A researcher found evidence which infers the presence of an elusive force or phenomenon that punched holes in the Milky Way galaxy, but the discovery is surrounded in mystery.
The researcher who discovered the holes compared the manifestation to a bullet-like object. Initial surveys found a series of holes in the most extended stellar stream of our galaxy, known as GD-1. Stellar streams can be envisioned as a line of stars which move in a coordinated manner across the galaxy, often in the wake of an impact with the said galaxy. The stars encountered in the GD-1 stream are the remnants of a globular cluster which came into contact with the Milky Way eons ago.
In most cases, the stream is defined by a single line of stars which is influenced by the gravitational pull of our galaxy. A single gap it the stream is expected since it would mark the direction of the globular cluster before the gravitational force split it.
An Elusive Force Punched Holes in the Milky Way Galaxy
However, GD-1 features a secondary gap, with a rough edge which infers that something may have passed through the stream at one point, exerting a strong gravitational pull which was able to attract other stars after it.
According to the researcher, the impactor cannot be linked to any of the existing objects that were observed. It is thought that it has to be considerably bigger than a star, with a large mass that could be exponentially larger than that of our sun. This means that a little star wouldn’t be strong enough. While a black hole could produce a similar effect, it would have to be a supermassive one, on par with the found in the center of our galaxy.
This would involve the presence of some traces in the form of residual radiation or flares. No such marks were spotted, and the fact that most supermassive black holes reside in the center of a galaxy reinforces the theory that a black hole is not behind the force that punched holes in the Milky Way galaxy. Further research is already underway, and more information could be found in the future.
Bo has over six years experience as a teacher, advocate and speaker. He has a B.S. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Human rights from Harvard University Graduate School.