A spiral object whirling around a large star at the center of the Milky Way galaxy has caught the attention of astronomers lately. Reportedly, this star is located about 26,000 light-years from Earth and is known as a “protostellar disk”. This is because of its enormous mass, which is about 32 times that of the Sun, and the capability of the disk to constantly ingest “stellar fuel” into the young stars, which eventually will become the main source of their growth into bright stars over millions of years.
These “protostellar disks” have a periphery of about 4000 astronomical units. In other words, it accounts for about 4,000 times the distance between Earth and the Sun. But this one mini galaxy formation is one of its kind which has been discovered by astronomers and who knows there will be much more in the existence of a similar nature that hasn’t been revealed yet.
The researchers found this unique phenomenon by using the “Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope” in Chile and discovered that this protostellar disk is not revolving in a natural way that may structure it into a spiral shape. Hence, based on these observations, they develop a hypothesis in their research that the cause of these spirals around the miniature star galaxy is the conflicting confrontation with a nearby object, which is anticipated to be about three times the size of the sun.
To test the practicality of this hypothesis, a team of researchers has simulated the project by bringing a dozen probable orbits into the object’s path and carrying it out in such a way that it may confront any of them in order to determine the root cause of this spiral formation. The study co-author Lu Xing, an associate researcher from the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said, “The nice match among analytical calculations, the numerical simulation, and the ALMA observations provide robust evidence that the spiral arms in the disk are relics of the flyby of the intruding object.”
Hence, it was also found that the objects which induce spiral shape formation on the stellar disks are actually found on the galactic scale, and this is clear evidence of encountering such objects on the galactic scale because our Milky Way galaxy is very dense due to the presence of an enormous number of stars. Therefore, such happenings on the galactic scale of our Milky Way galaxy are pretty normal and there might be millions of such miniature spirals that researchers are yet to discover.