Milky Way’s biggest stellar-mass black hole lurks close to Earth

The Milky Way has a big newfound black hole, and it lurks close to Earth! This sleeping giant was discovered with the European space telescope Gaia, which tracks the motion of billions of stars in our galaxy. 

Stellar-mass black holes are created when a large star runs out of fuel and collapses. The new discovery is a landmark, representing the first time that a big black hole with such an origin has been found close to Earth.

The stellar-mass black hole, designated Gaia-BH3, is 33 times more massive than our  sun. The previous most massive black hole of this class found in the Milky Way was 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. The average stellar-mass black hole in the Milky Way is about 10 times heftier than the sun.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *