‘Strange’ movements of toxic gas clouds have been observed by astronomers in the Milky Way galaxy that hints towards the existence of an enormous black hole. The rare supermassive black hole could be 100,000 times larger in size than the Sun, and the fifth such candidate in the galactic centre, confirmed reports.
According to a new study, this elusive species of a black hole might rank as the second in the Milky Way galaxy after the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A which was discovered in the centre of Milky Way galaxy. Researchers tracked the gasses and found that the clouds were orbiting an unidentified object 10,000 times the mass of the Sun, that they concluded was a quiescent black hole at first, confirmed reports.
A quiescent black hole is the one that does not actively feed and emits no detectable radiations. However, astronomers in Japan in their secondary research concluded that the object could be something else. They used a powerful telescope in the Atacama Desert in Chile to observe the strange movements of the gases in clouds.
It was then that the scientists found out that the gases in these clouds contained hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, unlike interstellar clouds, and they moved at an exceptionally fast speed, said reports. Observations also showed molecules in the elliptical cloud which were 200 light-years away from Milky Way galaxy, and 150 trillion kilometres wide. They were pulled by strong gravitational force that indicated a black hole 1.4 trillion km across, as per the reports.
The scientists further confirmed that the observatory devices picked up radio waves signals indicative of a black hole coming from the centre of the clouds. Tomoharu Oka, an astronomer at Keio University in Tokyo told the media that this was the first detection of an intermediate-mass black hole candidate in Milky Way galaxy.
The discovery of the intermediate-mass black holes by the scientists is an essential turning point, as they could establish that unusual movement of clumps of gas and dust was one of the ways to detect a unique supermassive blackhole. Earlier, in 2003, the scientists had lost the tremendous flare of multi-wavelength radiation that had eventually died out over the decades that had indicated intermediate-mass black hole, confirmed reports.
The newly released observations about the swirling gas clouds around a black hole increases the chance for the scientists to study the black holes closely and figure how they were formed. It can help them find out how common or rare and how many across the galaxy these black holes were.