- A team of astronomers analyzed and modeled the Hyades cluster, a group of stars located 150 light-years away.
- As a result of modeling, it was discovered that two or three stellar-mass black holes may be hiding in the Hyades cluster.
We know of only around 20 stellar-mass black holes in our galaxy, and the closest candidate to Earth is located about 1,565 light-years away. But a new study suggests that black holes may be much closer than we know, even on our cosmic doorstep.
“Our simulations can only simultaneously match the mass and size of the Hyades if some black holes were present today (or until recently) at the center of the cluster,” said astrophysicist Stefano Torniamenti of the University of Padua in Italy. says.
Hyades, visible to the naked eye in the Taurus constellation at night; It consists of a group of stars, known as an open cluster, that share the same characteristics and move together in space as a gravitationally bound cluster.
The Hyades is thought to be about 625 million years old and contains hundreds of stars, with those farthest from the center beginning to break away, while those at the center are most densely grouped.
Astronomers predict that black holes, the end products of these interactions, may be found here at the heart of star clusters.
Torniamenti and his colleagues conducted their research in the Hyades indirectly. They modeled the cluster’s mass and stellar motions using data from Gaia, a satellite that maps the three-dimensional positions and velocities of stars in the Milky Way. They then ran simulations to reproduce these observations.
These black holes are either still in the cluster or were ejected less than 150 million years ago; So they must be wandering around the outskirts of the cluster right now.
Researchers have not been able to determine the exact locations of the black holes themselves. But they say this finding strongly indicates that the Hyades contains the closest candidate black holes to the Solar system, 10 times closer than the previous candidate.
“This observation helps us understand how the presence of black holes affects the evolution of star clusters and how star clusters contribute to gravitational wave sources,” said astrophysicist Mark Gieles from the University of Barcelona. says.
Compiled by: Görkem Süner