Scientists found the closest black hole to Earth called 'Unicorn'

Astronomers believe they have located the closest known black hole to Earth, and it's been given the nickname 'The Unicorn'.

1 minute & 15 seconds read time

Researchers believe they have found the closest known black hole to Earth, and they have slapped the name "unicorn" because it's so special.

Scientists found the closest black hole to Earth called 'Unicorn' 03

The supposed black hole that was found by researchers is located just 1,500 light-years away and is in the constellation Monoceros (the unicorn). The location of the black hole isn't the only reason why the black hole was called "The Unicorn". Another reason is that the black hole is very, very small, compared to other black holes.

The Unicorn resides next to a bloated red giant star that researchers observed that the light it was giving off was shifting periodically, which means that some other object was influencing the shape of the star - the tiny Unicorn black hole. By measuring the red giant star's influence from an outside object, researchers determined that the object that was influencing the red giant was a black hole with a mass of about three solar masses (three of our suns).

For comparison, the supermassive black hole located at the center of our galaxy (Sagittarius A) is about 4.3 million solar masses.

Study co-author Todd Thompson, chair of Ohio State's astronomy department, said, "Just as the moon's gravity distorts the Earth's oceans, causing the seas to bulge toward and away from the moon, producing high tides, so does the black hole distort the star into a football-like shape with one axis longer than the other. The simplest explanation is that it's a black hole - and in this case, the simplest explanation is the most likely one."

For more information on this story, check out this link here.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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