Mysterious objects discovered near the supermassive black hole at the center of the milky way

Milky Way black holes

The Milky Way has obviously not yet revealed all its secrets. Proof is, observing the area occupied by the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy, astronomers have discovered strange objects resembling gas clouds and having characteristics in common with the stars.

The Milky Way occupies a special place in the heart of astronomers and that’s quite logical since our galaxy is the cradle of humanity.

Huge, this barred spiral galaxy has a diameter estimated between one hundred and one hundred and twenty thousand light-years and it comprises between two and four hundred billion stars. According to estimates made by astronomers, it would house more than one hundred billion different planets.

The solar system, for its part, is about twenty-seven thousand light-years away from its center.

Very difficult to observe because of the dusts found on the line of sight of our telescopes, the center of the Milky Way would be composed according to the researchers of a complex radio source one whose components would be a supermassive black hole, meaning a black hole whose mass would be of the order of one million solar masses or more.

Anna Ciurlo, a postdoctoral researcher working in the Division of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California at Los Angeles, is very interested in this region and she recently assembled a team to analyze data collected by the WM Keck Observatory located at Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

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By measuring the wavelengths of light emitted by the gas and dust structures in the center of the galaxy, the researchers discovered strange objects.

According to their initial findings, conclusions presented at the last meeting of the American Astronomical Society, these objects would look like vast clouds of gas while having many points in common with the stars.

Their report is to be taken with usual precautions, but researchers believe that these objects are actually G-objects and therefore dusty stellar objects.

This is not the first time that such objects are detected. The first was observed in 2004 and the second in 2012. Astronomers initially thought that they were simple clouds of gas, but they came to the conclusion that it was not possible given their resistance to the gravitational attraction of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. However, no object of this type had been discovered since.

This is only a guess for the moment, but Anna Ciurlo and her team believe that they are actually swollen stars and therefore stars whose material has been extracted because of their proximity to the supermassive black hole. This extraction would also result from the collision of two stars located in orbit with each other.

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Eric Thomas

Eric, originally from Nigeria, currently resides in Florida and covers a wide range of topics for The talking Democrat.