Bizarre Objects Discovered Near Our Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole - "Really Strange Signature"

G Objects Orbits

Four of the "G objects" have been found, orbiting around the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A*. According to the authors, these anomalous objects (dubbed G1 through G6) look like oblong blobs of gas several times more massive than Earth.

And they're on wildly different orbits from G1 and G2 (pictured above); all together, the G objects have orbital periods that range from 170 years to 1,600 years.

During a new study, astronomers are revealing that they have detected four more of the mysterious objects which look pretty similar to G1 and G2. After seven years, another group discovered G2.

After studying the objects' shapes, orbits and interactions with Sagittarius A*, the astronomers believe each G object could be a pair of binary stars, meaning they revolve around each other.

It's possible that all six G objects are binary stars (a two-star system orbiting each other) that are merging thanks to the strong gravitational force of Sagittarius A*, Ghez said, adding the process could take more than 1 million years to complete.

That black hole is called Sagittarius A, and the team says that the freakish objects look like gas and behave like stars.

"At the time of closest approach, G2 had a really odd signature. That will be really cool because we can get to see the black hole feeding in action". 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. The team says that mergers of stars might be more common than previously believed, with black holes being the driving force for those mergers. Astronomers predicted G2 became as soon as a gasoline cloud and so it would provide the huge dusky gap a snack - because it approached it would be ripped apart and gasoline would fall into the dusky gap.

According to Professor Ghez, all six objects may once have been binary stars that merged because of the gravity of the supermassive black hole. It's possible that numerous stars we've been watching and not understanding may be the end product of mergers that are calm now, " Ghez said.

"Something must have kept [G2] compact and enabled it to survive its encounter with the black hole. The way binary stars interact with each other and with the black hole is very different from how single stars interact with other single stars and with the black hole".

Experts are also starting to suggest that since there are more such objects popping up, this means that we're looking at a new class of cosmic phenomena. This led to suggestions G2 was a large star cocooned in dust. In 2012, a second object called G2 was found, and it came close to the black hole in 2014.

The objects are helping to explain how galaxies and black holes all over the universe evolve. "There has to be a mechanism to form them". Scientists utilized near-infrared information gathered in the last decade by the Osiris imager, established at the W.M. Keck observatory in Hawaii.

"We need to look for more objects in this region", says Ciurlo. "The center of the galaxy is where extreme astrophysics occurs - the X-sports of astrophysics". Due to its powerful gravitational pull, the cosmic objects it attracts oftentimes collide and merge with one another. I don't know, but co-author Andrea Ghez, Lauren B. Leichtman of UCLA and professor of astrophysics and director of UCLA Galactic Center Group, Arthur E. Levine, know it. The magnetic fields are more extreme.

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