Nothing in the universe is eternal. New research has shown that even a massive galaxy like the Milky Way can easily evaporate as a result of a process. In our article below, we write about this – almost unimaginable, but not impossible – event.
The brightest stars in galaxies live for a very short time. Due to their high energy production, they consume all of their hydrogen in a few million years and then explode as a bright supernova. The remnants of their cores then collapse into neutron stars or black holes, which then circulate in outer space as a kind of stellar graveyard.
Detecting them is a difficult task, since neutron stars are only fifteen kilometers in diameter and star-like black holes are even smaller. Until now, there has been no map or study of where these remains could be located, but there is one new research modeled their imaginable position.
A short video presentation on the differences between neutron stars and stellar black holes:
To do this, they examined the distribution of stars in our current galaxy and then simulated how stellar remnants can be attracted and deflected by various interactions. Since these dead stars are much older than the now bright celestial bodies, they have had more time to enter a new orbit.
As imagined at the beginning of the experiments, a statistically detectable blur was observed in the position of the stellar remnants. Their distribution can be traced on a plane three times larger than that of the Milky Way – we can read a ScienceAlert in his article.
In addition, another interesting fact was noted, namely that some neutron stars and star-like black holes are ejected from the galaxy due to various environmental effects. According to the model, some stars undergo such close encounters that they accelerate too much, escaping the gravitational pull of the Milky Way.
This means that our galaxy could suddenly evaporate due to the loss of mass. This phenomenon is not uncommon, for example, in the case of globular clusters, but it is surprising that even a much more stable cluster can undergo such processes.
Another surprising aspect of the study is that these remains are fairly evenly distributed throughout the Milky Way. There should be a graveyard of stars within a hundred light-years of most stars, so there may already be such a remnant at a distance of about 65 light-years from the Sun that we’re not even aware of.