Astronomers Just Spotted A Black Hole the Size of Jupiter Wandering Across our Galaxy


Astronomers reportedly discovered an invisible cosmic wanderer roaming the Milky Way. More precisely, according to research released in December on the preprint platform ArXiv, scientists from Japan's National Astronomical Observatory (NAOJ) discovered evidence of a rare sort of black hole.

If the scientists are right, this Jupiter-sized black hole would be the third of its type in our galaxy, according to New Scientist.

The crew never observed the black hole directly because, well, it's a black hole. However, according to Space.com, scientists saw a drifting cloud of cosmic gases circling something using a network of Chilean telescopes called the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array.

“When I checked the ALMA data for the first time, I was really excited because the observed gas showed obvious orbital motions, which strongly suggest an invisible massive object lurking,” Shunya Takekawa, an astrophysicist at the NAOJ told New Scientist.

According to the study, based on the way the gas cloud orbited its core point, the scientists concluded that the newly found black hole is around 3,000 times more massive than our Sun — yet so compact that it takes up roughly as much space as Jupiter. Given that the Sun can accommodate around 1,000 planets the size of Jupiter, this new black hole is 3 million times denser than the Sun.

Scientists now have a far better grasp of both the typical, comparably small black holes created by collapsing stars and the supermassive black holes in the Milky Way's core.

Finally, this finding raises the likelihood that the Milky Way is home to a large number of other medium-sized black holes. Now that astronomers are aware to look for clouds of swirling gas, other teams may soon discover an increasing number of these strange and unusual black holes.

Reference(s): Space, NewScientist, Peer-Reviewed Study


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