It has been a long time astronomers have known that there is a supermassive black hole—called Sagittarius A*—at the center of our home galaxy. Now, a group of astronomers have claimed that they have spotted another one, but not quite as big as Sagittarius A*, circling 200 light-years from the center of the Milky Way. Astronomer were not actually looking for a black hole. They were using the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s 45-meter Nobeyama radio telescope to observe and study a mysterious gas cloud called CO-0.40-0.22, that’s when something strange caught their eye: an unusually extensive range of speeds in the cloud’s gas molecules, signifying that something pretty gigantic is accelerating them.
Image Credit: Tomoharu Oka/Keio University
But so far astronomers have a very little indicationfor their presence. If CO-0.40-0.22 does verify to comprise such an object, it will be a rare beast, certainly, and just right in our backyard.