A mysterious cloud that somehow survived a close encounter with a supermassive black hole has now been revealed.
According to a new study of the object, called G2, they are actually three young stars, surrounded by a thick cloud of gas and dust from which they were born. This interpretation offers a highly organized solution to questions that remained unanswered after G2 tapped into Sgr A* – the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way – in 2014.
“We suggest that the observed dust-covered objects are the remains of a molten young star cluster that began forming in the oceanic nuclear disk,” The researchers wrote in their article.
Astronomers fully expected that the close encounter would cause G2 to be torn apart and purged by Sgr A*, resulting in a supermassive black hole in which fireworks would accumulate.
Then he called the fact that nothing happened.”cosmic brilliance. G2 dilates and elongates as it approaches the black hole; Then after that, it’s back to a tighter shape.
Another annoying feature of the G2 is that it is extremely hot, much hotter than a cloud of dust should be. It is possible that Sgr A*, or other stars, heated the object, but it remained at the same temperature no matter where it was. This indicates that whatever is coming from hot G2 is from within the cloud itself, not from outside influences.
The astronomers found that these two behaviors are more consistent with the behavior of the star. A team of researchers suggested last year that the G2 cloud may contain a hidden star, the product of a collision between two stars that produced a massive cloud of gas and dust around them.
But the same study also revealed the discovery of four other similar objects in the galactic center, bringing the total number of G objects to six. This is a large number of compact binary stars.
Now, a team of researchers led by astrophysicist Florian Becker of the University of Cologne in Germany has come up with an alternative explanation, after conducting a detailed review of 14 years of observations taken with the Very Large Telescope. SINFONI a tool.
According to their analysis, G2 should hide three stars that are about a million years old. It’s too small for the stars; In contrast, the Sun is 4.6 billion years old. G2 stars are so small that they will still be surrounded by material from the cloud in which they formed.
“The fact that G2 actually consists of three young, cutting-edge stars is exciting,” Bisker saysNoting that the discovery makes the three stars the smallest ever observed around SgrA*.
The stars could have originated from the same stellar nursery, forming a cluster that has since split, with individual stars separating and generating new orbits around Sgr A*.
Although they are not related to cluster S, the G2 stars were most likely part of a larger stellar cluster at some point. Other dusty objects orbiting Sgr A* could also be members of this group, which would have been perturbed by gravity after moving toward the supermassive black hole at a greater distance.
Since the environment around Sgr A* is not considered favorable for star formation, further work will be needed to figure out where G2 and other G objects come from. Astronomers will also be able to use the new discoveries to better understand black holes.
“The new findings provide unique insight into how black holes work”, Bisker says.
“We can use the SgrA environment* as a model to learn more about the evolution and processes of other galaxies in very different corners of our universe.”
The search was published in Astrophysical Journal.
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