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A mysterious star has appeared in the center of the Milky Way

06 марта 2023

A mysterious star has appeared in the center of the Milky Way

An international team of astronomers has found confirmation of previously obtained data that a newborn star is located in the center of the Milky Way next to a black hole.


The study was published in The Astrophysical Journal, and briefly tells about it Phys.org . A group of researchers has discovered a very young star at an early stage of its formation. The object is located near the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), which in turn is located in the very center of our galaxy.


In the new study, the scientists checked the preliminary data obtained by their predecessors. The observation confirmed the existence of a young massive object called X3a. Calculations have shown that the age of this star is only a few tens of thousands of years. By cosmic standards, she is a baby. This star turned out to be even younger than humanity.


The very fact of its appearance puzzled scientists. Theoretically, such a star cannot exist because it is located very close to a supermassive black hole. Astronomers have suggested that the star was originally formed in a dust cloud orbiting a giant black hole, and only after the first stage of its formation did it enter its current orbit.


It is believed that the vicinity of the black hole in the center of the Milky Way is an aggressive environment characterized by highly dynamic processes and harsh X-ray and ultraviolet radiation. Conventional theory holds that such conditions prevent the formation of stars like our Sun, and that only very old stars can orbit a black star due to "dynamic friction".


However, a new study proves that aggressive conditions and the proximity of a black hole do not interfere with the process of star formation. Moreover, astrophysicists pulled 20-year-old observational data from the archives. Then very young stars were already discovered in the immediate vicinity of Sagittarius A*. However, that discovery was received skeptically, many attributed it to the errors of observation tools.


And now we have received accurate evidence of the existence of a newborn star X3a, which is 10 times larger and 15 times heavier than our Sun. Its identification allowed us to introduce a new term into science: the appearance of very young stars very close to a supermassive black hole, scientists called the "paradox of youth".


Source: Science