July 6, 2022

A new discovery says that the closest black hole to Earth is not a black hole at all

A new discovery says that the closest black hole to Earth is not a black hole at all

The closest black hole to Earth is not a black hole at all. While that, Astronomers say It’s just a two star system where one star sucks life out of the other.

The closest black hole to Earth is not a black hole after all

Back in 2020, it was the mission he’s leading European Southern Observatory I mentioned the discovery of a black hole near the Earth. In fact, it was located just over 1,000 light-years away. This made it the closest black hole to our planet that we have ever discovered. Now, despite reanalyzing the data, astronomers say the system they discovered, HR6819It doesn’t actually have a black hole at all.

When it was first discovered, astronomers thought HR6819 was a three-star system. They also believed that two stars orbited a black hole. However, a Study led by Julia Bodensteiner, then a Ph.D. A student at KU Leuven in Belgium, he looked at an alternative option.

Bodensteiner said HR6819 could be a two-star system without a black hole at all. This option means that one of the stars in the system had to be stripped in the past. Essentially, one star could have lost a lot of its mass in favor of the other, causing the effect that astronomers have observed. This alternative still leaves a mystery for astronomers to solve.

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Radio telescopes and the Milky Way at nightImage source: zhengzaishanchu / Adobe

At about the same time the Bodensteiner study was conducted, another study was group of researchers He was also looking for discovery. They also found that the system was most likely a two-star system with one star pulling a mass from the other. a The third study He also determined that the closest black hole to Earth wasn’t a black hole either.

In that third study, astronomers Karim El-Badri and Elliot Quatert of the University of California, Berkeley, analyzed the system’s spectra. They found that the mass of one star was greater than the mass of the other star. As such, they said, the single star is more bloated and appears to have been recently stripped and contracted to become a hot secondary dwarf.

Bodensteiner’s team joined forces with another team led by KU Leaven Abigail Frost to study the discovery in greater depth. Two years after its discovery, the team says the closest black hole to Earth is actually just a two star system where one star pulled resources from another.

“Our best explanation so far is that we detected this binary system in an instant shortly after a star sucked the atmosphere off its companion star,” Bodensteiner said. wrote in a statement Featured on the ESO website. She also says that redundancy is very common in close binary systems. As one of the stars pulled material from the other, the receiver began to rotate more quickly.

It was this rapid rotation that helped create the illusion that the closest black hole to Earth was born. a vampire star It’s still pretty scary, but at least we can rest easy because we know there’s no black hole less than 1,500 light-years away from us.