Mysterious 'spiral object' found swirling around Milky Way center and it's astonished scientists
Share this

A STRANGE spiral object has been discovered by researchers – and it has a hidden secret.

Scientists have discovered what looks to be a miniature spiral galaxy near the center of our Milky Way galaxy, according to a new study.

An illustration of the mysterious spiral’s history, showing (from bottom to top) its evolution 12,000 years ago, 8,000 years ago, 4,000 years ago, and today.


An illustration of the mysterious spiral’s history, showing (from bottom to top) its evolution 12,000 years ago, 8,000 years ago, 4,000 years ago, and today.Credit: Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

The spiral, however, is made of gas and dust and revolves around a single large star.

Located about 26,000 light-years from Earth, this star is massive – around 32 times as big as our solar system’s Sun.

It also sits within a larger disk of swirling gas, known as a “protostellar disk”.

There are thousands of these disks throughout the universe as they help to ‘feed’ young stars, enabling them to evolve into large suns.

A unique find

Researchers discovered this mysterious spiral via the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile.

It’s considered a ‘unique’ discovery because astronomers have never observed a disk like this before – one that resembles a miniature galaxy and is located dangerously close to our galaxy’s center.

The team of scientists also found that the disk doesn’t appear to be moving in a way that’s consistent with other known spiral objects.

Instead, it seems that the object may have formed from a near-collision with another body.

To test their theory, the researchers looked at dozens of possible orbits for the strange object.

And then they conducted a simulation to see if any of them could produce the spiral shape.

After their assessments, the researchers concluded that outer objects may be able to blow star disks into spiral forms.

“The nice match among analytical calculations, the numerical simulation and the ALMA observations provides robust evidence that the spiral arms in the disk are relics of the flyby of the intruding object,” study co-author Lu Xing, an associate researcher from the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in a statement.

Baby formula warning after TENTH infant death linked to plant is investigated
Erika ‘should go to JAIL’ for refusing to hand over $750K earrings

Essentially, the findings show that disks are subject to processes such as flybys early on in their evolution.

And these processes can immensely influence the formation of stars and planets. 

Share this
You May Also Like

Google Street View catches sunbathing woman in VERY strange position – but photo has an even weirder secret

GOOGLE Maps is no stranger to odd discoveries on Street View but…

Leaked video shows DJI’s rumored cinewhoop FPV drone in action

A leaked video has given us another look at the DJI Avata,…

MultiVersus: Every upcoming and current playable character

MULTIVERSUS the all new multi-franchise fighting game has launched with an amazing…

Sky Sports deal saves you £108 a YEAR in incredible summer offer – how to get it

WITH THE Premier League 2022/23 season kicking off over the weekend, now’s…

Parents can now see WHO kids are chatting to on Snapchat – and they don’t even need to fight for their smartphone

PARENTS can now see who their kids are chatting with on Snapchat…

Virgin Media giving away a FREE TV worth £479.99 with these broadband bundles

CUSTOMERS joining Virgin Media are in for a treat when shopping for…

How many people watched Severance? Apple won’t even tell Ben Stiller

There’s no doubt that Severance is a hit — the show’s first…

Facebook and Instagram users ‘leaving trail’ that could put you in danger

BRITS will leave behind an online trail of 9,828 photos and a…