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Thursday May 23, 2024

Black hole, 33 times bigger than sun, found close to Earth

Gaia BH3 is the second-closest black hole to Earth

By Web Desk
April 16, 2024

Massive black hole named Gaia BH3 has been detected lurking near our Earth, merely 2,000 light years away, Sky News reported.

Pasquale Panuzzo, an astronomer from the National Centre for Scientific Research at the Observatoire de Paris, said, "No one was expecting to find a high-mass black hole lurking nearby, undetected so far. This is the kind of discovery you make once in your research life."

Gaia BH3 is the second-closest black hole to Earth and is in the Aquila constellation. Aquila means "eagle" in Latin.

The black hole was discovered after scientists form the European Southern Observatory's Gaia mission noticed a wobbly star orbiting the area.

Black holes are formed when a star collapses. Scientists believe the wobbly star will provide important insight in to the formation of the black hole.

How are black holes formed?

As stars reach the end of their lives, most of them inflate to become "white dwarfs".

However, when a dying star doesn’t have enough mass or heavy elements, instead of changing into white dwarfs, they collapse, turning into a black hole. These low mass stars are also known as "metal-poor" stars.

Earlier this year, scientists discovered the oldest black hole, dating back almost 13 billion years ago.