A team of astronomers has managed to detect a sneaky black hole. The black hole influenced an interstellar gas cloud, and the researchers knew that something was off when they looked more carefully at the surroundings. The black hole is part of a group of 100 million never-before-seen black holes which are thought to be found within the Milky Way Galaxy.
The discovery has also proved the efficiency of a new search method which could make the process of discovering other black holes considerably easier.
A black hole can generate a gravitational pull so strong that nothing can escape its grasp. Even the light that is near the black hole will be absorbed (hence the name of the phenomenon). Since black holes are unable to release any form of light astronomers will often need to look at nearby objects and verify if they are affected by the influence of the black hole in one way or another.
Astronomers Spotted A Sneaky Black Hole In The Milky Way Galaxy, But There Might Be Millions Of Other Hidden Black Holes Out There
Black holes’ mass is quite variable, ranging from up to five times the mass of the sun in the case of a regular black hole to mass more than a million of solar masses if we are looking at supermassive black holes. It is believed that black holes start being small and they will grow as time passes. Until now no one was able to find an intermediate black hole which could be measured.
The Japan-based team of astronomers was able to spot an odd cloud of gas which was close to the center of the Milky Way galaxy, at more than 25,000 light-years away from Earth. The cloud, located in the Sagittarius constellation was interesting enough to warrant further research.
The astronomers used the high-power Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array to observe the movement of the cloud, and they discovered that is was swirling around what appeared to be an invisible object. Further analysis revealed that the mysterious object was, in fact, a sneaky black hole, hiding in “plain sight.” The team hopes that it will be able to find other elusive black holes in the future, as they believe now that there are millions of such hidden black holes in the Milky Way galaxy.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.