Baku, February 15, AZERTAC
A Japanese research team has discovered an intermediate-mass black hole with a mass about 30,000 times that of the sun near the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
The finding, which was published in a U.S. astrophysical journal, is expected to advance understanding of how black holes evolve.
It has been thought that a supermassive black hole with a mass 4 million times that of the sun exists at the center of the Milky Way, which is home to the solar system. Several reports have also noted the possibility that an intermediate-mass black hole exists near the larger body, though no solid evidence of its existence had been found.
A team from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and other entities used the ALMA radio telescope in Chile to observe radio waves emanating from gas clusters near the center of the Milky Way. It then discovered two such clusters orbiting elliptically around the same center. A source of gravity with a mass about 30,000 times that of the sun is believed to exist at this center, leading the team to conclude it had found a black hole as it could not locate nearby celestial objects emitting bright light.