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Signs Of Second Largest Black Hole Discovered

Update Date: Jan 18, 2016 03:55 PM EST

There are new signs of the "second largest black hole" in the universe, according to astronomers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan 

This has been discovered in the center of the Milky Way with the help of the Nobeyama 45-m Radio Telescope. Its mass is 100,000 times that of the sun, and it is a discovery that may help us to advance our understanding of the supermassive black holes in the galaxy centers.

The team of researchers was examining a gas cloud CO-0.40-0.22 that was situated merely 200 light years from the Milky Way's center. Its gases have a strange and unusual range of speeds. The team examined the cloud and got 21 emission lines from 18 molecules, finding that the cloud has an elliptical shape with two main components, "a low-density area with a wide range of gas speeds and a high-density area with a small range of gas speeds".

After undertaking a simulation of the gas clouds, the team found that the strange speed gradient could be explained by examining a gravity source, such as a black hole, which was 100,000 times the mass of the sun.

"Considering the fact that no compact objects are seen in X-ray or infrared observations, as far as we know, the best candidate for the compact massive object is a black hole," Tomoharu Oka, lead author of the paper, said in a press release.

So far, scientists could only find stellar-mass black holes and supermassive black holes.

The study was published in the Jan.1,2016 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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