Which is the nearest known or suspected black hole from our solar system and how far is it from us? Is there an easily-viewed catalog that astronomers use to keep track of these?

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    $\begingroup$ -1 for lack of prior research: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nearest_black_holes $\endgroup$ – pela Sep 9 '17 at 13:25
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    $\begingroup$ We don't know how close the nearest black hole is. It is almost certainly invisible. See astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/4725/… $\endgroup$ – ProfRob Sep 9 '17 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ Looks like the nearest known one is still about 30,000 LY away, near galactic center: universetoday.com/137062/… $\endgroup$ – Wayfaring Stranger Sep 9 '17 at 15:17
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Statistically, what would the average distance of the closest black hole be? $\endgroup$ – James K Sep 9 '17 at 19:43
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    $\begingroup$ Wikipedia lists are not the final word on a given subject. I think a far better way to handle this question would be to cite a proper "astronomer-quality" list of black holes. Surely astronomers do not refer to Wikipedia articles as sources of reliable information. I also think that the question should be left OPEN and answered because it is of particular interest to future readers. My goodness I had no idea there were so many black holes so close by! Why would you insta-close and burry the question instead of up voting and answering it? SE is about good answers, not question target practice $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 10 '17 at 7:18

According to table 2 of Corral Santana (2015) (The BlackCAT catalogue of stellar mass black holes in X-ray transients - which other than gravitational waves, is how they are found), the nearest known black hole is the primary of the V616 Mon system (otherwise known as A0620-003) at a distance of $1.06 \pm 0.10$ kpc ($3460 \pm 390$ ly).

Black holes can only be found at present when they are in close binary systems with other stars (or black holes). This is the tiny minority of an estimated Galactic population of 100 million black holes.

The nearest black hole is likely invisible to us at present. A statistical estimate can be made (see my answer here) that the nearest will be within 20 pc or so, depending on the parent population and detailed physics of supernovae.

The online BlackCAT catalogue.

  • $\begingroup$ Love the name! :-) $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 10 '17 at 13:24

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