Have astronomers found the 'missing link' of black hole evolution?

Have astronomers found the 'missing link' of black hole evolution?

Have astronomers found the 'missing link' of black hole evolution?

The two findings together suggested very strongly the presence of a mid-sized black hole.

There is very good evidence that supermassive black holes (SMBHs) dominate the centres of many galaxies. At the other end of the spectrum are supermassive black holes, millions of times the mass of the Sun, which sit at the center of galaxies. "We have already detected several candidates for stray black holes".

Professor Tomoharu Oka of Japan's Keio University believes that black holes with masses greater than a million solar masses are at the centre of all galaxies and are essential to their growth.

The discovery was made after they found a "peculiar" molecular cloud located near the center of the Milky Way, which according to the scientists displayed some highly unusual properties not seen in similar cosmic structures.

The team also ran a series of computer models to account for these odd behaviors, which indicated that the most likely cause was a black hole.

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Recent research has shown supermassive black holes are essential to the creation of galaxies, stars - and even life itself.

If their discovery can be confirmed, it would be the first ever evidence of an IMBH, which have always been viewed as the "missing link" in the evolution of these massive objects.

"This is the first detection of an intermediate-mass black hole candidate in the Milky Way galaxy", Oka told The Guardian.

Oka has yet to say if that'll result in the destruction of the world as we know it and we'll be sucked up into and destroyed by a vortex of incredible nothingness. If this cloud-dwelling black hole discovered by the Japanese astronomers is confirmed at 100,000 solar masses, it will be the first "missing link" black hole the world has ever seen. If these are plentiful, as astronomers theorize, they could merge at the center of a galaxy to form a supermassive black hole.

The size of the hole classifies it as an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH). The scientists and researchers also observed radio waves coming from the core of the cloud which showed the signs of the presence of a black hole.

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"Based on the careful analysis of gas kinematics, we concluded that a compact object with a mass of about [100,000] solar masses is lurking in this cloud", Oka and his team wrote.

The find could lead to the resolution of major mysteries regarding black holes by giving scientists a chance to examine how they form. According to theoretical studies, over 100 million black holes exist in the Milky Way.

"Astrophysicists have been collecting observational evidence for both stellar mass black holes and supermassive black holes for decades, but even though we think the largest ones grow from the smallest ones, we've never really had clear evidence for a black hole with a mass in between those extremes", she added. After performing simulations of the gas movements in the cloud, they were able to estimate something as large as the masses of 100,000 suns was inside it. Instead, the scientists suggest it is the former core of a dwarf galaxy that has been subsumed into the Milky Way, stripped of its stars, and is destined to one day fall into Sgr A*.

Researchers say they will continue to study the intermediate-mass black hole candidate in the hope of confirming its existence.

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