Astronomers believe that over the course of our galaxy's life, a multitude of stars have collided, forming black holes. However, a certain black hole has been discovered 1,000 light-years from Earth, making it the closest black hole to our solar system ever found.
This black hole is not fully visible; it only contains two bright companion stars that disclosed the location of the black hole. These two stars are only visible with the naked eye in the dark or on clear nights in the southern hemisphere.
As the astronomers were observing the star systems in the Telescopium constellation, they noticed that one of the stars was completing an orbit around a hidden object every 40 Earth days. When investigating the black hole, the astronomers were seeing a triple system, not just a double star system. The triple system contains the ability to shed light on the massive mergers between black holes and stars, or configurations creating gravitational waves. The triple system discovery was soon published in the journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Over two centuries, astronomers have discovered dozens of black holes in the Milky Way galaxy. These black holes are known for their presence by being disruptive, and having violent interactions with their surroundings, which leads to releasing detectable x-rays. This new black hole discovery is unique due to its detection as a “silent black hole”; it differs from the normality of being violent and easily identifiable.
Petr Hadrava, study co-author and Emeritus Scientist at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague, claims this discovery will lead to further uncovering of these black holes in the future. Marianne
Heida, study co-author and postdoctoral fellow at the European Southern
Observatory, said in a statement, "By finding and studying them we can
learn a lot about the formation and evolution of those rare stars that begin
their lives with more than about 8 times the mass of the Sun and end them in a
supernova explosion that leaves behind a black hole.” Furthermore, this
discovery has provided a futuristic step for astronomers.
By Emilie Chi