High levels of scandium near the galaxy's giant black hole were illusory, astronomers find

October 10, 2018, Lund University
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Astronomers from Lund University in Sweden have now found the explanation to a recent mystery at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy: the high levels of scandium discovered last spring near the galaxy's giant black hole were in fact an optical illusion.

Last spring, researchers published a study about the apparent presence of astonishing and dramatically high levels of three different elements in red giant stars, located less than three light years away from the big black hole at the centre of our galaxy. Various possible explanations were presented, for example that the high levels were a result of earlier stars being disrupted as they fall into the black hole, or a result of debris from the collisions of neutron stars.

Now another group of astronomers from Lund University among others, in collaboration with UCLA in California, have found an explanation for the high levels of , vanadium and yttrium. They argue that the so-called presented last spring were actually an optical illusion. Spectral lines are used to find out which elements a star contains—by using its own light.

"These giant red stars have used up most of their hydrogen fuel and their temperatures are therefore only half of the sun's", says Brian Thorsbro, lead author of the study and doctoral student in astronomy at Lund University.

According to the new study, the lower temperatures of the giant stars helped to create the that appeared in the measurements of spectral lines. Specifically, it means that the electrons in the elements behave differently at different temperatures, which in turn can be misleading when measuring the spectral lines of elements in different stars. The conclusion is the result of a close collaboration between astronomers and atomic physicists.

Brian Thorsbro and his colleagues have had the world's largest telescope, at the W. M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, at their disposal, thanks to their collaboration with R. Michael Rich at UCLA. Using this telescope and others, the research team is currently conducting a comprehensive mapping of the central areas of the Milky Way, exploring the spectral lines in the light from different stars to find out which elements they contain. The purpose is to gain an understanding of the events that have occurred in the history of the Milky Way, but also to understand how galaxies in general have formed.

"Our research collaboration is world-leading in terms of systematically mapping the elements contained in the huge central star cluster – the star cluster that surrounds the black hole", says research leader and astronomer Nils Ryde at Lund University.

The spectral lines for different elements are recorded in a high-resolution spectrometer – an advanced camera that generates a rainbow of the starlight. The research team has studied the part of the spectrum consisting of near-infrared light, i.e. the heat radiation emitted by the . The reason for this is that infrared light can penetrate the dust that obstructs the line-of-sight between us and the centre of the Milky Way, approximately 25 000 light years away. The technology for recording this is very advanced, and has only recently become available to astronomers.

"We have only started to map the stellar compositions in these central areas of the Milky Way", says Nils Ryde.

Explore further: Toothpaste fluorine formed in stars

More information: B. Thorsbro et al. Evidence against Anomalous Compositions for Giants in the Galactic Nuclear Star Cluster, The Astrophysical Journal (2018). DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aadb97

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Benni
1.8 / 5 (15) Oct 10, 2018
This is what happens when Pop-Cosmology fantasy encounters Real Science, the mirage evaporates along with imaging a BH at Sgr A* which also has never been done per:

http://ircamera.a...nter.htm .......7th photo frame from the top of the page:

"Ever increasing resolution in infrared images showed the black hole is not the energy source. The brightest source in the very high resolution near infrared image to the right is IRS 7, a red supergiant that puts out most of its energy in the near infrared. The other bright stars are also very young and massive. The blue-appearing ones in the center of the image are a unique clustering of very luminous, massive stars. Any black hole must be invisible. (image from Gemini Project). If the black hole dominated the energy of the Galactic Center, it would be the second brightest source in the infrared image."

Nik_2213
4.3 / 5 (14) Oct 10, 2018
@B: You are completely wrong.
This is GOOD Science: A finding was announced, tested, found to be wrong, corrected. QED.
rrwillsj
3.8 / 5 (13) Oct 10, 2018
benni wouldn't recognize the Scientific processes if they fell on him. He's too busy gloating over discovering that when he throws a rock up into the sky? It will magically fall back onto his gaping astonishment..
RealityCheck
2 / 5 (8) Oct 10, 2018
@Nik_2213, @Benni, @rrwillsj.

It's not clear what you are disagreeing with in @Benni's above opening line; quote:
This is what happens when Pop-Cosmology fantasy encounters Real Science, the mirage evaporates...
I read it as implying/acknowledging that the above study was an example of "real" (ie, 'good') science which dispelled the 'illusion' (ie, 'mirage') from the earlier example of 'bad' science. I only commented on this because even though I don't much agree with @Benni on most scientific 'understandings', I nevertheless wish to be fair and impartial towards him (and everyone else for that matter, regardless of what 'side' they are on).

If I have misread the posted statements from the parties concerned, I would greatly appreciate it if any/all of the posters concerned could please correct my 'take(s)' accordingly. Thanks. :)
Uncle Ira
4.1 / 5 (9) Oct 10, 2018
@ Really-Skippy. How you are Cher? I am doing okay and everything is all good here, thanks for asking.

I would greatly appreciate it if any/all of the posters concerned could please correct my 'take(s)' accordingly.


Skippy, any/all/everybody and anybody else too has been trying to correct your 'take(s)' accordingly for 12 or 11 years now,,,,, does this mean you are finally going to start listening to them any/all/everybody and anybody else too?
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 10, 2018
@Nik_2213, @Benni, @rrwillsj.

It's not clear what you are disagreeing with in @Benni's above opening line; quote:
This is what happens when Pop-Cosmology fantasy encounters Real Science, the mirage evaporates...
I read it as implying/acknowledging that the above study was an example of "real" (ie, 'good') science which dispelled the 'illusion' (ie, 'mirage') from the earlier example of 'bad' science. I only commented on this because even though I don't much agree with @Benni on most scientific 'understandings', I nevertheless wish to be fair and impartial towards him (and everyone else for that matter, regardless of what 'side' they are on).

