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The star at the center of the Milky Way is not from our galaxy

The star at the center of the Milky Way is not from our galaxy

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A research team wants to know how a star managed to reach the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Its original location is another mystery.

Sendai, Japan – An intrusive object has been found near the center of our galaxy. The star could not have formed there because its chemical composition is more similar to that of its small satellite galaxies than that of the Milky Way. Judging by his age, the star has come a long way. But how could he end up here?

Stars can move very fast and very far by forces such as supernova explosions or collisions with high-gravity objects. This means that a star from outside the galaxy could find its way into it. But what is special is that this star has almost reached the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

The star S0-6 is located near the black hole Sagittarius A*.

The intruder is star S0-6. Shugo Nishiyama and his team from Miyagi University of Education are trying Determined in the study How did the star reach the center of the Milky Way? Currently, S0-6 is located just 0.04 light-years from the Sagittarius A* black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Although this star is the first from outside our galaxy to be found there, it is not uncommon to find strange stars in the region.

In fact, the black hole’s forces ensure that no new stars can form in the region. Accordingly, the stars there must have originated farther away and migrated there. On the one hand, this could happen with stars in the region that slip into a narrower orbit due to interactions with their surroundings. But it could also come from another galaxy, such as S0-6.

The research team continues to search for the birthplace of star S0-6

The team tried to find out the source of S0-6. Stars formed in the same place usually have a similar chemical composition. Its composition is reminiscent of the Small Magellanic Cloud and the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy. This means that the star must have traveled at least 50,000 light-years since its formation. However, Nishiyama suspects that the star’s hometown no longer exists.

Star S0-6 black hole research telescope
Researchers search for the original home of the star (symbolic image) © serrnovik/Imago

Based on its composition, conclusions can be drawn that the star comes from a satellite galaxy. Since its formation, the Milky Way has swallowed up several smaller galaxies. Perhaps the star’s place of origin was one of them. In addition to the star’s origin, Nishiyama and his team want to know if the star traveled its long journey alone or if others of its kind can be found here. Not only the location of the stars, but also their brightness, can puzzle researchers. But references to “dark” stars also cause confusion.

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