It is located 1,500 light years away, it was unknown to date, and it has been nicknamed that because it is unique. It is one of the smallest registered.
It is the closest one and until now no one had noticed its existence. But it can no longer be hidden, the closest black hole to Earth has been found, with three times the mass of our sun, about 1,500 light years away. He was going unnoticed and a team of investigators has revealed his position.
It has been nicknamed as ‘The Unicorn’, a proper name of fantasy literature, although in this case it is not science fiction. It is because so far he is one of a kind and no one like him is known. Also, he was in the constellation Monoceros, ‘The Unicorn’, so the nickname suited him perfectly.
Although it may seem huge to say that it has approximately three times the mass of our sun, the reality is that it is one of the smallest that has ever been recorded. It is very tiny for a black hole.
The characteristics of the black hole
It is located about 1,500 light years from Earth, within the Milky Way, although until now it was hidden from the eyes of science. It is accompanied by a giant red star, connected by gravity. In addition, it is also guilty that its position has been identified.
Black holes cannot be seen, they are so dark to the eye and to any tools used by astronomers that they simply cannot be seen. In this case, the red star can be observed, with a telescope system inside a NASA satellite that is in charge of searching for planets outside our solar system.
How was the discovery?
For starters, the findings have been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society by various researchers. Although some data already existed, it had not been analyzed correctly, and in that way. They detected that there was something that could not be seen orbiting next to the red star, causing its light to change in intensity and appearance in some places.
They noticed that something was pulling the red giant and changing its shape, which is known as tidal distortion, which serves to be aware that something is affecting the star. One of the options handled was that of a black hole, but it had to be very small and there was not much precedent for one like that to exist. With the speed of the same, the period of orbit and the distortion shape, the mass of the hole was found.
“Just as the Moon’s gravity distorts the Earth’s oceans, causing the seas to swell toward and away from the Moon, producing high tides, the black hole distorts the star in a way similar to a soccer ball with one axis longer than the other, “explains study co-author Todd Thompson, chairman of the Ohio State department of astronomy, in a statement.
He is a reinforcement for those who did not explain why they did not find black holes. These researchers believed that it was possible to find some so small and that led them to the ‘Unicorn’. It is a breakthrough that supports existing theories and hypotheses in this field.