Discovery of Two Black Holes Closest to Earth and Never Seen Before!
A star swinging across the sky is not entirely normal. At the very least, it hides the presence of another massive object nearby. When no instrument can detect light, there is only one option: a black hole. More precisely the first two black holes of a whole new family. Also found on the outskirts of the Earth.
Scientists call Gaia an astrometric mission. A European Space Agency (ESA) dedicated to measuring the positions, distances and motions of galaxies. By measuring the motions of a handful of stars very precisely, Gaia is now Astronomers In the path of the two closest-to-Earth black holes ever discovered.
Often, black holes are betrayed by light — usually X-rays or radio waves — emitted by the absorbing material. This method is strange “jumps” The stars revealed that two very large objects were hidden. Each is about 10 times the mass of our Sun. One is called Gaia PH1, about 1,560 light-years from Earth, in the direction of the Ophiuchus constellation. The other, christened Gaia BH2, is about 3,800 light-years away, in the direction of Centaur.
“What sets these new black holes apart from what we already know is that they are widely separated from their companion stars. – A red giant star relative to BH2. These black holes may have a completely different formation history than X-ray binaries.”Karim El-Badri, researcher and discoverer of these new black holes, explains Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (USA) and Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy (Germany), in A ESA press release. ” X-ray Binaries » Because black holes and their companion stars are close to them, the system glows in X-rays and radio wavelengths.
Are there more black holes in Gaia’s data?
Arriving at this discovery would require harnessing all of Gaia’s power and unmatched precision. Because it is a question of tiny oscillations detected in the motion of the stars. Once the chip was placed in astronomers’ ears, measurements made by ground-based observatories confirmed that the mission had indeed found new black holes.
Astronomers wanted to look on the side of Gaia BH2, radio or X emissions. Supported by two powerful instruments: the Chandra X-ray Observatory (NASA) and the South African radio telescope Meerkat on the ground. But nothing. “This tells us that the black hole is not a giant feeder. – Scientists will call “Sleeping Black Holes” – and some particles cross its event horizon. We don’t know why, but we want to know.says astronomer Yvette Cendes atHarvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
In particular, researchers now expect to find many more of these new types of black holes. While waiting to be able to look for them in the new Gaia data series to be released in 2025 – some candidates may be thrown out there – astronomers will work to adapt their theories to these brand new observations.