Only 1500 light years away

Only 1500 light years away

An international research team has been working on 3-D mapping of the Milky Way over the past decade.

They used data from the Gaia space telescope, a major investment by the European Space Agency (ESA). The researchers found 168,065 stars that initially looked like one of two celestial bodies orbiting each other.

GAIA: This space telescope is used to measure the speed, position, distance and brightness of various stars and planets in the Milky Way. Photo: AFP/NTB
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However, one of the stars was more interested than the others, according to the Danish newspaper Extra Magazine.

Closer than anything else

The star’s original name was Gaia DR3 4373465352415301632, but it was shortened to Gaia BH1.

The star, or black hole, is closer to Earth than anything else observed so far.

It is only 1500 light years away from Earth.

Hope to find more

In 2019, a central black hole was discovered in the Milky Way. For comparison, it was 27,000 light-years away from Earth, as the Danes write Sciences.

Gaia BH1 is not only the closest to Earth – it’s also the first star not detected via X-rays.

This discovery gives researchers hope that they can now find more black holes using the new method.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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