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New Type Of Black Hole Discovered In The Milky Way

ASTRONOMERS believe that they may have discovered a new type of black hole within our galaxy.

The team from Keio University in Japan discovered the “invisible” black hole, which is situated inside a gas cloud known as CO-0.44-0.22, 200 light years away from the centre of the Milky Way, using the Nobeyama 45-meter radio telescope.

They found the gas cloud moves at a variation of speeds – with parts of it moving extremely fast and then suddenly decelerating as it got to a certain point.
Artist's impression of an intermediate mass black hole.

It may mean the cloud, which has a mass 100,000 times that of the sun, has an “intermediate” black hole at its center.

If this is the case it would be the first time that this classification of black hole has officially been discovered.

The “wide velocity dispersion” has been documented in similar gas clouds, but was explained by the likes of a supernova.

There are around 100 million black holes in the Milky Way
Tomoharu Oka, lead author of the study, said: "Considering the fact that no compact objects are seen in X-ray or infra-red observations, as far as we know, the best candidate for the compact object is a black hole."
There are around 100million black holes within our galaxy, and if scientists can prove that this one is there, then it would be the second largest in the Milky Way, behind only Sagittarius A*.

In simple terms, intermediate black holes are the missing link in black hole evolution and will help scientists to gain a better understanding on their formation.
Black holes are formed following the death of a supernova
They already understand how stellar mass black holes are formed – the result of a supernova death.

They also understand the final outcome in the form of supermassive black holes, but there has been confusion around the stages in between the black holes inception and its final outcome, with nowhere in the middle yet to be discovered.

The teams study, published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, is still ongoing, and the team will observe similar gas clouds to try and find more evidence for intermediate black holes.

Oka said: "Investigations of gas motion with radio telescopes may provide a complementary way to search for dark black holes. The on-going wide area survey observations of the Milky Way with the Nobeyama 45-m Telescope and high-resolution observations of nearby galaxies using the ALMA have the potential to increase the number of black hole candidates dramatically."

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