Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Astronomers discover a new class of strange objects near the huge black hole of our galaxy

Astronomers discover a new class of strange objects near the huge black hole of our galaxy

  • Unusual gas-like objects behaving like stars found near Sagittarius A *
  • They look compact but extend when tracks bring them closer to the black hole
  • The orbits of the gas cloud around Sagittarius A * range from approximately 100 to 1,000 years

Unusual gas-like objects behaving like stars have been seen near the huge black hole of our galaxy, astronomers have said.

Four new discoveries have been found in orbit around a super-heavy black hole called Sagittarius A *, 26,000 light-years away from Earth.

They join G1 and G2, which were found in 2005 and 2012, respectively, intriguing scientists because they usually seem compact, but extend as they get closer to the black hole during their job.

The orbits of these bizarre celestial bodies can last between 100 and 1,000 years.

Scroll down for video

Circles of the G objects in the center of our galaxy, with the super heavy black hole indicated by a white cross. Stars, gas and dust are in the background

Circles of the G objects in the center of our galaxy, with the super heavy black hole indicated by a white cross. Stars, gas and dust are in the background

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, have appropriately named the newcomers G3, G4, G5 and G6.

In the journal Nature the group wrote that they believed that all six were once double stars – a few stars that orbit around each other – later merge into one because of the powerful gravity of the super-heavy black hole.

However, this merging process is not done overnight – it takes more than a million years to complete it, said co-author Andrea Ghez.

“Star mergers can occur more often in the universe than we thought, and probably occur quite often,” she explained.

‘Black holes can cause double stars to merge. It is possible that many of the stars that we have viewed and do not understand may be the end product of mergers that are now calm.

‘We learn how galaxies and black holes evolve. The way double stars interact with each other and with the black hole is very different from the way single stars interact with other single stars and with the black hole. ”

The Ghez research group identified an unusual object in the center of our galaxy in 2005, which was later called G1.

In 2012, astronomers in Germany made an enigmatic discovery of a bizarre object called G2 in the middle of the Milky Way.

G2 is probably two stars orbiting the black hole in an orbit and fused into an extremely large star, wrapped in unusually thick gas and dust.

“At the time of the closest approach, G2 had a very strange signature,” Ghez said.

“We’d seen it before, but it didn’t look too strange until it came close to the black hole and became elongated and much of its gas was torn apart.

The dusty cloud G2 as it gets closer and then passes, the super heavy black hole in the middle of the Milky Way. The different colors mark the position of G2 in the years 2006, 2010, 2012 and February and September 2014, from left to right, with the super heavy black hole marked by the red cross

The dusty cloud G2 as it gets closer and then passes, the super heavy black hole in the middle of the Milky Way. The different colors mark the position of G2 in the years 2006, 2010, 2012 and February and September 2014, from left to right, with the super heavy black hole marked by the red cross

The dusty cloud G2 as it gets closer and then passes, the super heavy black hole in the middle of the Milky Way. The different colors mark the position of G2 in the years 2006, 2010, 2012 and February and September 2014, from left to right, with the super heavy black hole marked by the red cross

“It went from a fairly innocent object when it was far from the black hole to an object that was really stretched out and distorted at its nearest approach and lost its outer shell, and now it’s getting more compact.”

Although G1 and G2 have similar orbits, the four new objects have very different orbits, ranging from around 100 to 1,000 years.

The team is already investigating other potential objects that may be part of the same family.

It says the research will help shine a light on what is happening in the majority of galaxies in our universe – although the Earth is quite a distance from the action, “in the suburbs compared to the center of the galaxy,” said Ghez.

WHAT IS THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE SAGITTARIUS A *

The Galactic center of the Milky Way is dominated by one resident, the super-heavy black hole known as Sagittarius A * (Sgr A *).

Super-heavy black holes are incredibly dense areas in the center of galaxies with masses that can be billions of times as large as those of the sun.

They act as intense sources of gravity that absorb dust and gas around them.

The evidence of a black hole in the center of our Milky Way was first presented by physicist Karl Jansky in 1931 when he discovered radio waves coming from the region.

Ideally but invisible, Sgr A * has a mass that corresponds to around four million suns.

At just 26,000 light-years from Earth, Sgr A * is one of the few black holes in the universe where we can observe the flow of matter in the neighborhood.

Less than one percent of the material initially within the black hole’s gravity reaches the event horizon, or point of no return, because much of it is ejected.

As a result, the X-ray emission of material in the vicinity of Sgr A * is remarkably weak, such as that of most gigantic black holes in galaxies in the nearby universe.

The collected material must lose heat and momentum before it can dive into the black hole. This loss can occur due to the emission of matter.

.