Supermassive black hole discovered near heart of the Milky Way

Artist's impression of molecular cloud swirling around an intermediate mass black hole

Scientists have found the most persuasive evidence yet that support the existence of a mid-sized black hole in the heart of the #Milky Way.

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.

A giant black hole some 100,000 times the mass of the Sun has been detected near the heart of the Milky Way, making it our galaxy's second largest known black hole - coming after the supermassive void at its very centre, Sagittarius A*. The similarities could indicate the existence of a mid-sized black hole, the researchers say. But researchers are divided over whether these are really midsized black holes, shining bright as they imbibe lots of surrounding gas, or smaller ones ingesting at a superfast rate. But if there's big black holes and small black holes, there's got to be something in between, right?

If confirmed, the intermediate-mass black hole could help explain how supermassive black holes operate.

A big black hole lurking near the centre of the Milky Way could constitute an important clue to how even bigger ones form.

The mechanisms by which they grow so large is unknown, and speculation is complicated by the fact that they seem to have been in place very early in the history of the universe - fully forming only a few hundred million years after the big bang.

The intermediate-mass black holes are somewhere between the two in size and far less common.

Using numerical simulations of the hidden object, they interpret it as being an IMBH that is not now accreting matter-the accumulation of particles by gravitationally attracting more matter. Astronomers have long chased evidence of mid-sized black holes - black holes larger than the ones formed from a single star, but still much smaller than supermassive black holes. In findings published in the journal Nature Astronomy, Prof Oka then used computer simulations to show the high speed motion of the gas cloud, which the team concluded was a sign that it is surrounding a black hole.

This is the first hint that a black hole could be present, as scientists are unable to see black holes, which do not emit light.

Moreover, they found a source of radio waves next to the gas clump.

The concept of Black holes was firstly predicted by Albert Einstein.

A unusual form of black hole has been detected for the first time at the heart of the Milky Way.

'This would make a considerable contribution to the progress of modern physics'.



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