At the core of our galaxy, the Milky Way, there has been identified a supermassive black hole with a volume of 4 million times that Sun’s, dubbed as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*). In the last years, researchers analyzing the black hole’s space neighborhood noticed two strange things.
It also appeared to orbit Milky Way’s orbit. The cosmic features were named G1 and G2. The origin of those “G sources” is uncertain. Some scientists think they contain gas, while others believe there are only some odd stars covered in dust.
A Controversial Discovery
In recent research, scientists unveil that they have identified four other odd cosmic features which are similar to G1, respectively G2. They imply that the findings are part of a new category of space phenomena.
“These objects look like gas and behave like stars,” stated Andrea Ghez from UCLA.
Scientists utilized near-infrared information gathered in the last decade by the Osiris imager, established at the W.M. Keck observatory in Hawaii. They succeeded in examining the strange cosmic features in better detail.
The research on G1 and G2 had also helped them reviewed the findings. Back in 2014, scientists forecasted that G2 was certainly a gas cloud. But G2 got very close to Sgr A* and survived, making researchers reconsider their information. Ghez added: “G2 survived and continues happily on its orbit; a gas cloud would not do that.”
Milky Way’s supermassive black hole is orbited by odd space objects
Ghez also proposed what scientists were viewing was not indeed a gas cloud. They only noticed a result of some merged binary stars, after they orbited each other, crashed in the end, and forming a massive star. However, the second team of scientists stated that G2 could surely be a gas cloud.
They also indicated that it came from a vast stream of gas that also included G1. Simulations displayed that it appeared to fit the information perfectly well. But those conditions were generated with only two strange cosmic features. Currently, with the other four to analyze, the riddle intensifies.
“I think the gas streamer hypothesis worked well when we just had G1 and G2, but with 6 objects, orbiting at very different inclinations, this hypothesis is harder to apply,” detailed Anna Ciurlo from UCLA.
David Blair was a reporter for Henri Le Chat Noir, before becoming the lead editor. David has over 20 bylines and has reported on countless stories concerning all things related to science, games and technology. David studied at Birmingham University.