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“Trail of Stars” turned out to be something completely different

“Trail of Stars” turned out to be something completely different

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from: Tanya Banner

galaxy.jpg © HST

A black hole that was ejected from its galaxy and left behind a trail of stars – this interpretation of a phenomenon in space seems to be incorrect.

Tenerife – In early April, a research team led by Professor of Astronomy and Physics Peter van Dokkum of Yale University reported a phenomenon in space: a narrow, straight band of newly formed stars, far from any galaxy, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. telescope. A research group led by van Dokkum took it up and came up with a theory as well in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters published had become.

The theory: A supermassive black hole has been ejected from its host galaxy, leaving new stars in its wake as it makes its way through space. “Nothing like this has ever been seen anywhere in the universe,” Van Dokkum explained after the study was published. However, there must be many exceptions to research group theory – which is why other research teams are investigating the matter further. A new study has been published in the journal Astronomy and astrophysics, to an entirely different result. “Despite the undeniable interest in this idea,” the research group writes, “the actual physical explanation is not without difficulties.”

A new study: the “runaway” black hole turns into a galaxy

“The motions, size and number of stars correspond to a galaxy in the local universe,” explains Jorge Sanchez Almeida of the Instituto Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) in one communication. Almeida is the lead author of the study, which found a simpler explanation for the phenomenon observed by Hubble. “We offer a more traditional explanation: the star’s tail is a converging galaxy without a bulge,” says the study. Study leader Almeida was pleased with the statement: “It is with great satisfaction that we have found the solution to this problem. The new proposed scenario is much simpler.”

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A research team discovers a strange artifact in a recording
A research team discovers a strange trail in a Hubble record. It turned out to be a string of young blue stars 200,000 light-years across. A black hole has been ejected from its galaxy, causing stars to form along the way. © NASA, European Space Agency, Peter van Dokkum (Yale); Image processing: Joseph DiPasquale (STScI)

Previously, Almeida’s team had compared the fuzzy structure in the universe to IC5249, a well-studied galaxy that is bulge-free and has a mass of stars similar to the fuzzy star trail in space. To everyone’s surprise, the research group reached a consensus. “When we analyzed the velocities of this distant stellar structure, we found that they were very similar to the rotational velocities of galaxies,” explains co-author Mireya Montes. So they decided to compare a much closer galaxy and found it to be “extraordinarily similar”.

The universe: “a galaxy that behaves like a galaxy”

The relationship between mass and maximum rotational speed also indicates that the unusual structure is “a galaxy that behaves like a galaxy,” according to Ignacio Trujillo, who was also involved in the study. “It’s an interesting object because it’s a relatively large galaxy, very far away from Earth,” Trujillo explained. Most of the galaxies near Earth are smaller. (unpaid bill)