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Our neighbouring black hole – Skywatching

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Black holes are rather terrifying objects.

If a star, planet, dust, or other matter gets too close, it will fall there. There is an intense flash of radiation and nothing returns. At the center of a galaxy like ours is a black hole with millions of times the mass of the Sun. There are many much smaller black holes with less mass that formed during the eventual collapse and explosion of dying massive stars.

Astronomers believe there are about 100 million of these scattered throughout the galaxy. This indicates that there may be one or two in our immediate vicinity. In fact, I recently discovered something. The distance is about 1600 light years. it’s close Some of the stars visible to the unaided eye in the night sky are farther away than that.

This new discovery has not been seen directly. Black holes are small, black, and invisible against a black background sky. The search must use an indirect method. Black holes are perhaps the strangest objects in nature. However, the recipe for making them is simple. Material lumps, gravity, and initial compression to initiate shrinkage.

The strength of gravity on the surface of an object depends on two factors: mass and size. For a given mass, the smaller the size, the stronger the gravitational force pushing the body to contract. When you compress something enough, the force of gravity is stronger than the body’s ability to resist compression, causing it to contract. As contraction progresses, gravity becomes stronger and contraction continues.

Our current understanding, derived from observations of other things in space and what we can do in the laboratory, does not tell us where this runaway contraction ends. becomes so strong that even light cannot come out. How can I find these objects in this case?

One way is to look at X-rays, light, and other radiation. This is released as the material swirls and disappears into the hole. Our radio image of the black hole shows a dark region near the center surrounded by a glowing ring. This method works when black holes are consuming nearby stars, planets, and other matter.

However, there are many black holes that are not “feeding” and do not produce observable radiation. These are called “dormant” black holes. In this case, we look for a star that has the right mass for a black hole, but is orbiting an otherwise invisible object.

We see the stars in the center of the galaxy orbiting the central black hole. By measuring these trajectories, we can estimate the mass of the objects they are orbiting. This works even on a small scale. Many stars are members of multiple star systems, where two or more stars are born together, stay together, and orbit each other.

If a star in one of these systems becomes invisible, perhaps because it has become a black hole, its existence and mass can be determined by analyzing the orbits of its visible siblings. That’s how this nearby black hole was discovered.

Astronomers have discovered stars orbiting around invisible objects. After careful observation using various astronomical instruments, the invisible object was identified as a black hole. However, I still have a problem. The star that orbits with the black hole is a Sun-like star.

It seems that two stars were born together. One was much larger than the other. The giant glowed so brightly for millions of years before exploding into a black hole.

The other star had a mass similar to that of the Sun. Such stars survive billions of years. When a massive star exploded, it must have been around. A star like the Sun must have been destroyed, because the star is as close as the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

How he survived the explosion is a big mystery.


After sunset, Jupiter is to the southeast and Saturn to the south. Mars will rise later. The moon meets its first quarter on November 30th.

This article was written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect Castanet’s views.

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