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Ep. 40, Page 53
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Comic 3099 - Ep. 40, Page 53

6th May 2020, 7:43 PM in Episode 40 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
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Author Notes:

smbhax 6th May 2020, 7:43 PM edit delete
smbhax
"Nearest black hole to Earth discovered" - The BBC reports that scientists with the ESO have spotted, only 1000 light years away (for comparison, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy is about 26,000 light years away), two stars "orbiting an unseen object every 40 days"; calculations show that it would take a mass four times the mass of our Sun to make those stars whirl in tight orbits like that; the object cannot be seen, thus, it must be a black hole.

The article points out that most black holes are detected by bursts of energy from material falling into the black hole, which is far easier to spot than watching the motions of stars over time. Our galaxy's central supermassive black hole, radio source A*, was confirmed by the star-orbit method, though—this is necessary when the hole is not actively feeding.

This new black hole is the closest known black hole to Earth. But, says a scientist quoted in the article, "In the Milky Way, the idea is that there should be about 100 million black holes. So there should be perhaps a couple more that are closer by still."

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The original 16" x 6.75" watercolor art for today's new A* page is up for auction on eBay. : )