Epoch J2000 Equinox J2000
|06h 22m 44.503s|
|Declination||-00° 20′ 44.72″|
|Variable type||X-ray nova, Ellipsoidal|
|Radial velocity (Rv)||-5 ± 12 km/s|
|Distance||5460 ± 1400 ly |
(1677 ± 428 pc)
|Inclination (i)||50.98 ± 0.87°|
|457 ± 8 km/s|
|Mass||6.61 ± 0.25 M☉|
|Mass||0.40 ± 0.045 M☉|
A0620-00 consists of two objects. The first object is a K-type main-sequence star with a spectral type of K5 V. The second object cannot be seen, but based on its calculated mass of 6.6 M☉, it is too massive to be a neutron star and must therefore be a stellar-mass black hole. At a distance of about roughly 3,300 light-years (1,000 parsecs) away, this would make A0620-00 the nearest-known black hole to the Solar System, closer than GRO J1655-40. The two objects orbit each other every 7.75 hours.
A0620-00 has undergone two X-ray outbreaks. The first one was in 1917. The second time, in 1975, the burst was detected by the Ariel 5 satellite. During that time, A0620-00 was the brightest X-ray point source. It is now classified as an X-ray nova.
The black hole in A0620-00 pulls matter from the K-type star into an accretion disk. The accretion disk emits significant amounts of visible light and X-rays. Because the K-type star has been pulled into an ellipsoidal shape, the amount of surface area visible, and thus the apparent brightness, changes from the Earth's perspective. A0620-00 also bears the variable star designation V616 Monocerotis.
On 15 June 2018, a signal was transmitted from the European Space Agency big radio antenna at Cebreros Station (77 kilometers west of Madrid, Spain), in memory of Stephen Hawking, who died on 14 March 2018, and his work on the physics of black holes. The broadcast will travel the 3,457-light-year distance at the speed of light and will arrive in the year 5475; this will be the first-ever human interaction with a black hole. 1A 0620-00 was chosen for this broadcast as it is the closest currently known black hole to Earth.