A team of astronomers believes they have discovered a new class of cosmic objects after observing “bizarre objects” at the center of our galaxy, in the very region where there is a huge supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A.
It seems to be somewhere between a gas condensate and a star, as suggested by Andrea Ghez, professor of astrophysics and director of the Galactic Center Group at the University of California at Los Angeles. In the study, published in Nature, compact objects are described that at a certain point seem to stretch as they approach the black hole. The orbit of these objects is relatively long and can range from 100 to 1000 years, as explained by Anna Ciurlo, another UCLA researcher involved in the same study.
The objects, called G3, G4, G5 and G6, stand alongside two other objects (G1, discovered in 2005, and G2, discovered 2012) previously discovered that were very strange. All these objects, according to Ghez and colleagues, could be the result of the fusion of binary stars, i.e. stars that rotate around each other attracted by their gravity.
These pairs of stars, once they reach a point in their orbit very close to Sagittarius A*, seem to merge because of the immense gravitational force of this supermassive black hole, a process, the process of fusion, which takes more than a million years to complete.
According to the researchers, these objects, whose form and substance are apparently not understood, could really be the final product of fusion, a product arrived in a state of relative “calm.” However, we are talking about an extreme environment, the one around the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, which has a density of stars much higher than our galactic quarter, at least a billion times, according to what Ghez himself explains.
In a region like this, not only the gravitational attraction is very strong, but also the magnetic fields can be considered “extreme.” Precisely for this reason, we should not be so surprised if, in a region like this, we find something that, at least initially, we cannot explain its features or its oddities.