Astronomers locate nearest black hole to Earth in space, visible from naked eyes
New Delhi : Astronomers have claimed of discovering Earth's closest black hole at a distance of 1000 light years. A light year is the distance light travels in a year which is 5.9 trillion miles (9.5 trillion km).
Till date, the closest-known black hole was one perhaps three times further away, reports Reuters.
The newly discovered black hole is at least 4.2 times the mass of the sun and is gravitationally bound to two stars in a so-called triple system, according to a study published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
"Just around the corner" in cosmic terms, Thomas Rivinius, the lead author of the study, was quoted as saying about the discovery by news agency Reuters. Rivinius is a Chile-based European Southern Observatory astronomer.
According to scientific definitions, black hole is a place in space that has such powerful gravity that not even light can pass through it, making it invisible to see.
However, special tools are used to identify them with the unusual behavior of the stars around it.
What makes this discovery more exciting is the fact that the black hole is so near that the two stars dancing with it can seen by the naked eye, reports Fox News.
Called HR 6819, the newly-discovered black hole is a triple system which can be seen from Earth’s southern hemisphere with the naked eye, in the constellation Telescopium.