Orbiting our galaxy are many smaller dwarf galaxies. As they orbit, some of these galaxies produce vast streams of gas that stretch around our Milky Way galaxy. Much of this gas still has the potential for forming stars. This astrobite will summarize a recent discovery of one of these stars.
The black hole at the center of our galaxy, Sgr A*, is a very picky eater. However, with the discovery of the G2 cloud, astronomers have had the opportunity to watch the infrequent feeding process in Sgr A* in action. While the origin of this cloud is still debated, research is beginning to suggest that G2 is a gas cloud that was ripped away from a giant star in orbit around our galaxy’s central black hole.
How the various structures within our own Milky Way galaxy evolved is still an open question that astronomers have been slowly piecing together for a very long time. These galactic archaeologists are beginning to test a previously proposed method known as “chemical tagging” to fingerprint stars in our galaxy and trace their origin.
TITLE: Supernovae in the Central Parsec: A Mechanism for Producing Spatially Anisotropic Hypervelocity Stars AUTHORS: Kastytis Zubovas, Graham A. Wynn, Alessia Gualandris AUTHORS’ INSTITUTION: Theoretical Astrophysics Group, University of Leicester Hypervelocity Stars In 2005, Brown et al. discovered a star with a radial velocity of ~700 km/s, which is more than 3 times the Solar […]
The central question of this Letter is how and when the Milky Way assembled its stellar mass. This issue is addressed by tracing the formation history of spiral galaxies which closely resemble the Milky Way.
Unlike its candy bar namesake, the center of our Milky Way Galaxy is not actually a very pleasant place to be. There’s a supermassive central black hole to deal with, intense radiation from a population of massive stars, and hot clouds of molecular gas. In this paper, the authors use observations of three molecular spectral lines to measure the temperatures of these gas clouds in the center of the Galaxy, and find that the processes heating the clouds may not be what you expect!
Carretti and collaborators have found new evidence that the gigantic bubbles of emission emanating from the center of our Milky Way are the result of winds from supernova explosions, not jets from our supermassive black hole.
Everything in our galaxy is moving– you, the earth underneath you, the sun, other stars– everything. However, it turns out that figuring out how fast some of these things are moving is surprisingly difficult, and can have Galactic-sized implications!