The Fifth Candidate for an Intermediate-mass Black Hole in the Galactic Center

Shunya Takekawa, Tomoharu Oka, Yuhei Iwata, Shiho Tsujimoto, Mariko Nomura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


We report the results of high-resolution molecular line observations of the high-velocity compact cloud HCN-0.085-0.094 with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. The HCN J = 4-3, HCO+ J = 4-3, and CS J = 7-6 line images reveal that HCN-0.085-0.094 consists mainly of three small clumps with extremely broad velocity widths. Each of the three clumps has a 5.5 GHz radio continuum counterpart in its periphery toward Sgr A∗. The positional relationship indicates that their surfaces have been ionized by ultraviolet photons from young stars in the central cluster, suggesting the clumps are in close proximity to the Galactic nucleus. One of the three clumps has a ring-like structure with a very steep velocity gradient. This kinematical structure suggests an orbit around a point-like object with a mass of ∼104 M o˙. The absence of stellar counterparts indicates that the point-like object may be a quiescent black hole. This discovery adds another intermediate-mass black hole candidate in the central region of our Galaxy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number167
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 20

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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