The news has been filled this week with the discovery of the closest known black hole to Earth—a cool 1,000 light-years away from our planet, hiding in plain sight. Some reports have said the two-star system called HR 6819ry orbiting this black hole can be seen with the naked eye. Astronomers believe there may be a lot more of these elusive celestial objects hiding in plain sight.
“There must be hundreds of millions of black holes out there, but we know about only very few,” lead study author Thomas Rivinius, of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), told NPR.
‘A black hole could cause an asteroid storm that destroys Earth’
Startlingly, the idea that a Black Hole could come close to our solar system was predicted in the novel ASTEROIDS – Bridge to Nowhere.
The concept of how a black hole could cause an asteroid storm that destroys Earth was provided to the author by Dr. Joe Nuth of the Goddard Space Flight Center.
This section of the novel was written in January 2017 with help and guidance from Dr. Nuth
Snippets from Chapter 14:
“A fast-moving stellar black hole could pass beyond the Kuiper belt, unseen. A black hole doesn’t give off any light. We’d never see it coming!”
“When you hear the words black hole, most people jump to the conclusion that black holes are always massive monsters chewing up planets, solar systems, and galaxies with all matter being dragged into its super-dense gravitational jaws. Surely, if a black hole passed near Earth, we’d be sucked into oblivion. Not necessarily. It depends on many factors; black holes come in all sizes and densities. The purpose of my grant is to conduct the research, to gather data, and to prove a black hole caused the increase in activity being observed. I hope to determine its size, density, and track the orbit of the black hole to determine the potential danger to our solar system and Earth.”
“…not all black holes are stationary. Some move through space. They can move at incredible speeds, up to five million miles per hour. Can you imagine the mayhem a fast-moving black hole might cause as it jets through space sucking up all matter in its path? I believe a black hole passed through the outer solar system moving in a retrograde, or a clockwise, orbit—which is the opposite direction of our solar system. The gravitational attraction of the black hole caused the typical pro-grade orbital velocities of comets, and other Kuiper belt objects, to slow causing them to lose orbit and drop into the inner solar system.”
“…the Kuiper belt lies beyond the orbit of Neptune. It includes forty thousand objects larger than sixty miles in diameter, not to mention dwarf planets and a trillion other objects. As the black hole passed beyond the Kuiper belt, it would have disrupted and slowed the orbit of the belt’s objects, causing them to drop into the inner solar system. Millions of objects could have suffered this gravitational misfortune, sending a vast cascade of comets and rocky bodies to the inner solar system.…