The closest black hole to Earth

The proximity of this hole offers a particular study target for further understanding of the evolution of binary systems.

Black holes are complex objects within the universe, which can weigh anywhere from five to a hundred times the mass of the Sun. However, a few have been confirmed active as opposed to inactive ones like the newly discovered one.

The scientific name of this hole is BH1 and it is located near the Ophiuchus constellation. This discovery was made possible by precise observations of the motion of the black hole’s companion, a Sun-like star.

The European Space Agency’s Gaia space probe would have captured small irregularities in the star’s motion that were caused by the gravity of a massive object.

Astronomers’ current models of the evolution of binary systems cannot explain how the Gaia BH1 system formed and why it later became a black hole that should have been less dense than the Sun.

There are big gaps when it comes to our understanding of black holes, and that’s why the new discovery suggests there is much more to be understood about the existence of the unexplored population of these dormant phenomena.