This led the team to believe that these objects were once binary stars - a system of two stars orbiting each other - that merged because of the supermassive black hole. The mergers of stars could feed the black hole. These objects are huge, measuring around 100 AU-or 9.3 billion miles-and they appear to be interacting with the black hole, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), researchers say. Initially, we were going to look at the effect of the black hole on the interstellar medium-gas clouds and clumps-around it.
It does seem like the G objects have a lot in common, whatever they are, and expanding the dataset can only provide more information to tease out the puzzle.
Ghez and her research team believe that G2 is probably the product of a merger of two stars that had been orbiting the black hole in tandem before morphing into an extremely large star, cloaked in unusually thick gas and dust.
"These objects look like gas but behave like stars", said co-author Andrea Ghez, UCLA's Lauren B. Leichtman and Arthur E. Levine Professor of Astrophysics and director of the UCLA Galactic Center Group. It's possible that numerous stars we've been watching and not understanding may be the end product of mergers that are calm now.
The discovery of four additional G objects may help scientists work out what these objects are.
Stefan Gillessen, an astronomer at the Max Plack Institute and advocate of the transmitter hypothesis, suggests that it is unlikely that all objects have been formed from a binary fusion, and postulates that G sources can be a handful of different cosmic phenomena and unusual as young stellar objects. or stellar knots of the wind.
An astronomical unit is the distance between the Earth and the sun.
"Something must have kept [G2] compact and enabled it to survive its encounter with the black hole", Ciurlo added.
"G2 survived and continues happily on its orbit; a gas cloud would not do that", said Ghez, back in 2014. While coming in very close to the black hole, the object stretched out and lost its outer layer of material, becoming even more compact as it moved away.
Astronomers have discovered that the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy is creating a new type of star. They have been named G1 to G6.
A number of freakish shape-shifting objects have been discovered close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.
The fact that these objects have been found near Sagittarius A*, which likely swallowed up the gas it ripped off the stars, means they could actually be feeding the constantly voracious black hole. The supermassive black hole sitting at the centre of Earth's neighbourhood is called Sagittarius A*.
The number of observed G-type objects fits with the expected percentage of binary stars in the central hub of the galaxy, the authors wrote. Further, because stars take about 1 million years to merge, the objects may well have been born during the last known star formation event near Sgr A*, which took place about 5 million years ago.
While the explanation seems to fit, researchers can't be certain until they locate and study more binary stars that seem to have been thrown together by a black hole.