The Milky Way is expected to be full of black holes, but by their very nature they do not emit light, so finding them is quite difficult. They are usually caught indirectly, whether they study the movement of things around them or whether they are devouring matter. Now a new black hole was seen thanks to the effects he had on an interstellar gas cloud.

As reported in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the researchers witnessed the peculiar movements of HCN - 0.009-0.044, a gas cloud near the center of the Milky Way, about 25,000 light-years away. The team used the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array) to observe the gas in high resolution and found that the cloud revolved around a very dense object.

"Detailed kinematic analysis revealed that a huge mass, 30,000 times greater than that of the Sun, was concentrated in a region much smaller than our Solar System. This and the lack of any object observed at that location strongly suggests an intermediate hole, "said Shunya Takekawa of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

Only a part of black holes of intermediate mass is known. Most black holes are sometimes the mass of the Sun or more supermassive, like Sagittarius A * in the center of the Milky Way. Supermassive black holes can be millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun, and we still have many doubts about how they formed. One theory suggests that, in the initial universe, large black holes formed more easily and, as they merged, became larger and larger. It seems they can continue to grow by swallowing black holes of intermediate mass like this discovered now.

"It is significant that this intermediate mass black hole was found only 20 light-years from the supermassive black hole at the galactic center," said study co-author Tomoharu Oka of Keio University.

This is not the first intermediate-mass black hole discovered by the team in this way. In September 2017, for example, they published observations of a gas cloud around a black hole 100,000 times the mass of the Sun. [IFLS ]

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