Astronomers Were Stunned About Peculiar Spiral Object Near the Milky Way Galaxy’s Core

Astronomers Were Stunned About Peculiar Spiral Object Near the Milky Way Galaxy’s Core
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Most probably, astronomers will never get to learn everything about our Milky Way galaxy, although they probably wouldn’t be willing to admit it. The core of our galaxy is perhaps the most intriguing part, as that’s the place where the majority of stars exist. 

But there’s a specific cosmic object that has caught the astronomers’ attention lately and also exists somewhere near the galactic kernel of the Milky Way. At first glance, the unexpected structure resembles a miniature spiral galaxy that orbits a large star. But it’s something completely different.

It’s just a huge star

According to LiveScience.com, the newfound object is nothing more than a big star. The structure is located roughly 26,000 light-years away from our planet. A huge disc of swirling gas measuring about 4,000 AU wide and containing a star is what causes the weird shape. That’s also known as a protostellar disk, and it helps young stars nurture and become much bigger in a process that takes millions of years.

Astronomers have been using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile to observe the weird object, and they think it’s plausible that a near collision with another space object might be to blame for the weird shape. 

The research team even calculated many potential orbits and ran a simulation to see if their theory was accurate.

Lu Xing, who is a co-author of the study and an associate researcher from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, stated:

The nice match among analytical calculations, the numerical simulation and the ALMA observations provides robust evidence that the spiral arms in the disk are relics of the flyby of the intruding object.

The new study was published in Nature Astronomy.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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