A truly GIANT black hole—around 100,000 times bigger than our Sun—has been found at the center of the Milky Way. It is the second largest black hole ever seen in the Milky Way Galaxy after the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*.
The new, monstrous black hole, was discovered by Japanese astronomers hiding in a toxic gas cloud located some 25,000 light-years from Earth. The Black Hole is located around 195 light-years from the center of the Milky Way.
The discovery took place as astronomers studied the movements of toxic cloud gases with the ALMA (Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array) telescope, composed of 66 radio telescopes and located in the Chilean mountain range of Atacama.
Research showed that the molecules of the cloud were being kidnapped by strong gravitational forces, which could be explained by a black hole in a surrounding area of 1.4 billion kilometers.
Although the discovery has not yet been confirmed, other observations have captured radio waves indicating that there may be a black hole in the center of the toxic cloud and this could be the first intermediate mass black hole found in the Milky Way, reported Nature Astronomy.
“Based on the careful analysis of gas kinematics, we concluded a compact object with a mass of about 100,000 solar masses is lurking in this cloud,” Tomoharu Oka, a Japanese astronomer in charge of published research said.
Intermediate-mass black holes were believed to exist but have never been identified until now say experts.
It is believed that supermassive black holes are one of the most essential parts to the creation of galaxies, stars—and even life itself.
According to scientists each of the black holes is around half a percent of the size of the host galaxies size, which suggests that these black holes are in fact the driving force behind galactic evolution.
The new discovery was detailed in the Journal Nature Astronomy and offers important insight into how supermassive black holes—like the one recently discovered—at the center of our galaxy were created.
Despite the fact that black holes reside in all galaxies we aren’t really sure as to how they get so big.
Experts have trouble identifying black holes in the universe—mostly because they are completely black, hence BLACK holes—but they can see the effects black holes cause.
Black Holes are regions in space that have very powerful gravitational fields that allow them to absorb all light that passes near them, and they don’t reflect anything.
Tomoharu Oka said the newly discovered black hole could be the nucleus of an old dwarf galaxy that was cannibalized during the formation of the Milky Way billions of years ago.
Professor Oka thinks that in time this intermediate mass black hole will move towards Sagittarius A * and that the already supermassive black hole will merge the newly discovered one, becoming even bigger than it is now.
“One possible scenario is intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) – which are formed by the runaway coalescence of stars in young compact star clusters – merge at the center of a galaxy to form a supermassive black hole. Although many candidates for IMBHs have been proposed none is accepted as definitive. Recently we discovered a peculiar molecular cloud near the center of our Milky Way galaxy,” said professor Oka.
So far, they are all indications and it has not been possible to confirm the finding or its importance although the investigation has opened new fronts to find out the origin of these elements.
Featured image by ErikShoemaker