A mysterious star from outside the Milky Way has somehow ended up near our galaxy’s supermassive black hole – DNyuz

A mysterious star from outside the Milky Way has somehow ended up near our galaxy’s supermassive black hole

Scientists have spotted a star near the center of the Milky Way that shouldn’t be there.

A study published Monday suggests SO-6, a star located about 0. 04 light-years from the black hole at the center of our galaxy, could be an extragalactic star that traveled more than 50,000 light years to reach our galaxy’s heart.

This is the first study to show that a star from outside our galaxy could end up in the middle of it.

The findings may help to explain an old galactic mystery. Where do the stars that are near the black holes come from? Sagittarius A*, the black hole inside our galaxy, is supermassive so its gravity is too intense for stars to be born in that area.

To identify its origins, a team of scientists led by Shogo Nishiyama at Miyagi University of Education in Japan, studied the stars’s composition using the Subaru Telescope, a 26-foot-wide observatory in Hawaii.

They found the star was made of chemicals more often seen in smaller galaxies that float outside the Milky Way, like the Small Magellanic Cloud and the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy.

The most likely theory is that SO-6 was born in a small galaxy that once orbited the Milky Way but has since disintegrated.

The orphaned star, which is at least 10 billion years old, would have then been grabbed by the Milky Way’s gravitational pull. It traveled at least 50,000 light years to reach Sagittarius A*, though it may have gone even farther than that as it’s more likely to have gone in a spiral rather than a straight line.

Scientists will now work to confirm the origin of SO-6, as well as determine if it traveled alone or with companions, lead scientist Nishiyama said.

“With further investigation, we hope to unravel the mysteries of stars near the supermassive black hole,” he added.

The post A mysterious star from outside the Milky Way has somehow ended up near our galaxy’s supermassive black hole appeared first on Business Insider.

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