February 28, 2019
from NAO Website
cloud swirling around a black hole.
This intermediate mass
black hole is one of over 100 million quiet black holes expected to
be lurking in our Galaxy. These results provide a new method to
search for other hidden black holes and help us understand the
growth and evolution of black holes.
Because black holes do not emit light, astronomers must infer their existence from the effects their gravity produces in 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 had ever found an intermediate mass black hole, hundreds or
thousands of times the mass of the Sun.
ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter
Array) to perform high resolution observations of the cloud and
found that it is swirling around an invisible massive object.
Tomoharu Oka, a professor at Keio University and co-leader of the team, adds,
These results were
published as Takekawa et al. - "Indication
of Another Intermediate-mass Black Hole in the Galactic Center"
in The Astrophysical Journal Letters on January 20, 2019.