong that no other force can counter it.

    Another supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*, sits at the center of our galaxy and is thought to be more than 4 million times as massive as the Sun, and astronomers believe that similar black holes lie at the core of nearly all large galaxies. With the breakthrough discovery of Gaia BH1, it is quite possible that we will find many smaller black holes in our local neighborhood.
Go Back

Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )

Actress Patricia Heaton Has Incredible Message For Christians After Tuesday’s ‘Despairing’ ‘Election Results’ Daily Wire, Guest Editorial, Editorials, Op-Ed & Politics Exit Poll Shows Nearly 70% Of Single Women Voted Democrat In Midterms


Latest Op-Ed & Politics

politization of leadership is biggest public concern
Twitter CEO Elon Musk said Monday that he will soon be releasing files on how the social media platform has engaged in suppressing free speech.
In the age of wokeness, ideological (re)education trumps mission-preparedness.
A new book alleges that after Ted Kennedy left his car and his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, in a pond off of Chappaquiddick Island, where Kopechne drowned, he returned to the party they had attended and told his close friends he wanted to say Kopechne was driving the car.
Hawaii’s largest active volcano began erupting Sunday night, with lava flow warnings issued to the surrounding area.
Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed this morning that he's prepared to remove the Twitter app from the App Store but that he's waiting for orders from CCP President Xi before he makes a move.


A wave of Twitter users began impersonating government officials and major corporations after Elon Musk introduced a new scheme for verifying users on the platform.
In a dramatic ruling issued just days before midterm elections, the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling and ordered the transfer of millions of dollars to pay for a school improvement plan designed to ensure North Carolina’s school children receive a sound basic education
Chest reconstruction surgeries performed on minors across the United States increased by approximately 400% during a three-year span, according to a new report.
bill would subsidize MSM, leave out conservative media
Christine McVie, the English singer-songwriter who helped launch the rock band Fleetwood Mac into international fame, has died. She was 79.
Research suggests that certain octopuses deliberately throw objects like silt, sand, and shells at other octopuses.



Back to Top