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National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)

ALMA Discovers Infant Stars Surprisingly Near Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole

28 Nov 2017, 16:00 UTC
ALMA Discovers Infant Stars Surprisingly Near Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole Bill Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

At the center of our galaxy, in the immediate vicinity of its supermassive black hole, is a region wracked by powerful tidal forces and bathed in intense ultraviolet and X-ray radiation. These harsh conditions, astronomers surmise, do not favor star formation, especially low-mass stars like our sun. Surprisingly, new observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) suggest otherwise.

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