A black hole is a mysterious place where the laws of physics people are familiar with stop working. Black holes appear when massive stars collapse under their own weight. The gravitational field of the newly formed object is so powerful that even light, including X-rays, can’t escape it. Every black hole has an invisible line-in-the-sand. Cross it – and you won’t be able to escape, even if you’re a beam of light. Beyond the point of no return, the gravity is just too strong. It’s called the event horizon.
There’s a black hole about 1,000 light-years away from the Earth. That’s almost 6 thousand, million, million miles. On the scale of the Universe, it’s right next door. More than four times the mass of our Sun, this medium-sized monster is surrounded by streams of gas. There are two stars nearby. Scientists think this newly discovered black hole might be the nearest to Earth. It’s also the only system with a black hole visible to the unaided eye. Good news – you’re going to visit it right now!
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