Science

Closest black hole to Earth is just 1500 light years away

A black hole with a mass about 10 times that of the sun is thought to be the closest to Earth discovered so far. It is orbited by a star that could host planets, from which the black hole would be visible in the sky



Space



16 September 2022

The invisible black hole is marked at the centre of this image with a blue dot

PanSTARRS/El-Badry et al

The closest known black hole may have been found a cosmic stone’s throw from Earth, just 1500 light years away. Called Gaia BH1, it is estimated to be about 10 times the mass of our sun.

Although it can’t be seen directly because it emits no light, data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia space telescope revealed the gravitational tug the black hole exerts on its orbiting companion star, which is similar in age and mass to our own sun. …

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