(Submitted September 13, 2001)
Where is the closest black hole and how far away is it?
It is actually difficult to determine the distance to black holes,
but a nearby object believed to be a black hole from observations of strong
X-ray emission is Cygnus X-1, located about 8000 light years away. Cyg X-1
is an ordinary star that is believed to be orbiting a black hole. There
are other nearby candidates for black holes which include :
GRO J0422+32 =V518 Per 1.39 kpc or 2 kpc
A0620-00 = V616 Mon 0.87 kpc or 1.05 kpc
XTE J1118+480 0.83 kpc or 1.8 kpc
(kpc stands for kiloparsec, or approximately 3250 light years)
Hope this helps,
Georgia & Koji
For "Ask an Astrophysicist"