The Universe is teeming with black holes, which means that danger lurks at every corner if we ever get to travel across vast distances and deep into the unknown. Black holes don’t miss anything coming too close to them, as they have a huge gravity capable of absorbing everything.
You can easily conclude that a black hole being placed anywhere close to Earth would be disastrous for us. Astronomers using the Gemini North telescope from Hawai’i have discovered the closest black hole to us, according to Phys.org.
The Gaia BH1 black hole is located 1,600 light-years away from Earth
Gaia BH1 is the black hole in question. Being located ‘only’ 1,600 light-years away from Earth, it poses no threat to us. But it still qualifies as the closest black hole to our planet. Gaia BH1 is located in the Ophiuchus constellation, and it’s also considered a dormant black hole.
Kareem El-Badry, the lead author of the new study and who also works at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, stated as Phys.org quotes:
Take the solar system, put a black hole where the sun is, and the sun where the Earth is, and you get this system,
While there have been many claimed detections of systems like this, almost all these discoveries have subsequently been refuted. This is the first unambiguous detection of a sun-like star in a wide orbit around a stellar-mass black hole in our galaxy.
Scientists estimate that only in our Milky Way galaxy alone there are about 100 million black holes. Directly observing such a cosmic monster is impossible, as these objects don’t emit any light.
Therefore, you’ll have to count on something else for the end of the world, as let’s just say that the Gaia BH1 black hole is way too far away.
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