Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bloated Stars Discovered Close to the Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole

Article Written By: Kyle Tam


 A team of astronomers led by Anna Cirulo from the University of California, Los Angeles, have discovered strange , puffy objects that look like gas clouds but act like stars. These objects were found by measuring the wavelengths of light released by these bloated stars using the W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, in Hawaii.
 Categorized as G-objects, these stellar objects were first observed back in 2004. Initially thought to be gas clouds, astronomers realized that they could not be clouds when two of these objects survived the gravitational pull of a black hole.
 Through the discovery of three new G-objects - G3, G4 and G5 - these researchers have reached the conclusion that these are bloated stars. These are stars that have become so large that tidal forces exerted by a black hole can pull matter off of the star, yet remain contact through a stellar core with a sizable mass.
 Researchers believe that G-objects may have formed through the collision of two stars orbiting each other. "In the aftermath of such a merger, the resulting single object would be 'puffed up,' or distended, for a rather long period of time, perhaps a million years, before it settles down and appears like a normal-sized star," said UCLA astronomy professor Mark Morris, a co-principal investigator of this study.

Read more about this fascinating story at: https://www.space.com/40850-mysterious-puffy-objects-monster-black-hole.html
The latest unpublished findings were announced this week at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Denver, Colorado.

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