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It looks like a small galaxy. A strange spiral has been discovered around a star in the Milky Way (photo)

An unusual spiral disk rotates around a huge star, which is 32 times larger than the Sun.

An international team of scientists has found something amazing near the center of the Milky Way. This is an unusual object that looks a lot like a spiral galaxy that orbits a lone massive star. Of course, the galaxy cannot do this, so astronomers have found an explanation for the unusual phenomenon. science alert.

Astronomers often observe young stars that are surrounded by a so-called protostellar disk. This is a disk of gas that revolves around a star and fuels its further growth so that the star can grow into a large and bright object after millions of years of evolution.

But astronomers have never seen anything quite like what they have discovered before. A spiral object that appears to be a miniature galaxy orbiting a star near the center of our galaxy.

It turned out that this unusual spiral object is a protostellar disk, it just has a very strange shape. The star itself, which is located in the center of this disk of gas, is located at a distance of 26 thousand light years from Earth. It is about 32 times larger than our Sun. As for the disk itself, its approximate diameter is 4 thousand astronomical units, that is, 4 thousand distances from the Sun to our planet.

Scientists believe that the protostellar disk acquired an unusual spiral shape due to the intervention of a mysterious object that hides not far from the spiral disk about 3 times more than the mass of the Sun. Astronomers have come to the conclusion that the protostellar disk could not take a spiral shape on its own and most likely collided with an unknown space object.

protostellar spiral disk

The lower part of the image shows the stages of formation of a spiral protostellar disk. Above are images of this disk taken with the ALMA telescope (top left) and two objects that are nearby (top right)

Photo: ScienceAlert

Having created a simulation of a possible cosmic process of transformation of a protostellar disk, scientists suggested that a sufficiently massive object could fly near the disk, which could affect the movement of dust and gas in the disk, which led to an unusual spiral shape. According to Lu Xing from the Nanhai Astronomical Observatory, all calculations indicate that the spiral arms in the protostellar disk appeared as a result of the intervention of another object.

Not only have they been able to obtain the first direct images of a protostellar disk near the center of the Milky Way using the ALMA telescope, the scientists say. They were able to find out that such disks can have spiral shapes, which are mostly visible only in galaxies, due to the interference of third-party large cosmic bodies.

Scientists believe that due to the fact that there are a lot of stars in the center of our galaxy, such events can occur there all the time. Therefore, astronomers are aiming to see more such spiral protostellar disks.

Focus already wrote about the mysterious cosmic spiral object, which was seen by observers in the sky over New Zealand. Scientists have found an earthly explanation for its origin.

Also Focus wrote about what NASA showed new images of galaxies, which are neighbors of the Milky Way. But you will not see stars on them, but you can clearly see the composition of the galactic interstellar medium, which makes these images unique.

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