Astronomers Discover New Black Hole Hiding Near Earth


Astronomers have discovered a new black hole in the Milky Way Galaxy. Its mass is about 33 times greater than the Sun. This newly identified space object is estimated to be approximately two thousand light years from Earth. Researchers also say that there is a companion star orbiting the black hole.

Black holes are actually very dense objects, and have strong gravity. That way, light cannot penetrate into it, making it difficult to find.

However, the European Space Agency managed to find it, through observations made by its space observatory called Gaia. After its discovery, the Very Large Telescope belonging to the European Southern Observatory (ESO) based in Chile, and other ground-based observatories verified the mass of this black hole.

“This black hole is not only very massive, but also very strange in many aspects. It’s really something we never expected to see,” said a research engineer at the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Pasquale Panuzzo.

This black hole is named Gaia BH3. Even though its size is large, it cannot compete with Sagittarius A* which is in the center of the Milky Way, located about 26 thousand light years from Earth, with a mass about four million times that of the Sun.

However, this object is the largest black hole resulting from the collapse of a single star. Yes, the researchers assume that this object was formed after the death of a star measuring more than 40 times the mass of the Sun.

Gaia BH3 is the second closest black hole to Earth. The first black hole is Gaia BH1, 1,560 light years away and has a mass about 9.6 times smaller than that of the Sun.

“Discovering Gaia BH3 is like the moment in the movie ‘The Matrix’ where Neo begins to ‘see’ the matrix. In our case, the ‘matrix’ is a dormant population of stellar black holes in our galaxy, which was hidden from us before Gaia detected it,” said scientist at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at University College London and member of the Gaia Black Hole Task Force, George Seabroke, told

Seabroke added that Gaia BH3 is an important clue regarding this population. This is because Gaia BH3 is the most massive stellar black hole found in our galaxy.

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