Midsized black hole may be hiding out in the Milky Way

Laverne Mann
Сентября 5, 2017

Japan, September 5, 2017: Astronomers have found new evidence for the existence of a mid-sized black hole, considered the missing link in the evolution of super-massive black holes.

"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".

An enormous black hole with a mass that's one hundred thousand times bigger than our Sun has been found hiding at the centre of the Milky Way.

The scientists also detected radio waves coming from the centre of the cloud which indicated the presence of a black hole.

If subsequent analysis can prove the hypothesis, it could be a huge turning point for understanding how galaxies evolve - a smoking gun that explains how supermassive black holes dominate the sprawling star systems swirling around them.

There have been a handful of other confirmed or suspected IMBH discoveries over the past couple of years, but they are still so rare that the findings by Oka and colleagues are being warmly welcomed.

One theory is that smaller black holes steadily coalesce into larger ones and these come together to form supermassive black holes at the hearts of galaxies, but until now, no definitive evidence for intermediate mass black holes has been found.

But such black holes had not previously been reliably detected and their existence has been fiercely debated among the astronomical community.

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"The most exciting thing is the likelihood that intermediate mass black holes are real", Schawinski says.

A black hole is a region of space that has such an extremely powerful gravitational field that it absorbs all the light that passes near it and reflects none.

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.

Prof Oka said it suggests 'this massive object is an inactive IMBH which is not now accreting matter'.

"Theoretical studies have predicted that 100 million to one billion black holes should exist in the Milky Way, although only 60 or so have been identified through observations so far", the authors continue.

Artistic representation of a black hole. While it is just been hypothesized and not officially declared as identified.

The supermassive black hole is sitting in the middle of our own galaxy and if confirmed, it would be one of the biggest ever seen in the Milky Way - Earth's galactical back yard. That growth should happen in part by mergers with other black holes and in part by accretion of material from the part of the galaxy that surrounds the black hole. "This would make a considerable contribution to the progress of modern physics".

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