Black Holes are a cosmic phenomenon which evokes awe and foreboding at the same time. At times a star comes close to a black hole, and it gets ripped off by the immense gravity which sends a long streamer of gas into the outer regions. This is the typical story of any cosmic body which wanders too close to any black hole. However, it is not the end of the saga.
Scientists have recently found out that the long stream of gas which is shredded out by the immense gravity coalesces to form an object of the size of a planet. This planet is flung across the galaxy in a cosmic game of “spitball.”
The results of the study were explained by lead author Eden Girma, from Harvard University at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. According to Girma, a single shredded star can form hundreds of planet-like objects, and this leads to another question- What happens to them? How close do they come to us? The team developed a computer code to find answers to this question.
According to the calculations, the objects could be a few hundred light-years of Earth and the mass would be in between several Jupiter and Neptune. These objects could retain the warmth of its formation but are not bright enough since they were not discernable in previous findings. Girma hopes that shortly with the coming up of Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope, these objects will be detected in future.
A majority of these objects have speeds more than 10,000 km/second, and they exit the galaxy immediately but will take millions of years to reach the neighborhood of Earth. Galaxies which have bigger black holes at their core could be going through the same process.
Black Holes have always baffled astronomers, and for a long time, its existence was only hypothesized. However, its existence has been confirmed by the LIGO experiment which discovered gravitational waves-the burp in space and time fabric as predicted by Einstein’s theory of relativity.