Monday, September 4, 2017


 Japanese astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Northern Chile have discovered an intermediate sized black hole near the centre of our Milky Way. Scientists had long hypothesized the existence of these medium-sized black holes, but they had been unable to locate any until now.
 At the centre of each galaxy, there lies a supermassive black hole that can weigh as much as ten billion suns. These black holes are essential to the creation of galaxies, stars and planets. However, scientists have been unable to come up with a theory behind their enormous size, especially considering they began appearing when the universe was quite young.
 The identification of the intermediate-type black hole helps explain the creation of supermassive black holes through the idea of mergers. Intermediate black holes are suspected to be the seeds of their massive counterparts - merging together to form a gigantic one.
 The black hole that was discovered was found to be hiding behind a cloud of stellar dust about 195 light years from the Milky Way's centre. This black hole is about 100,000 times more heavy than out sun.
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Image: EPA/Peter Komka

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