Scientists have found a black hole that is approximately 1000 light-years-away (LYA), and it can be spotted by looking for the two adjacent stars visible around it during clear nights.
Black holes are the most enigmatic structures in the cosmos that is mysterious, and having a black hole that is 1000 light years away is amazing. But having a black hole that near might also be too close for comfort.
The black hole is in the constellation of Telescopium. It's close with two other stars that are part of an eccentric triple system, called HR 6819 which is a galactic rarity compared to more common binary systems. One black hole that moors two more stars in its gravity.
Unexpected find by scientists
It was discovered by using the European Southern Observatory (ESO)'s La Silla Observatory in Chile, the scientists found the black hole concealed in HR6819. They did not expect to make the find, and it was like a needle in a haystack.
Deducing the presence of the black hole was done with a 2.2 metre telescope that tracked the stars orbit in HR 6819. Tracking the eccentric movement of the two stars orbit revealed that the black hole was exerting gravitational influence on the two stars that kept a safe distance from the event horizon.
If anyone wants to view this eater of light 'black hole', you can actually see it without a telescope or binoculars. Just look for it in the southern hemisphere on a dark and clear night.
Petr Hadrava of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Prague added, "We were totally surprised when we realised that this is the first stellar system with a black hole that can be seen with the unaided eye."
One of the first impressions of the scientists about HR 6819 is that it was a double or binary star system.
Nearest blackhole to Earth is 'unique'
When they discovered the gravitational influence of the spatial anomaly or black hole, they discovered a new kind of celestial phenomenon.
Initially, the data must have been amiss, but the data was checked and the third body a black hole was uncovered. Discoveries like this matter and increases knowledge of how a black hole works.
When the findings were analyzed by the scientists, it indicated that the two stars are orbiting an unknown celestial object for 40 days. Usually, the bigger of the stars is farther and less affected by the gravity than the smaller one.
The uniqueness of the concealed black hole in HR 6819 is that it's a stellar-mass black hole, which means it is the carcass of collapse star and it does not consume materials like other black holes. It does not destroy its neighbors, and just looks black in the firmament of reality.
Discrepancies were noticed by calculating its mass by looking at the stars orbit around the black hole. Astronomer Thomas Rivinius added, "This system contains the nearest black hole to Earth that we know of."
If an unseen object has the mass of four times of the Sun, the logical conclusion is that it can only be a black hole. To date, astronomers have sighted quite a number of black holes in the milky way galaxy (MWg), they are exposed by emitting X-ray blasts for light-years.
All over the millennia's the milky way existed, there are uncounted stars that are black holes now. Scientists estimate that, over the Milky Way's lifetime, many more stars should have collapsed into black holes at the end of their lives.
With the discovery of HR 6819 that is the closest black hole at 1000 light-years-away (LYA) with two orbiting stars, scientists are hopeful that there are more out there, just waiting to be uncovered.
Related article: Large Ancient Galaxy Stopped Making Stars, Confusing Astronomers