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Business News/ Science / News/  ‘Sleeping giant’ Black Hole discovered that is 33 times bigger than the Sun: Here's what European Space Agency says
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‘Sleeping giant’ Black Hole discovered that is 33 times bigger than the Sun: Here's what European Space Agency says

When going through data ESA scientists discovered the star was locked in an orbital motion with a dormant black hole of exceptionally high mass, about 33 times that of the Sun.

When a black hole does not have a companion close enough to steal matter from, it does not generate any light and is extremely difficult to spot. These black holes are called ‘dormant’.Premium
When a black hole does not have a companion close enough to steal matter from, it does not generate any light and is extremely difficult to spot. These black holes are called ‘dormant’.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has uncovered a ‘sleeping giant’ black hole, while looking through data from the ESA Gaia mission. The space agency informed that they uncovered the large black hole that is thirty three times bigger than the Sun.

The ESA further informed that the sleeping giant black hole is only 2000 light-years away from Earth.

“This is the first time a black hole of stellar origin this big has been spotted in our galaxy Milky Way", ESA exclaimed.

The ESA says this giant Black Hole had been hiding in the constellation Aquila.

ESA explains that matter in a black hole is so densely packed that nothing can escape its immense gravitational pull, not even light.

The greater majority of stellar-mass black holes that are known to gobble up masses of a nearby companion star. 

Scientists further explain that the captured material falls onto the collapsed object at high speed, becoming extremely hot and releasing X-rays. These systems belong to a family of celestial objects named X-ray binaries.

When a black hole does not have a companion close enough to steal matter from, it does not generate any light and is extremely difficult to spot. These black holes are called ‘dormant’.

When going through data ESA scientists discovered the star was locked in an orbital motion with a dormant black hole of exceptionally high mass, about 33 times that of the Sun.

This is the third dormant black hole found with Gaia and was aptly named ‘Gaia BH3’, says  ESA.

Its discovery is very exciting because of the mass of the object. “This is the kind of discovery you make once in your research life," exclaims Pasquale Panuzzo of CNRS, Observatoire de Paris, in France, who is the lead author of this finding. “So far, black holes this big have only ever been detected in distant galaxies by the LIGO–Virgo–KAGRA collaboration, thanks to observations of gravitational waves."

The average mass of known black holes of stellar origin in our galaxy is around 10 times the mass of our Sun. Until now, the weight record was held by a black hole in an X-ray binary in the Cygnus constellation (Cyg X-1), whose mass is estimated to be around 20 times that of the Sun.

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Published: 18 Apr 2024, 06:54 PM IST
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