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Scientists Explain Mystery Behind Supersonic Cloud Traveling the Milky Way From a Black Hole

Feb 20, 2017 06:46 AM EST

Many consider space to be a bizarre element of nature. In a suprising turn of events, a team of scientists from Japan has found something strange in space, specifically a supersonic space cloud traveling the Milky Way.

It was an unexpected discovery for the researchers as they were originally studying a nearby W44 star that exploded 10,000 light-years away.

The scientists said that the supersonic "cloud," made up of molecules that is speeding throughout the Milky Way, could have been powered by a black hole. The team named the cloud "Bullet" because of its speed, according to a press release from NAOJ Nobeyama Radio Observatory

Spotting a black hole is not a common thing. In fact, these celestial bodies are hard to find because they tend to be "invisible" from the naked eye. However, what gives them away is their X-ray emissions, which enable scientists to detect their presence, Science Alert explains.

But what makes the supersonic cloud extremely strange? According to the researchers, "Bullet," which has a stunning speed of 75 miles per second, is traveling against the direction of the Milky Way's spin.

Masay Yamada, the lead of researcher of the study, added the cloud has a kinetic energy that's stronger than what's created from a supernova. In fact, it is too strong that its sound waves could be heard through space.

Sound travel through space if there's enough energy and particles but at a slower rate than when on the ground. The scientists theorized the supersonic cloud could have originated from a rogue black hole, which accelarates the cloud as it passes by. The said black hole is estimated to be 3.5 times larger than the Sun.

Another possibility is that the black hole is 10 times larger than the Sun. In this case, it could propel the cloud like a slingshot as it passes through. Unfortunately, there is currently not enough data to conclude such theories

The study was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The researchers from Keio University of Japan used Chile's ASTE Telescope and Nobeyama Radio Obversatory's Radio Telescope.

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