US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Black holes can only be observed by their effect on nearby objects – for example, by the star with which they rotate in a binary system, or by the radiation of an accretion disk from red-hot material falling into the hole.
There are enough examples of such objects with black holes as stellar mass (up to 10 solar masses), and supermassive (millions and billions of suns).
However, black holes of intermediate mass (hundreds and thousands of solar masses) elude observers. Ultrabright X-ray sources found in some neighboring galaxies are considered good candidates for this role, although not all experts agree with this.
Last year, the Tomoharu Oka team at Keio University discovered another suitable option – the molecular gas cloud CO-0.40-0.22 near the center of the Milky Way. Observations made with the Nobeyama radio telescope showed that, having a size of about 0.3 light years, it is heterogeneous in structure.
Different areas of the cloud move at very different speeds, some very fast. Modeling has shown that such a picture can be explained by a black hole hidden inside the gas with a mass of about 100 thousand solar.
In a paper published by Nature Astronomy , Tomohara Oka and colleagues report the results of new CO-0.40-0.22 studies conducted on ALMA radio telescopes. This work made it possible to confirm and clarify the distribution of gas velocities in various regions of the cloud and indicated the presence of a particularly dense bunch near the center.
The weak source of radio waves found here, in its spectral characteristics, is very similar to the spectrum of radio emission from Sgr A * – a source 500 times more powerful, which is associated with a supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way.
All this, according to Japanese astronomers, fully confirms the discovery of a black hole weighing about 100 thousand solar cells near the center of our Galaxy. Scientists believe that such a hole is too large to form directly from a cloud of gas CO-0.40-0.22.
Most likely, it is the remnant of the active core of an ancient galaxy, once absorbed by the Milky Way, and is heading for final death in the supermassive black hole Sgr A *.
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