(ETH) – Dubbed the “Unicorn”, Astronomers have reportedly discovered one of the smallest black holes to date, and it is positioned just 1,500 light-years away from earth which also makes it the closest one to Earth found so far.
According to the report, the name was granted in part because of the rarity of its discovery. However, it is also because it was discovered in the constellation Monoceros, which means unicorn. This black hole is said to be three times the mass of our sun, the size is considered tiny for a black hole.
“The Unicorn” appears to be a companion to a red giant star, which is how scientists were able to find it, the university’s release said. Since black holes aren’t visible, researchers were able to locate this one after analyzing data documenting certain changes in the companion star.
“When we looked at the data, this black hole – the Unicorn – just popped out,” said lead author Tharindu Jayasinghe, a doctoral student in astronomy at Ohio State.