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Space & Astronomy

Supermassive black hole found in Milky Way

By T.K. Randall
September 4, 2017 · Comment icon 10 comments

There are thought to be millions of black holes in our galaxy. Image Credit: Nick Risinger
A new supermassive black hole has been discovered 200 light years from the center of our galaxy.
The gargantuan stellar phenomenon, which is thought to be 100,000 times the mass of the Sun, is situated within a large gas cloud near the center of the galaxy.

It is the second largest black hole in the Milky Way with the biggest being Sagittarius A* - a true behemoth with the equivalent mass of 400 million suns.

The existence of this new black hole was first suspected following observations made by astronomers in Japan who had been attempting to understand the strange movements of the gases in the cloud.
It turned out that these gases, which move around at wildly different speeds, were being pulled around by immense gravitational forces - most likely from a supermassive black hole.

The discovery was further cemented after radio waves indicative of a black hole were also picked up.

"This is the first detection of an intermediate-mass black hole candidate in the Milky Way galaxy," said omoharu Oka, an astronomer at Keio University in Tokyo.

Scientists believe that in the distant future, the new black hole will gradually move closer and closer to Sagittarius A* before merging with it - creating an even larger black hole at the center of the galaxy.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (10)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Twin 7 years ago
So, is our galaxy being sucked into a super massive 3D vortex? If so, how long will it take?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Sundew 7 years ago
Our sun exerts gravitational pull on the Earth, but because we are orbiting the sun we do not "fall" into it. I suspect most stars within a certain distance from the black holes are orbiting them as well and will not be consumed. However the gravitational attracting of the two black holes may eventually, perhaps over billions of years, cause them to merge. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot 7 years ago
This one is so large and so close to Sagittarius A, nice base for new Sci-Fi movie if nothing
Comment icon #4 Posted by BeastieRunner 7 years ago
That's a huge black hole.
Comment icon #5 Posted by taniwha 7 years ago
Not forgetting that this so called black hole is so far away that there really is no way to tell if it still even exists. We don't even know if the centre of the milky way still exists as that's even further away.  What has been detected is only a snapshot of a past time so no need to panic yet or raise your hopes.
Comment icon #6 Posted by LightAngel 7 years ago
Our galaxy is such a mystery, we know so very little.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Derek Willis 7 years ago
I would say we know quite a lot about the universe - general relativity, quantum mechanics - but of course there is always more to learn.
Comment icon #8 Posted by The Silver Thong 7 years ago
but who really cares
Comment icon #9 Posted by The Silver Thong 7 years ago
A few billion years so grab a six pack and enjoy the show. 
Comment icon #10 Posted by Astra. 7 years ago
Of course there is still much more to explore and learn about as far as the cosmos are concerned, which makes it all the more exciting. Look at the achievements we've already accomplished, and the many other extraordinary and amazing things that we will discover through space exploration.  

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