Scientists have found out where the red giants disappeared from the center of the Milky Way

Scientists believe that the Milky Way’s central black hole could have turned nearby red giant stars into bluer, hotter stars.

Countless stars lie within 1.6 light-years of the Milky Way’s central black hole. But this densely populated area has fewer red giants – large, cool, bright stars – than there should be. Scientists have figured out the reason for this anomaly in a new study.

Astrophysicists have a new theory of why the red giants disappeared from the center of the Milky Way. Scientists believe the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A * released a powerful jet of gas that ripped off the red giants’ outer layers. This turned the stars into smaller red giants or hotter and bluer stars. Such a theory was put forward by Michal Zayachek, an astrophysicist at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, and his colleagues in an article published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Today, Sagittarius A * is calm, but scientists suggest that the black hole came to life about 4 million years ago, when something fell into it and destroyed the red giants in the center of our galaxy.

A disk of gas around the black hole shot a powerful jet of material into its star-studded surroundings. Such jets of radiation (jets) mostly affect large red giants. They are especially vulnerable due to their large size and thin gas envelope.

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