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Milky Way Black Hole Taking Huge Bite Out of Our Galaxy

05 September 2017, 10:13 | Francis Delgado

Supermassive black hole discovered near heart of the Milky Way

Long-rumored midsized black hole may be hiding out in the Milky Way

It is a giant "black hole" in the center of our galaxy, 100,000 times stronger than the sun, hidden behind a toxic gas nebula, 25,000 light-years from Earth!

Despite their popularity both in real science and science fiction the concept of a black hole has only been around for a hundred years - as predicted by Albert Einstein.

Over the years, scientists have found a lot of physical evidence of large and small black holes, but very little evidence for those in the mid-size range.

Intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) are considered the missing link in the evolution of the cosmic objects and could help explain how supermassive black holes are formed. Now, they might have finally found one, and it suggests that our galaxy grew by cannibalizing other galaxies.

It was found hiding in a cloud of molecular gas by Japanese astronomers using the Alma (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) 16,400 feet above sea level in the Andes in northern Chile. They found 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 huge gravitational forces.

The researchers are also reportedly working on identifying more black hole candidates.

Scientists have known for a while that big and small black holes exist. We're not really sure that IMBHs even exist, as they've proven to be quite elusive, but this seems to be a very promising candidate.

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(Phys.org)-A team of researchers with Keio University in Japan has found evidence of a mid-sized black hole near the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Brooke Simmons at the University of California in San Diego, who was not involved in the study, described the research as "careful detective work". It is because of this trait that black holes are only revealed through special equipment and by observing the behavior of nearby space bodies. They also don't have the extreme conditions required to become a supermassive black hole.

What is not clear, however, is how the IMBH could have formed.

Scientists believe they've discovered a new type of black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy. They will continue to observe the area and follow it long term, looking for clues to its nature and mass.

Scientists have shared their excitement over the findings, as confirming the existence of an IMBH would open a new field of research to fully comprehend supermassive black holes, which can be billions of times the mass of our sun.

Many of these black hole seeds then merge to form much larger supermassive black holes. But if Oka's team or others are able to find a population of such objects, "we can put our ideas to the test".

"Further detection of such compact high-velocity features in various environments may increase the number of non-luminous black hole candidate and thereby increase targets to search for evidential proof of general relativity".



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