Where is the nearest black hole?
I am a student in physics at Bishop Luers High School, Fort Wayne, Indiana. We have been studying physics and this is part of an assignment from my teacher. Here is my question: How far away is the closest black hole?
The closest known black holes are stellar mass black holes in our galaxy. These black holes have so far only been seen when they are in close contact with another star which is orbiting around them (well really they orbit each other). The black hole accretes material from the star and this produces a lot of energy. When jets are produced the systems are known as microquasars (by analogy with extragalactic quasars) and can be observed at many wavelengths, but usually are most distinctive in X-rays.
Here is a page with a summary of known microquasars. Note: not all black hole systems that are known are microquasars.
All of these microquasars are within about 24 thousand light years of Earth. As of now the closest known one is thought to lie at about 1,600 light years from Earth. You can read about it in this space.com article.
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
- Could an astronaut or satellite fall into a black hole that we didn't know about?
- What are the closest and/or brightest stars?
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 45353 times since March 3, 2003.
Last modified: March 5, 2003 1:37:28 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)