Our universe is a great mystery, and so our Milky Way, at the centre of our Galaxy. Like most other galaxies, our Milky Way also has a supermassive black hole at the centre of our Galaxy, named Sagittarius A*. It continually pulls stars, dust, and other matter inward, forming a stellar megapolis 1 billion times denser than our corner of the Galaxy.
Recently, astronomers have spotted strange new objects near our Galaxy's central black hole. The new study was published on Jan. 15 in the journal Nature by the astronomers from UCLA's Galactic Centre Orbits Initiative, where they described six mysterious objects swirling around the black hole.
These exceptional objects have been named G1 through G6. Andrea Ghez, the co-author of the study, said in a statement, "These objects look like gas and behave like stars." His team first made the detection in 2005 in the centre of our galaxy, dubbing it as G1. Then, in 2012, a second object called G2 was found. Now, Ghez's research group has discovered four more objects: G3, G4, G5, and G6, after observing the galactic centre for over 20 years.
Researchers say all six objects are the result of binary stars or a pair of stars that orbit one another that were forced together due to the intense gravity of Sagittarius A*. They also believe the elongated blobs are gas clouds, several times the mass of the Earth. However, there is confusion in their behaviour, and it is not clear whether they are gas or stars.
The co-author of the study, Mark Morris, said, "One of the things that has gotten everyone excited about the G objects is that the stuff that gets pulled off of them by tidal forces as they sweep by the central black hole must inevitably fall into the black hole."
"When that happens, it might be able to produce an impressive fireworks show since the material eaten by the black hole will heat up and emit copious radiation before it disappears across the event horizon," he added. These objects are helping scientists to understand more about the black holes, the galaxies as well as the universe. According to the team, there may be more unusual objects in this new class that will get unveiled in the future.