Cosmic tadpole cloud discovered

The Astrophysical Journal: Tadpole Cloud Curved by Supermassive Black Hole

Keio University astronomers in Japan have shown that a gas cloud, named “Tadpole” because of its bizarre shape, revolves around empty space, where a supermassive black hole may be located. This is reported in an article published in The Astrophysical Journal .

The researchers used data from the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope at the East Asia Observatory and the 45-meter NAOJ radio telescope to identify an unusual gas cloud about 27,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.

The curved shape of the tadpole-shaped molecular gas cloud indicates that it is stretching as it rotates around a massive, compact object. The best candidate for this massive, compact, invisible object is a black hole with a mass of about a hundred thousand suns.

Astronomers plan to use the Atacama Large Millimeter/submmillimeter Array (ALMA) to look for faint signs of a black hole or other object at the gravitational center of Tadpole’s orbit.

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