ESOcast 146 Light: Odd Behaviour of Star Reveals Black Hole in Giant Star Cluster (4K UHD)

Astronomers using ESO’s MUSE instrument on the Very Large Telescope in Chile have discovered a star in the cluster NGC 3201 that is behaving very strangely. It appears to be orbiting an invisible black hole with about four times the mass of the Sun — the first such inactive stellar-mass black hole found in a globular cluster.

This important discovery impacts on our understanding of the formation of these star clusters, black holes, and the origins of gravitational wave events.

This short ESOcast takes a look at this discovery and its significance.

The video is available in 4K UHD.

The ESOcast Light is a series of short videos bringing you the wonders of the Universe in bite-sized pieces. The ESOcast Light episodes will not be replacing the standard, longer ESOcasts, but complement them with current astronomy news and images in ESO press releases.



Editing: Nico Bartmann.
Web and technical support: Mathias André and Raquel Yumi Shida.
Written by: Rosa Jesse, Nicole Shearer and Richard Hook.
Music: Music written and performed by: John Stanford (
Footage and photos: ESO, Luís Calçada, spaceengine (
Directed by: Nico Bartmann.
Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen.

About the Video

Release date:17 January 2018, 12:00
Related releases:eso1802
Duration:01 m 20 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object

Name:NGC 3201
Type:Milky Way : Star : Grouping : Cluster : Globular

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