Key Takeaways

  1. Astronomers have discovered a Jupiter-sized black hole, the third of its kind in the Milky Way.
  2. The black hole was detected through the observation of a traveling cloud of celestial gases using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array.
  3. Although the black hole itself cannot be seen, its presence was inferred from the orbital motions of the gas cloud.
  4. The newly-discovered black hole is about 3,000 times more massive than the Sun but occupies a similar space as Jupiter, making it extremely dense.
  5. This finding suggests the existence of more medium-sized black holes in the Milky Way, paving the way for future discoveries.

A recent discovery by astronomers has unveiled the existence of an intriguing Jupiter-sized black hole drifting through our galaxy. Scientists from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) have identified evidence of this rare type of black hole, marking the third known instance within the Milky Way, as reported in research published on the preprint server ArXiv.

Also Read: Yes, there are 100 million rogue black holes wandering our galaxy

While the black hole itself remains invisible, a network of Chilean telescopes known as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array revealed the presence of a traveling cloud of celestial gases orbiting around an unseen object, according to Space.com.

Astrophysicist Shunya Takekawa from NAOJ expressed excitement upon analyzing the ALMA data, noting the gas’s distinct orbital motions that strongly indicate the existence of a massive yet invisible entity.

The research team inferred that the recently discovered black hole possesses a mass approximately 3,000 times greater than that of the Sun but is compact enough to occupy a space similar to that of Jupiter. This incredible density makes the black hole about 3 million times denser than the Sun, given that the Sun could accommodate roughly 1,000 Jupiter-sized planets.

Also Read: Hubble Determines Mass of Isolated Black Hole Roaming Our Milky Way Galaxy

While scientists have a solid understanding of smaller black holes formed from collapsed stars and the supermassive black holes at the Milky Way’s core, this finding sheds light on the potential presence of numerous medium-sized black holes traversing our galaxy.

With the knowledge that gas clouds exhibiting spiraling motions can signify the presence of black holes, astronomers can now actively search for more of these extraordinary and scarce celestial objects. As a result, future observations hold the promise of unveiling additional peculiar black holes lurking in the vast expanse of the Milky Way.

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