Image: Cloudlets swarm around our local supermassive black hole

October 23, 2018, ESO
Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/ J. R. Goicoechea (Instituto de Física Fundamental, CSIC, Spain)

This image from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) shows the area surrounding Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole that lurks at the centre of the Milky Way—highlighted here with a small circle. New research has revealed exciting evidence of interstellar gas and dust orbiting the black hole at high speeds.

The molecular-hydrogen-rich gas clouds which have been identified are known as molecular cloudlets, and they have never before been unambiguously detected. This image actually shows the distribution of molecules including carbon monoxide, the cloudlets' second most abundant molecular component. The cloudlets lie 26 000 light-years away from us, orbiting fast and relatively close to the black hole, at a distance of about one light year. ALMA's high resolution allowed scientists to detect the cloudlets, which are the products of pre-existing massive clouds rotating around the centre of our galaxy. These clouds were tidally disrupted into dense fragments and a lower density, short-lived component. The latter was identified thanks to the signs left by the passage of the synchrotron radiation emitted by Sagittarius A* through diffuse gas between the cloudlets.

Although clouds of molecular gas have the potential to form new stars, these cloudlets are unlikely to create stellar newborns. They have a comparatively small mass of around 60 times that of the Sun, and exist close to the huge, turbulent, punishing gravitational forces exerted by Sagittarius A*.

While the stars orbiting Sagittarius A* have been systematically observed, these dense molecular cloudlets have not been detected so close to the centre of our galaxy before.

Explore further: ALMA discovers infant stars surprisingly near galaxy's supermassive black hole

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6 comments

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valeriy_polulyakh
1 / 5 (3) Oct 23, 2018
In search of black holes and dark matter astrophysicists are relying on indirect observations. It would seem that the measurement of the event horizon of a black hole directly would be a direct evidence. However, by the nature of a horizon, any real measurement of the event horizon will be indirect. The Event Horizon Telescope will get picture of the silhouette of the Sgr A* which is due to optical effects of spacetime outside of the event horizon. The result will be determined by the simple quality of the resulting image that does not depend on the properties of the spacetime within the image. So, it will be also indirect and an existence of BH is a hypothesis.
https://www.acade...ilky_Way
Benni
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 23, 2018
Event Horizon Telescope will get picture of the silhouette of the Sgr A* which is due to optical effects of spacetime outside of the event horizon. The result will be determined by the simple quality of the resulting image that does not depend on the properties of the spacetime within the image


Yeah, to sports aficionados it's called SHADOW BOXING, everybody knows "silhouette" is about the same thing.
Ojorf
3.5 / 5 (8) Oct 24, 2018
There's Benni, on a BH article like a fly on a turd!

Benni, does not get relativity, therefore he cannot comprehend BHs (never mind the BB).
Yet he is a great fan of Einstein's. How is that possible you ask?
It's because Benni is in denial. He knows he is incapable of comprehending the concepts, so he makes them up for himself in a way that apparently makes sense to him (but to no one else except a few insane posters here).
This is easily demonstrated by reading his comments, spotting the BS and then asking him to please come over to the forum here at "http://www.physicsforums.com"" title="http://http://www.physicsforums.com"" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">www.physicsforums.com" and explain them in a format much better suited to discussion.
He is terrified of that, you should see him squirm.

So Benni, want to come over and discuss your idiocy at http://www.physicsforums.com ?
rrwillsj
not rated yet Oct 24, 2018
I thought I was the one suppose to be making up new words to match evolving concepts!

Well the wooist cultist such as benni, have already stolen my thundermug description of their bumkum and claptripping over their own ignorance.
Ojorf
3 / 5 (6) Oct 26, 2018
If I can just get in early on these articles, I might be able to scare Benni away from more of them, use his phobia of forums against him.
Ojorf
1 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2018
Where are you Benni, you coward?

Start a thread on Black holes, I double dare you.

Not man enough?

I didn't think so.

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