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Evidence found for mid-sized black hole near center of Milky Way

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:40 pm

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. In their paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, the group describes their study of a gas cloud cluster near the center of our galaxy and why they believe it offers evidence of a mid-sized black hole.

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. This has led to an intense search, which until now, has come up mostly empty—mid-size black holes are exceedingly difficult to spot.

The team reports that last year, they discovered a gas cloud near the center of the Milky Way that appeared to behave in odd ways—some of the gasses were moving faster than others. The cloud, named CO-0.40-0.22, was intriguing because not only did it represent the possibility of finding an intermediate black hole, but it could also explain how massive black holes come to exist at the centers of galaxies, such as our own Milky way.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:41 pm



New evidence has been found backing the existence of a mid-sized black hole, which was long-theorized to be the middle ground between single star black holes, and supermassive ones found in galaxy centers.

According to a the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, a team led by Keio University professor Tomoharu Oka discovered a peculiar gas cloud called CO-0.40-0.22 near the center of the Milky Way that contained gas moving at vastly different velocities.

This, along with faint radio waves coming from the center of the cloud, suggest the presence of a black hole a hundred thousand times the mass of our Sun.

The radio signals detected from the cloud are similar to those produced by Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.

The Japanese team hypothesized that the midsized or intermediate-mass black hole was formed from the core of a dwarf galaxy that had previously been absorbed into the Milky Way.

Scientists have long believed that giant black holes grow, in part, from the merger of small ones. So the discovery is especially significant since it's the clearest evidence yet of a black hole mass in between the two size extremes.

 
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