This particular black hole would be on the range of 100,000 solar masses.
Because nothing - not even light - can escape black holes, scientists must infer their existence indirectly, via surrounding visible light, x-rays, or radio waves.
Yet, the Intermediate Mass Black Holes (IMBHs) have been considered as a missing link in the cosmic objects' evolution and science behind the formation of the supermassive black holes. IMHBs have never been officially identified, though. The research was led by Tomoharu Oka from Keio University in Yokohama, Japan, and colleagues. It is also the second IMBH candidate within the Milky Way. Not at all like those that make up other interstellar mists, have the gasses in this cloud - including hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide - moved at fiercely different speeds. "Based on the careful analysis of gas kinematics, we concluded that a compact object with a mass of about 10 [Solar Masses] is lurking in this cloud".
CO-0.40-0.22 had a very large broadening, indicating its contents were moving rapidly. However, no direct evidence of an IMBH has ever been found.
Scientists have successfully detected its presence by studying their influence on neighboring objects.
Scientists have discovered a unusual and huge Black Hole at the heart of the Milky way hiding within a cloud filled in with molecular gas. The speculated black hole is unique regarding size. However, scientists are still debating if such bodies are indeed IMBHs or simply small black holes that ingest gas at a faster rate.
Individual molecules within the cloud have specific signatures, places on the electromagnetic spectrum where they absorb or emit photons. Here we report the detection of a point-like continuum source as well as a compact gas clump near the centre of CO-0.40-0.22.
Their eventual discovery will do more than just illuminate the process by which supermassive black holes form.
In an interview with The Guardian, Brooke Simmons of the University of California, San Diego Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences said, "We know that smaller black holes form when some stars die, which makes them fairly common".
Astronomers in Japan found the possible black hole in our own Milky Way galaxy, a long-theorized object which is bigger than the small black holes formed from a single star, but still much smaller than giant black holes such as the one at the center of the Milky Way. Current theory suggests that a 100,000 solar-mass black hole is more likely to form in a nearby dwarf galaxy - rather than in a star cluster within the Milky Way.
It's hard to find black holes because they're completely Black.
The authors also noted confirming the existence of an IMBH could expand our understanding of the universe more generally.
According to theories, the Milky Way should be home to about 100 million smaller black holes, but only 60 have been found.
Oka says his team will continue to observe CO-0.40-0.22* at other wavelengths and keep an eye on it long-term to see whether it shows variations in brightness known as quasi-periodic oscillations, which are highly characteristic of accretion disks around black holes; that would give the scientists a better handle on the black hole's mass.