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Milky Way's black hole throwing cosmic spitballs in the form of gas balls

Recently astronomers have discovered that this black hole is throwing cosmic spitballs in the form of gas balls which has the size of Jupiter.


By   |  Updated On : January 13, 2017 12:51 PM
Milky Way's Black hole hitting planet sized 'spitballs' (File Photo)

Milky Way's Black hole hitting planet sized 'spitballs' (File Photo)

New Delhi :  

At every large galaxy's centre lies a supermassive black hole that keeps turning the engine. But when a star comes closer to the black holes, firework begins that later cuts the star into 100 million Jupiter- the mass about 36 million km per hour.

Recently astronomers have discovered that this black hole is throwing cosmic spitballs in the form of gas balls which has the size of Jupiter.

According to a new simulation presented on January 6th at the American Astronomical Society shows about catching neighbourhood trickster in the act.

"A single shredded star can form hundreds of these planet-mass objects. We wondered: Where do they end up? How close do they come to us? We developed a computer code to answer those questions," says lead author Eden Girma, an undergraduate student at Harvard University and a member of the Banneker/Aztlan Institute. Girma is presenting her findings at a Wednesday poster session and Friday press conference at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

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The black hole' rips the unlucky star apart by sending a long streamer of gas whipping outward. 

New research by Girma shows that not only can the gas gather itself into planet-size objects, but those objects then are flung throughout the galaxy in a game of cosmic "spitball."

According to her calculations, the closest of these planet-mass objects might be within a few hundred light-years of Earth. It would take a million years for this "spitball" to reach Earth's neighbourhood.

It would have the weight between Neptune and several Jupiters. Future instruments like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope might spot these far-flung oddities.

It has also been found that the majority of the planet-mass objects - 95 percent - will leave the galaxy entirely due to their speeds of about 20 million miles per hour (10,000 km/s). Since most other galaxies also have giant black holes at their cores, it's likely that the same process is at work in them.

"Other galaxies like Andromeda are shooting these 'spitballs' at us all the time," says co-author James Guillochon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

This planet will be different from a typical planet, although they might be planet sized.

First Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 08:13 AM



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