Trou Noir Eso 1024x614

The closest black hole to Earth…wouldn’t be a black hole

In May 2020, ESO scientists claimed to have discovered the closest black hole to Earth, located about 1000 light years from our sun. This stellar black hole had been located in the two-star system HR6819 and its mass estimated at 4 times that of the sun. But lo and behold, the same ESO team led by Thomas Rivinius (and composed of astronomers from the European Southern Observatory) as well as scientists from KU Leuven (Belgium) claim today in an article published in Astronomy & Astrophysics that the black hole…is probably not one.

Black Hole Eso 1024x614

3D render of HR6819 binary system

After numerous recalculations and inevitably very complex analyses, astronomers now believe that HR 6819 is probably a “vampire two-star system” in a phase that is both rare and ephemeral in its evolution. “We agreed that there were two sources of light in the system, so the question was whether they orbit closely around each other, as in the bare star scenario, or are far apart l each other, as in the black hole scenario”

In the end, it is the first scenario that was favored, which does not detract from the exceptional nature of the observation: vampire binary systems are by definition “short” astronomical phenomena, and which are therefore extremely difficult to observe.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.