HomePOPULARLargest Stellar Black Hole in Milky Way Discovered by Astronomers

Largest Stellar Black Hole in Milky Way Discovered by Astronomers

A groundbreaking discovery has been made in the depths of the Milky Way, as astronomers have identified the largest stellar black hole ever found in our galaxy. Named Gaia BH3, this cosmic giant boasts a mass 33 times that of our Sun, marking a significant milestone in astrophysical research.

The revelation of Gaia BH3 came about unexpectedly, thanks to data collected by the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission. Pasquale Panuzzo, an astronomer from the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the Observatoire de Paris, explained that Gaia’s mission to map the Milky Way provided the serendipitous discovery of this colossal black hole. Situated 2,000 light years away from Earth in the Aquila constellation, Gaia BH3 has now captured the attention of scientists worldwide.

Utilizing Gaia’s precise telescope, astronomers were able to analyze the orbits of stars and accurately measure the mass of Gaia BH3’s invisible companion, revealing its staggering mass of 33 solar masses. Subsequent observations from ground-based telescopes confirmed the presence of this stellar black hole, surpassing the size of any known black holes within our galaxy.

Mr. Panuzzo expressed the astonishment of the scientific community, stating, “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.”

The detection of Gaia BH3 was made possible when scientists observed a distinct “wobbling” motion exhibited by the companion star orbiting the black hole. This unique behavior indicated the presence of an unseen, massive celestial object exerting gravitational influence.

Unlike supermassive black holes found in the centers of galaxies, Gaia BH3 is classified as a “dormant” black hole, emitting no X-rays due to its distance from its companion star. Its inactive state poses challenges for detection, making its discovery all the more remarkable.

Gaia BH3 joins the ranks of other inactive black holes previously identified in the Milky Way, further expanding our understanding of the cosmos. The Gaia mission continues to unravel the mysteries of the universe, providing invaluable insights into the celestial bodies that populate our galaxy.

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