Black hole breakthrough as ‘millions could be hiding in plain sight’

If a model of the Milky Way was scaled so that Earth and the Sun were only a hair’s width apart, HR 6819 would be about four miles away.

But in the grand scheme of the galaxy, which is more than 100,000 light-years across, the black hole is quite close, and it suggests the Milky Way is littered with black holes.

European Southern Observatory (ESO) scientist Thomas Rivinius, who led the study, said: “If you find one that is very close to you, and you assume you’re not special, then they must be out there everywhere.”

Experts from the ESO said the black hole is relatively small, being just four times as massive as the Sun, and were shocked to find it.

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