Black holes were once considered just a sci-fi concept, and their existence was first theorized by the German physicist Karl Schwarzschild more than a century ago. But that description of the cosmic monsters lacked a significant part of what characterizes a black hole. It was needed for David Finkelstein’s work from the ’50s, an emeritus physics professor, so that humanity began to know about the most intriguing feature of black holes: their ability to capture forever anything that gets too close, including light.
Later on, 1964 marked a crucial achievement in science: the discovery of the first black hole known as Cygnus X-1. Located at about 7,200 light-years away from Earth, according to the latest research, Cygnus X-1 is one of the nearest black holes to us. Since we all know that getting too close to such a cosmic conundrum would trap anyone and anything forever, we can only hope for black holes to stay as far away from us as possible.
Cygnus X-1 is 21 times our Sun’s mass
New research reveals that the black hole Cygnus X-1 is more massive than scientists initially thought. The object is 21 times the mass of our Sun, as learningenglish.voanews.com informs. That means that the black hole is about 50 percent more massive than previously thought.
Cygnus X-1 falls into the category of stellar-mass black holes since it has the mass of a single star. There are other three types of black holes out there in the vast Universe: intermediate, miniature, and supermassive. The largest black holes are obviously the supermassive ones, and a good example is Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole from the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy.
Cygnus X-1 is also one of the strongest X-ray sources detected from Earth, and scientists believe that it became a black hole several tens of thousands of years ago.