September 28, 2022
Scientists have discovered the closest black hole ever discovered

Scientists have discovered the closest black hole ever discovered

After a decade of observations and research, scientists at the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gaia Observatory may have found Black hole Closest to Earth in the registry. According to them, it is possible that there are thousands of them “sleeping” and very close to us.

The research was carried out from analyzing a star – called Gaia BH1 – similar to the sun, orbiting in Milky Way. What caught the researchers’ attention was that their orbital characteristics were different – and not alone.

The hypothesis that scientists came up with is that it is part of a binary system, with a star and a black hole orbiting each other.

The results of the study will be published in the monthly notifications of the Royal Astronomical Society. It can be accessed at arxiv . repository (still without peer review, when other scholars review the research), which receives articles before they are published in specialized journals.

black hole close to earth

In the observations, research led by astrophysicist Karim El-Badri indicates that the black hole appears to be “eating the companion star.”

“The Gaia data constrain how the star moves across the sky, tracking an ellipse as it orbits the black hole. The orbit size and duration give us an idea of ​​the mass of its unseen companion — about 10 times the size of the Sun.” [do sistema solar]”The scientist said in an interview with Universe Today and transcribed by the Science Alert website.”

To obtain more concrete data about the possible presence of a black hole near Gaia BH1, the researchers used other telescopes and spectrometers, which led to more detailed observations and velocity measurements.

These spectra measure, for example, the gravitational forces that affect the orbit of that celestial body. Al-Badri explained that this method, called Doppler Spectroscopy, is largely the same as the method used to search for outer planets (Planets outside our system).

This discovery is still, according to the astrophysicist, just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger number of scattered black holes. Computer models predict that the Milky Way contains at least 100 million dark masses. So far only 20 of them have been spotted.

Scientists believe that many black holes may be hiding in binary orbits, such as those in Gaia BH1, while millions of black holes are not even visible.

The Gaia space telescope was launched in 2013 by the European Space Agency (ESA) to map the Milky Way in 3D. To date, many discoveries have been announced, such as stellar earthquakes, stellar DNA, asymmetric movements of celestial bodies and information about the structure of the Milky Way itself.

Researcher Badri is part of the Harvard Society fellowship teams at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA). Currently, the institutions are working on the Gaia mission to catalog objects at the center of the Milky Way.

He was also joined by researchers from Caltech and UC Berkeley, the Flatiron Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA), the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Paris Observatory, and the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). other educational institutions.