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. "Some of them seem very large". The scientists now backed up their previous findings using new data from the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array in Chile.
The researchers are also reportedly working on identifying more black hole candidates.
We know there's a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, and now we have evidence for another one.
Black holes are hard to spot because they don't emit any light of their own. "It's the most promising evidence so far" for an intermediate mass black hole, says astronomer Kevin Schawinski of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, who was not involved in the study.
Using numerical simulations of the hidden object, they interpret it as being an IMBH that is not now accreting matter-the accumulation of particles by gravitationally attracting more matter.
This discovery would open new doors in research regarding supermassive black holes, in order for scientists to gain a better understanding of these very big space creations.
If confirmed, the intermediate-mass black hole could help explain how supermassive black holes operate.
But how did it form and how did it get there?
Black holes are the stuff of dreams for science fiction writers everywhere and a source of fascination for scientists and ordinary people alike.
Prof Oka said: 'Further detection of such compact high-velocity features in various environments may increase the number of non-luminous black hole candidate and thereby increase targets to search for evidential proof of general relativity. Now, they might have finally found one, and it suggests that our galaxy grew by cannibalizing other galaxies.
Advanced computer models of the gas cloud further flesh out the hypothesis that an intermediate-sized black hole is residing close to the center of our galaxy.
The newly-found black hole could be the core of an old dwarf galaxy that was cannibalised during the formation of the Milky Way billions of years ago, Mr Oka told "The Guardian".
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. But if Oka's team or others are able to find a population of such objects, "we can put our ideas to the test".