Astronomers have discovered a new type of star emerging at Milky Way's centre. According to their observations, the new stellar objects were formed because of the galaxy's supermassive black hole. The supermassive black hole sitting at the centre of Earth's neighbourhood is called Sagittarius A*. Due to its powerful gravitational pull, the cosmic objects it attracts oftentimes collide and merge with one another.

Discovering Sagittarius A*'s Latest Creations

black hole
NASA

Recently, a team of astronomers observing Sagittarius A* spotted six strange new objects near the supermassive black hole's centre. Although the stellar objects were not like anything they have seen before, the astronomers noted that they displayed features that are very familiar.

The six objects, which have been labelled G1 to G6 in a new study published in Nature, appear like massive blobs of gas. The astronomers noted that each of these blobs is several times more massive than Earth. Although they appear like blobs of gas, they don't get torn apart when they approach the edge of Sagittarius A*. Astronomers noted that this characteristic is very similar to the behaviour of young stars.

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The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) captured this unprecedented image of two circumstellar disks, in which baby stars are growing, feeding with material from their surrounding birth disk. The complex network of dust structures distributed in spiral shapes remind of the loops of a pretzel. These observations shed new light on the earliest phases of the lives of stars and help astronomers determine the conditions in which binary stars are born. ALMA ESO/NAOJ/NRAO, Alves et al.

Identifying The New Stellar Objects

To determine the exact nature of the objects, the astronomers observed Milky Way's centre to find other G-type cosmic matter. After discovering a few more objects, they analyzed their characteristics to learn more about their nature.

This led the astronomers to believe that the strange stellar objects are hybrids of gas and stars. According to the astronomers, these new objects may have formed after a pair of binary stars, which are systems composed of two stellar objects that orbit one another, collided and merged due to the gravitational pull of Sagittarius A*.

The powerful collision between the cosmic objects produced massive amounts of gas and dust. This caused the newly-formed object to appear like a giant cloud of gas. "Black holes may be driving binary stars to merge," Andrea Ghaz of the University of California and co-author of a new study said in a statement. "It's possible that many of the stars we've been watching and not understanding may be the end product of [these] mergers."