Supermassive black hole discovered near heart of the Milky Way

Those types of black holes, known as intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) are thought to be the missing link in the evolution of cosmic objects and could help explain how supermassive black holes are formed. The researchers found that there was a dense part of the gas cloud near its center that also showed varying velocities.

The black hole was observed indirectly using the Alma telescope in Chile. The most likely cause, according to computer models, was a black hole no more than 1.4 trillion km across. With an estimated mass of around 100,000 times that of our sun, they believe it could be a special type of black hole that has always been hypothesized but never officially identified. Once a black hole formed, it continues to expand by fascinating accumulation from its surroundings. But there's one particular size of black hole that has been especially evasive, even though astronomers have theorized that they should be plentiful. That's a little like a city that's home to only children and the elderly, with no one in between. One hypothesis is that smaller black holes blend into bigger ones and these meet up to frame supermassive black holes at the hearts of universes, however up to this point, no complete proof of the dark hole has been found.

The core of our galaxy houses a supermassive black hole that weighs in at over a million times our Sun's mass.

But intermediate-sized black holes have eluded detection. Oka says the similarity with Sgr A* suggests there is an intermediate-mass black hole in the center of the Milky Way. The location of a potential black hole weighing as much as 100,000 suns is decisively the center stride in the process that cosmologists have looked for.

A black hole is that space which has high level of gravitational force such that it absorbs all light that passes through it in the midst. Eventually, Oka explained to The Guardian, the object will sink toward Sagittarius A*, closer and closer, until it's swallowed up, increasing the mass of Sagittarius A* as it joins it at the heart of our galaxy. The amount of light coming out of it at these wavelengths were about 1/500 of that emitted by the supermassive black hole at our galaxy's center. But they can be detected by their influence on nearby objects, for example if the black hole is in a binary pair with a star, or if it is consuming gas which gets heated as it approaches and shines brightly.

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Theoretical studies predict at least 100 million of these small black holes should exist in the Milky Way, however only about 60 have been found.

Scientists believe they have discovered a huge black hole near the center of the Milky Way hiding within a massive cloud of molecular gas.

"It's a very careful paper and they have gorgeous data", Kevin Schawinski, an astronomer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, told Science Magazine.

Professor Tomoharu Oka of Japan's Keio University believes that black holes with masses greater than a million solar masses are at the centre of all galaxies and are essential to their growth. If it were, in fact, a black hole, it would provide the first confirmation of the existence of intermediate-mass black holes.

But Oko and his team posit that CO-0.40-0.22 used to be the nucleus of a dwarf galaxy that was slowly drawn into the Milky Way. "This would make a considerable contribution to the progress of modern physics".

  • Douglas Reid