Jupiter-sized black hole drifting through our galaxy

A Jupiter-sized black hole drifting through our galaxy

Japanese researchers have published circumstantial evidence for the existence of an intermediate-mass black hole drifting about 20 light-years from the center of the Milky Way. The object named HCN-0.009-0.044 has a mass of about 32,000. sun and is the size of Jupiter.

Black holes are quite difficult to locate. Except when they absorb matter. This is because they do not emit any electromagnetic radiation. Perhaps emit Hawking radiation, ktore if it exists, we are unable to detect it. Such emissions could not be confirmed observationally.

Black holes are invisible to our detection methods because electromagnetic radiation cannot achieve escape velocity beyond the event horizon. And yet we are able to locate such objects – based on interactions with surrounding matter and light. We know that black holes exist, ktore formed as a result of the collapse of a star, with masses ranging from a few to several masses of our Sun. These so-called. Black holes with stellar masses. We also know of supermassive black holes, whichor whose masses start at about 100,000. masses of our star.

But there is a solid question mark between these two types of black holes. To date, evidence for the existence of black holes of intermediate masses, i.e., those thatore are located somewhere in the middle of this range of masses, there were negligible. A number of objects have been foundoin, whichore are good candidates for intermediate-mass black holes. That appears to have changed, thanks to astronomers at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), whooers have described evidence pointing to one of these elusive objectsoin drifting about 20 light years from the center of the Milky Way.

Scientific article not yet peer-reviewed appeared in preprint databaseoin arXiv.

Using the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array) radio telescope, the researchers discovered streams of molecular gas orbiting around theoł of what appears to be an invisible, massive object.

– When I first checked the ALMA data, I was very excited because the observed gas showed obvious orbital motions, which strongly suggested the existence of a hidden, massive object, said astrophysicist Shunya Takekawa of NAOJ.

The object, whichoryme in question has been named HCN-0.009-0.044. It was already observed in earlier studies by a team from NAOJ, but now scientists have managed to determine its mass. Based on the shape and motion of the gas streams, the compositeo³ deduced that the object has a mass of about 32,000 suns and is about the size of Jupiter.

– Our results provide new circumstantial evidenceow on a wandering black hole of intermediate mass at the center of the galaxy,” the researchers wrote in a scientific paper.