Scientists May Have Found Another Black Hole in the Milky Way

Black hole in milky way

A near-infrared image of a black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy as seen with Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS

It's a "mini-me" version of its neighbouring supermassive "cousin" - shedding light on how it formed.

So-called intermediate-mass black holes fill a gap in astronomer's knowledge of the most massive objects in the universe.

While astronomers were aware of their existence - until now, none had ever actually been identified.

Lying for about 25000 light years away from earth, how did the Milky way evolve??

Observations from the Alma telescope in Chile showed that molecules in the elliptical cloud, which is 200 light years from the centre of the Milky Way and 150 trillion kilometres wide, were being pulled around by vast gravitational forces. Uncovering their secrets is the "Holy Grail" of astronomy.

The intermediate-mass black holes are somewhere between the two in size and far less common. Now, they might have finally found one, and it suggests that our galaxy grew by cannibalizing other galaxies.

Oka also put forward the theory that this smaller - ha! - black hole will eventually be drawn towards Sagittarius A*, making the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy even more massive. While scientists have data supporting the existence of supermassive and small black holes, Science reports they lacked evidence of the mid-sized variety.


It's hard to find black holes - because they are completely black.

Artist impression of a black hole.

Professor Oka believes the newly found black hole may have managed to stay undetected because it is not bright, having insufficient mass accretion.

Astronomers detect the presence of a potential #black hole in our Galaxy. "It's the most promising evidence so far" for an intermediate mass black hole, says astronomer Kevin Schawinski of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. The cause of that, according to computer models, was a black hole no more than 1.4 trillion km across.

The leading theory is that they develop when IMBHs - which are created when multiple stars in young clusters collide - merge with others to form supermassive variants.

An enormous black hole one hundred thousand times more massive than the sun has been found hiding in a toxic gas cloud wafting around near the heart of the Milky Way. Additionally, the lack of any counterparts at other wavelengths at all suggests that it's an inactive IMBH that isn't now consuming any more matter or growing. The term itself did not come into use until 1967, and it was just 46 years ago that the first one was identified. "That growth should happen in part by mergers with other black holes", he said.

They conclude their paper by saying that such a discovery would make a considerable contribution to the progress of modern physics.

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