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Black Hole Closer to Earth Than Thought

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posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 01:47 PM
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I know this isn't necessarily something we need to worry about in our lifetime anyway... but is interesting none-the-less.

Source: Space.com



Astronomers have accurately measured the distance between Earth and a particular black hole for the first time. And wow, is it close.

The researchers determined that the black hole V404 Cygni is located 7,800 light-years from Earth — or just slightly more than half the distance that was previously assumed.

That puts it relatively nearby to Earth, where the distance to the center of the galaxy is about 26,000 light-years, and the nearest star beyond the sun is a mere 4.2 light-years away.

The more accurate distance measurement will enable scientists to paint a better picture of how black holes evolve, the team says.

"For example, we hope to be able to answer the question as to whether there is a difference between black holes that evolve directly from the collapse of a star without a supernova and black holes that evolve via a supernova and a temporary intermediate star," said study team member Peter Jonker of SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research.




The outermost layers of the star are being siphoned by the black hole. The swirling gas forms a hot plasma disk around the black hole before it disappears, and the process emits a lot of X-rays and radio waves.




posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 02:18 PM
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That's kind of weird. I just came from a class on Astronomy, and today we covered black holes. But they are really fascinating things. It's kind of weird to know one is just around the corner from earth (relative to the size of the universe).



posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 02:27 PM
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7,800 light years is hardly right around the corner.

One thing I find fascinating, they initially thought it was twice as far away?

What if it was and has moved that far? It is heading for us!


[edit on 12/15/2009 by endisnighe]



posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 02:35 PM
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reply to post by endisnighe
 


Not to be impolite, but relative to the rest of the universe, that is like a walk around the block. Only 3600 lightyears that is.



posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 02:42 PM
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Hopefully, we have developed the technology to prevent it from consuming us by the time it arrives.

But yeah, Black Holes really are fascinating.



posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 02:45 PM
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An international team of astronomers has accurately measured the distance from Earth to a black hole for the first time.



Great article, thanks for posting it.....



posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 09:49 PM
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I like the part where they said the old method of measuring had a margin of error equal to 50%, lol. If that doesn't make you chuckle a bit your dead inside



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