NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Stolovy (SSC/Caltech)

By studying the motions of a particularly dense cloud of gas, astronomers have inferred the existence of a new black hole near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. It's not confirmed yet, but it's estimated to weigh in at a whopping 100,000 times the mass of our sun.

That's big, but not the biggest — that title goes to Sagittarius A*, a supermassive black hole sitting in the middle of our galaxy that has a mass 4 million times greater than our sun.

Why it matters: This "intermediate" class of black hole provides clues to the formation of their bigger cousins. It seems that every galaxy hosts a giant black hole. How do these black holes form and grow? What's the connection between giant black holes and the evolution of their host galaxies? Having a "missing link" in our own backyard helps answer those questions.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

Texas Democrats beg Biden to spend now

Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is rebuffing persistent pleas from Texas Democrats to spend at least $10 million in the Lone Star state, several people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: If Texas — which has 38 electoral votes and is steadily getting more blue, but hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976 — flipped to the Biden column, it would be game over. But the RealClearPolitics polling average stubbornly hovers at +2.6 for Trump — and Team Biden appears more focused on closer targets.