Astronomers had a big break recently when a few of them found the closest known Black Hole to Earth using the International Gemini Observatory. The observatory is run by the NSF’s NOIRLab in the United States and as per its calculations, the Black Hole lies at a distance of only 1,600 light years away from the Earth.

It is also the first time a dormant stellar Black Hole has been discovered inside the Milky Way galaxy, which remains at a very close distance from Earth in terms of interstellar proximity.

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“Take the Solar System, put a Black Hole where the Sun is, and the Sun where the Earth is, and you get this system,” Kareem El-Badry, who works as an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy said.

“While there have been many claimed detections of systems like this, almost all these discoveries have subsequently been refuted. This is the first unambiguous detection of a Sun-like star in a wide orbit around a stellar-mass Black Hole in our Galaxy,” he added in a research paper which was published by the Royal Astronomical Society.

The team of astronomers who discovered the Black Hole did so using the Gemini North telescope situated in Hawaii. The Black Hole has since been named ‘Gaia BH1’.

Black Holes are classified into several types depending on their sizes, the biggest of which is called Supermassive Black Holes, which can be found in the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy. These Supermassive Black Holes can be billions or even trillion times the size of our Sun.

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However, as per the scientists who made the discovery, Gaia BH1 is around 10 times the size of our Sun and is situated in the Ophiuchus constellation. The previously thought closest Black Hole was situated in the Monoceros constellation.

The team of scientists made close observation of a Sun-like star which orbited the Black Hole at approximately the same distance between the Earth and the Sun. The distance between the Sun and the Earth is 1 AU (Astronomical Unit), or about 150 million kilometres.