A huge black hole was detected, a hundred times more massive than the Sun, found hidden in a cloud of toxic gas near the center of the Milky Way.
If the finding is indeed confirmed, the invisible black hole will be the second largest detected in the Milky Way, after the known Sagittarius A *, which is anchored in the center of the galaxy. Japanese astronomers made the discovery when they used a powerful telescope in the Atacama Desert in Chile to analyze the strange movements of the gas cloud. The gases in this cloud include hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide and, unlike other interstellar clouds, their gases move at different speeds.
The observations of the telescope in Chile showed that the molecules in the elliptical cloud, which is 200 light-years from the center of the Milky Way, were attracted by gravitational forces. What is the most likely cause for a black hole to be no more than 1.4 trillion kilometers.
Scientists also suspected that a black hole was in the middle of the gas cloud, when other observations captured radio waves indicative of a black hole, said Tomoharu Oka, an astronomer at Keio University in Tokyo.
“This is the first holding of an intermediate mass black hole in the Milky Way”, he added.
The black holes of intermediate mass are a gap in the knowledge of astronomers, the smaller, arise from particular types of stars explode in their end of life. Astronomers know that the largest black holes are usually at the center of large galaxies, such as the Milky Way, but what is unknown is how these black holes form.
“We think that some black holes are the seed from which large black holes grow at least a million times more massive.This growth occurs in part by the fusion of several black holes and also by the accumulation of material from the galaxy that surrounds the black hole” , explained Brooke Simmons of the University of California, San Diego. He is not involved in the research but called it “a careful detective job”.
Tomoharu Oka further explained that, over time, the newly discovered new black hole will sink into Sagittarius A * which will make it an even larger and more massive black hole in the center of the Milky Way.