Astronomers have discovered what is believed to be the closest black hole on Earth, and once confirmed, it is among the smallest black holes ever found. This cosmic object is the dark companion of the red giant star V723 Mon in the constellation Monsoros of Unicorn.
For this and the fact that it is very rare, it has been named “The Unicorn”. Unicorns are estimated to be about three times the mass of our Sun – too small for blackhole values - and located just 1,500 light-years from the Solar System, still inside the Milky Way.
Its collaborators are roughly the same mass, but there is no interaction between the two, such as the black hole binary Cygnus X-1. In that case the black hole is stealing material from its collaborator and in doing so it produces X-rays. In this case, researchers spotted the V723 somewhat abruptly on Monday, affecting its shape and suspecting that the gravitational pull of the unicorn was gently tagging its counterpart, changing its shape and changing the light it emits. Co-author Todd Thompson, chair of Ohio State’s astronomy department explained, “Just as the moon’s gravity distorts the Earth’s oceans, turns the oceans toward the moon, and creates high tides, so does a black hole distort the star with one axis at a longer length.”
“The simplest explanation is that it’s a black hole – and this is probably the simplest explanation.” The variability of stars has been identified by many observers both on land and in space, but it has never been blamed for the potential effects of any small non-interactive black holes. It happened recently that astronomers considered black holes to have such a small mass.
“When we look at the data, this black hole – the unicorn – has just popped out,” said Tarindu Jaysinghe, lead author of a study published in the Royal Astronomical Society’s Monthly Notice. The discovery of the unicorn is important because it is located in the so-called “low mass gap”. Based on our physics, black holes created in supernovae contain a certain range of potential people. Astronomers have reported a unique lack of observations of these small black holes, with some suggestion that they do not even exist.
Unicorns now show that they are out. Assistant co-author Professor Chris Stanek added, “When you look at it differently, you find different things to do with what we’re doing.” Tarindu looked at the fact that so many more people looked at it and Said, “Well, what if it could be a black hole?” Welcome to the neighborhood, Unicorn.