Astronomers believe that supermassive black holes formed as soon as the first seconds after the Big Bang. Credit: NASA and M. Weiss (Chandra X-ray Center)

Closest Black Holes to Earth Identified

Recent findings hint at the potential discovery of the nearest black holes to our planet, changing our understanding of these enigmatic celestial objects.


Recent findings published in the “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” suggest the presence of multiple black holes within the Hyades cluster, making them potentially the nearest black holes to Earth ever identified.

This groundbreaking research stems from a joint effort spearheaded by Stefano Torniamenti of the University of Padua, Italy. Other notable contributors include Mark Gieles from the University of Barcelona’s Institute of Cosmos Sciences and the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia, as well as Friedrich Anders from ICCUB-IEEC. This pivotal discovery occurred during Torniamenti’s research tenure at ICCUB, a core unit of the IEEC.

The Mystery of Black Holes

Black holes have long captivated researchers globally, particularly the lesser-known smaller black holes, which often come into focus during gravitational wave detections. Since the initial identification of gravitational waves in 2015, numerous events, typically low-mass black hole mergers, have been observed.


The research team utilized simulations, mapping the movement and evolution of stars in the Hyades, situated approximately 150 light-years or 45 parsecs away. These simulations were then juxtaposed with real-time positions and velocities acquired by the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite. As Stefano Torniamenti articulates, the study’s simulations mirror the Hyades’ mass and size most accurately when several black holes are either currently at or were recently in the cluster’s core.

Notably, the most congruent findings suggest the existence of two to three black holes in the Hyades. While some simulations hint at black holes being ejected recently, the cluster’s evolution would still bear signs of its prior black hole inhabitants.

Implications for the Future

These revelations indicate that the black holes originating from Hyades likely remain within or close to the cluster, thus positioning them nearer to the sun than previously known candidates like Gaia BH1. Leveraging the advanced capabilities of the Gaia space telescope, researchers have acquired an unprecedented view of the open cluster stars’ positions and velocities.


Mark Gieles, affiliated with the UB Department of Quantum Physics and Astrophysics, stated, “These results provide insights into the interplay between black holes and star cluster evolution and broaden our understanding of the distribution of these mysterious entities across the galaxy.”

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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