Science

Cosmic Spitballs: Milky Way Gushing Planet-Size Spitballs

By Donna Marie Lapena Padua , Jan 10, 2017 09:30 AM EST
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A new research on the natural events in the outer space has revealed that planet-size cosmic spitballs are being gushed by the black hole in the center of Milky Way. The phenomena was found to be caused by stars ripping apart as they drew closer to the black hole.

A team of researchers from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has found out that stars rushing towards a black hole are eventually ripped apart. The powerful gravity of any black hole is responsible for bursting stars where the streamer of gas then forms into planet-size balls which is then catapulted across the galaxy as spitballs.

Researchers found out that these cosmic spitballs are forced across the Milky Way at a speed approximately 20 million miles per hour, making it possible for the bodies to leave the galaxy. The research team which was led by Eden Girma reportedly came up with a computer code used to determine the end location of the cosmic spitballs. The team also looks into how close to Earth the huge gas balls can go. According to Phys.Org, the bodies can take a travel time of almost a million years towards the Earth. These findings were presented at the American Astronomical Society last Friday.

Girma revealed through CFA that the so-called cosmic spitballs has a weigh somewhere between Neptune and several Jupiter. She also said that the body would glow from its formation process and can come within a few hundreds of light-years of Earth. She also mentioned from her presentation that the cosmic spitballs have been escaping detection as their glow were not as bright for a telescope to pick up. More advanced devices though like the large Synoptic Survey Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope are expected to be more effective tools in studying the cosmic spitballs.

The co-author of the study, James Guillochon, estimates the same process taking place in other galaxies with giant black holes in them. The Andromeda, perhaps, can also be assumed to be shooting the same cosmic spitballs. Also, the study showed how the formation of the gas balls can be much quicker than that of the planets as a black hole can strip a star apart in only one day and a year for the particles to be formed as cosmic spitballs.

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