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A Nearby Small Dark Unicorn

28 Apr 2021, 21:19 UTC
A Nearby Small Dark Unicorn
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Title: A Unicorn in Monoceros: the 3M☉ dark companion to the bright, nearby red giant V723 Mon is a non-interacting, mass-gap black hole candidateAuthors: T. Jayasinghe, K. Z. Stanek, Todd A. Thompson, C. S. Kochanek, D. M. Rowan, P. J. Vallely, K. G. Strassmeier, M. Weber, J. T. Hinkle, F.-J. Hambsch, D. Martin, J. L. Prieto, T. Pessi, D. Huber, K. Auchettl, L. A. Lopez, I. Ilyin, C. Badenes, A. W. Howard, H. Isaacson, S. J. MurphyFirst Author’s Institution: Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OhioStatus: Accepted for publication in MNRAS, pre-print available on the arxivAstronomers have detected a nearby, small, dark unicorn. And by that I of course mean they have discovered the closest, and one of the smallest, black holes on record.
The Curious Case of V723 MonV723 Mon is a nearby (d ~ 460 pc, 1500 ly) red giant star located in the Monoceros, or “Unicorn,” constellation. It is a known variable star that was first discovered by the Hipparcos mission. V723 Mon was originally classified as an eclipsing binary, which is a binary star whose brightness varies periodically as the two components pass in front of each other. However, a team of astronomers led ...

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