Astronomy Nearby Black Hole Sun Star Orbit
Unlike this mysterious black hole on Google Maps, astronomers have discovered a nearby black hole that is being orbited by a sun-like star located 1,570 light-years from Earth. Officially known as Gaia DR3 4373465352415301632, this star is ten-times as massive as the Sun, but slightly cooler, and found in the constellation Ophiuchus.

This star makes a ellipse in the sky every 185.6 days and found by astronomers when they obtained spectra of Gaia DR3 4373465352415301632 using several different ground-based telescopes that measured the star’s Doppler shift as it orbited the black hole. There are other black holes in orbit with regular stars, but none this widely separated, as this one is approximately as far from the black hole as Mars is from the Sun.

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Astronomy Nearby Black Hole Sun Star Orbit

I’ve been searching for dormant black holes for the last four years using a wide range of datasets and methods. My previous attempts turned up a diverse menagerie of binaries that masquerade as black holes, but this was the first time the search has borne fruit,” said Kareem El-Badry, a Harvard Society Fellow astrophysicist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).


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