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Black Hole 100000 times bigger than Sun discovered in Milky Way

Black Hole 100000 times bigger than Sun discovered in Milky Way

Black Hole 100000 times bigger than Sun discovered in Milky Way

At the center of the Milky Way Galaxy resides the Supermassive Black Hole (SMBH) known as Sagittarius A*.

It's estimated to have a mass of about 10,000 times that of our Sun- placing it in the intermediate sized class. The research was led by Tomoharu Oka from Keio University in Yokohama, Japan, and colleagues. At the other end of the spectrum are supermassive black holes, millions of times the mass of the Sun, which sit at the center of galaxies. They also don't have the extreme conditions required to become a supermassive black hole.

This compact dust cloud, which has been a source of fascination to astronomers for years, measures over 1000 AU in diameter and is located about 200 light-years from the center of our galaxy.

Observations from the Alma telescope in Chile showed that molecules in the elliptical cloud, which is 200 light years from the centre of the Milky Way and 150 trillion kilometres wide, were being pulled around by huge gravitational forces. The team then enlisted the help of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, which helped add detail to their previous observations. These confirmed the structure of the cloud and the variations in speed that seemed to accord with density. As they studied the cloud, the researchers saw a clump of gas toward the center of the cloud that appeared to be moved around by massive gravitational forces, they said in a Nature Astronomy report published Monday.

"Based on the careful analysis of gas kinematics, we concluded that a compact object with a mass of about 105M⊙ is lurking in this cloud", the researchers wrote in their study, which was published online on September 4.

What are Intermediate Mass Black Holes? While only about 60 of these smaller black holes have been confirmed, scientists estimate our galaxy contains about 100 million of them.

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One of the most prominent theories about how supermassive black holes are formed at the centre of many galaxies including the Milky way, acting as seeds to create their larger counterparts.

Previously, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, as well as NASA's NuSTAR and CSIRO's ATCA, have discovered tightly coupled black hole and white dwarf star with the smallest orbit in Milky Way. However, until now no definitive evidence has existed for intermediate-mass black holes that could indicate a middle step between the small and massive black holes already detected. Moreover, these findings could account for how SMBHs form at the center of larger galaxies.

Intermediate-sized black holes, on the other hand, have been eluded by astronomers and no evidence to prove their existence has been gathered. But there has been no direct evidence of an IMBH, so far. One possibility is that IMBHs are first formed when a young compact cluster of stars undergoes a gravitational collapse. "We know very little about how black holes form".

"The most likely explanation is that this black hole was once in the core of a dwarf galaxy which got cannibalized by the Milky Way", he said.

According to the General Relativity Theory, prescribed by Albert Einstein in 1915, the formation of black holes takes place from the violent collision of two dying stars.

How do intermediate-mass black holes form?

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