Astronomers have detected a sneaky black hole of its effects in an interstellar gas cloud. This intermediate mass black hole is one of more than 100 million black holes expected to be lurking in our galaxy. These results provide a new method to look for other hidden black holes and help us understand the growth and evolution of black holes.
Black holes are objects with a gravity so strong that everything, including light, is absorbed and can not escape. As black holes do not emit light, astronomers must infer their existence from the effects that their gravity produces on other objects. Black holes range in mass from about 5 times the mass of the Sun to supermassive black holes, millions of times the mass of the Sun. Astronomers think that small black holes merge and gradually grow into large ones, but no one has ever encountered a black hole of intermediate mass, hundreds or thousands of times the mass of the Sun.
A team of researchers led by Shunya Takekawa at Japan's National Astronomical Observatory observed HCN-0.009-0.044, a gas cloud that moves strangely near the center of the galaxy, 25,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Sagittarius. They used the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array) to perform high-resolution observations of the cloud and found that it is spinning around an invisible massive object.
Takekawa explains: "Detailed kinematic analysis revealed that a huge mass 30,000 times greater than that of the Sun was concentrated in a region much smaller than our Solar System. This and the lack of any object observed at that location strongly suggests an intermediate mass When we look at other anomalous clouds, we expect to expose other black holes. "
Tomoharu Oka, a professor at Keio University and chief of staff, adds: "It is significant that this intermediate mass black hole was found only 20 light-years from the supermassive black hole in the galactic center, and in the future it will fall." in the supermassive black hole; much like the gas is currently falling on it. This supports the fusion model of black hole growth. "
Materials provided by National Institutes of Natural Sciences. Note: Content can be edited by style and size.