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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Scientists Identify Mysterious Object at the Milky Way's Center

Hawaii’s W.M. Keck Observatory

(Photo : Ethan Tweedie) Telescopes from Hawaii’s W.M. Keck Observatory discovered that G2 is a pair of binary stars that merged together, cloaked in gas and dust.

A new study reveals the mystery behind the massive bizarre object located in the center of the Milky Way galaxy that has puzzled astronomers for years.

The object is apparently a pair of binary stars that have merged.

This object known as G2 was long believed to be a hydrogen gas cloud gravitating towards the Milky Way's gigantic black hole.

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Astronomers from the University of California closely studied the phenomenon last summer and said they've solved the mystery. According to lead researcher Andrea Ghez, who's also a professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA, this object is actually a pair of binary stars.

This pair has transformed into an extremely huge star shrouded in gas and dust because its movements are being manipulated by the black hole's intensely powerful gravitational field.

Astronomers reckon that if G2 was an actual hydrogen cloud, the black hole would have destroyed it a long time ago. This event would have resulted in a massive intergalactic explosion that would have significantly changed the black hole's state.

Ghez elaborates that G2 has been sitting pretty in its orbit, a phenomenon possible only with a gas cloud. G2 was actually left unaffected by the black hole.

Ghez has been studying thousands of star systems in the vicinity and outskirts of the colossal black hole. G2 is a new emerging class of stars formed near black holes due to powerful gravitational forces that merge binary stars into one.

During the merging of two stars, one star suffers an abrasion to its outermost layer but will continue to exist now as a supermassive star. It's also common in the Milky Way system for massive stars to pair up.

Ghez also describes this event as a "spaghetti-fication" where objects near black holes become elongated. This research was conducted at Hawaii's WM Keck Observatory that is home to the world's two biggest optical and infrared telescopes.

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