One of the molecular clouds, which looks like a comma, or tadpole, revolves around an invisible object, which is most likely the missing link in the evolution of black holes.
A group of Japanese astronomers have unveiled a new study in which they claim they have discovered signs of the existence of an unusual black hole near the center of the Milky Way, which is the missing link in the evolution of these objects, writes ScienceAlert .
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According to Miyuki Kaneko of Keio University, Japan, as a result of observations, a group of astronomers led by him discovered a compact molecular cloud that revolves around an as yet invisible object. But everything points to the fact that this object is an intermediate-mass black hole. These black holes are thought to be the missing link between stellar-mass black holes and supermassive black holes.
This type of black is very rare, and so far only four candidates for this title are known. If the results of the study are confirmed, then so far it will be only the fifth candidate for the title of an intermediate-mass black hole. These elusive black holes could help scientists understand how supermassive black holes form at the centers of galaxies and then grow to their enormous size.
Now scientists know that there are stellar-mass black holes that appear as a result of the death of huge stars and their mass is 100 times greater than the sun. There are also supermassive black holes that are located in the centers of galaxies and their mass is millions and even billions of times greater than the sun. But it is still not exactly known exactly how the latter are formed. Therefore, scientists believe that intermediate-mass black holes can help solve this mystery.
Scientists believe that these objects are an intermediate stage of growth between the above two classes of black holes. But the problem is that such black holes are isolated in space and are almost impossible to detect, because they do not emit any light. But you can find it if you observe the influence of their gravity on the environment.
“Observations of the center of the Milky Way allowed us to detect a very peculiar molecular cloud, which is located 27 thousand light years from the center of the galaxy. It looks like a comma, or a tadpole. That’s why we gave it the name – Tadpole. We were interested in the unusual movement of the cloud and its shape We believe that it is circling around an intermediate-mass black hole that is not directly visible,” says Kaneko.
Scientists came to the conclusion that this cloud of gas acquired an unusual shape as a result of the gravitational influence of a black hole, which is nearby. Simulations have shown that the mass of this intermediate-mass black hole is about 100,000 times that of the Sun. But where this black hole came from and how it appeared is still unknown to scientists.