Mysterious Signals at the Center of Our Galaxy May Be an Optical Illusion

Space.com | 10/17/2018 | Staff
KimmyPoo (Posted by) Level 3
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The universe might be tricking us with its optical illusions.

Last spring, researchers discovered high abundances of three elements in a group of red giants (dying stars in the last stage of their evolution) less than 3 light-years away from the black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. The high levels of these elements — scandium, vanadium and yttrium — puzzled astronomers, who tried to explain the phenomenon with various theories. One theory suggested that the abnormally high levels of the elements resulted from the descent of old stars into the black hole, while another posited that the elements were debris from the collision of neutron stars, according to a statement.

Explanations - Group - Astronomers - Physicists - Elements

The latest of such explanations was recently proposed by an international group of astronomers and atomic physicists. They argue that those elements didn't actually exist at the high concentrations observed. Rather, the elements were probably an illusion all along, the researchers reported in a new study published yesterday (Oct. 10) in the Astrophysical Journal.

On Oct. 17, 2016, Orbital ATK returned to flight and successfully launched a cargo shipment to the International Space Station. The private spaceflight company was contracted by NASA to fly cargo to the ISS, and stakes were high for this launch. Orbital ATK's last attempt nearly two years earlier ended in a catastrophic explosion. Despite some delays, the newly upgraded Antares rocket flawlessly blasted off into the night sky from Wallops Island in Virginia. Six days later,...
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