If I have misread the posted statements from the parties concerned, I would greatly appreciate it if any/all of the posters concerned could please correct my 'take(s)' accordingly. Thanks. :)


RC. there is nothing wrong in your, or Benni's premise. Science has been righted/corrected and therefore has been accomplished.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 10, 2018
With such a powerful spectrometer, they may be able to discover brand new atomic particles in those Stars on the other side of the Universe that are previously unknown to our Periodic Table.
They might even make a movie out of this.

:)
I see that at least one of the 5 Star Club has arrived.
RealityCheck
2.2 / 5 (10) Oct 10, 2018
@Uncle Ira.
Skippy, any/all/everybody and anybody else too has been trying to correct your 'take(s)' accordingly for 12 or 11 years now,,
Mate, your kind of bot-voting, trolling, oft-demonstrated/admitted ignoramus crap is now 'on the nose' with those very same posters who previously for years recklessly approved, applauded, encouraged, enabled you to perpetrate same against me. Why 'on the nose' with them now? Because the same sort of bot-voting idiocy which you/they engaged in for years is now bedeviling them. What goes around, comes around, hey Ira? And wow, are they squealing about it now it's happening to them! They only have themselves/you to blame, hey "cher"? I can sympathize with them of course, having endured it for years from you/gang, but I can't help feel 'irony' and 'just deserts' have come home to roost for you/them. My being correct all along re science/logics and behavior makes it all the more poignant to realize you/gang so wasted your time/intellect.
Uncle Ira
3.5 / 5 (8) Oct 10, 2018
They only have themselves/you to blame, hey "cher"? I can sympathize with them of course, having endured it for years from you/gang, but I can't help feel 'irony' and 'just deserts' have come home to roost for you/them.


For a genius you sure are stupid. What it is? The silly looking pointy cap I give you too small and cutting off the blood flow? What is the themselves/you and the you/gang and the you/them mean? You got just as much trouble with the English as you do the space science stuffs.

What does it mean that I only have me to blame? I have not accused you or anybody else either of anything.

If you did not mean to include me in with the they/them, apology accepted. Thanks and laissez le bon ton rouler Cher.
RealityCheck
1.9 / 5 (9) Oct 10, 2018
@Uncle Ira.
What does it mean that I only have me to blame? I have not accused you or anybody else either of anything......If you did not mean to include me in with the they/them, apology accepted.
Playing 'stupid' suits you, mate. But it won't exculpate you from the longstanding bot-voting, ignoramus and person/discussion trolling/sabotaging you perpetrated for years here in unconscionable complicit concert with the CS gang who rated you '5's right or wrong (in obvious exchange for you rating them 5's right or wrong). It only compounds the already grievous 'bad actor' part you long played in CS-gang campaigns (dare I say 'crimes') you/they effectively and inexcusably perpetrated against objective scientific method/discourse and just plain humanity and fair play. Reflect on your bad behavior and apologize to the Forum; and stop playing stupid. That is the only way you can make amends for the damage you have done. Better luck in your choices going forward, Ira. :)
Benni
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 10, 2018
Skippy, any/all/everybody and anybody else too has been trying to correct your 'take(s)' accordingly for 12 or 11 years now,


......and profanity laced foul mouthed name calling rants are expected to do this?
danR
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 10, 2018
I can't see a single comment so far of the opening eleven that has any substantive bearing on the mis-identification of scandium in near-BH starts due to a spectral optical illusion.

The article itself is mal-written enough that the whole works may as well be taken down and reposted with a properly fine-grained explication of the 'optical illusory' aspect of the scandium etc. error. The author has botched that part of it.
Da Schneib
3.9 / 5 (7) Oct 10, 2018
Hmmm, so reading the abstract it appears that identical spectral lines have been detected in nearby red giants of the same type. Looks like not only is it not limited to the galactic center, they aren't even sure it's actually scandium.

Looks like there's some lab work to be done here. 3500K isn't all that hot. Shouldn't be hard.
RealityCheck
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 11, 2018
@danR.
any substantive bearing on the mis-identification of scandium in near-BH starts due to a spectral optical illusion.
The abstract in the link says, in part:
We clearly identify strong Sc i lines in our solar neighborhood sample as well as in the NSC sample. The strong Sc i lines in M giants are therefore not unique to stars in the NSC and we argue that the strong lines are a property of the line formation process that currently escapes accurate theoretical modeling. We further conclude that for giant stars with effective temperatures below approximately 3800 K these Sc i lines should not be used for deriving the scandium abundances in any astrophysical environment until we better understand how these lines are formed.
They suggest lower temp. stars produce spectral lines which may not be reliable for estimating Scandium abundances, as the electrons behave differently at different temps. In short, that may have led to 'false pattern recognition' artifact.
cantdrive85
1.9 / 5 (9) Oct 11, 2018
If one accepts the possibility that the original researchers are incorrect in their assumptions it opens a humongous can of worms for the plasma ignoramuses. The assumptions and conclusions based on nearly the entire edifice of the standard guesswork are up for reinterpretation given this finding. This isn't just about these red stars and these elements but the guesses of plasma ignoramuses everywhere.
rrwillsj
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 11, 2018
Reality_Check, your points of contention are exactly why I refuse to engage in the ridiculously useless exercise of upvoting/downvoting & 1 to 5 stars nonsense.

The system is broken and has been for some time. More than a decade. It has been completely corrupted by the huckster/hoaxer/fraudster woo-merchandising charlatans and mountebanks who infest the Internet.

Once the trolls discovered they could pump and pack the votes? None of those claims can be accepted without deep skepticism.

It is no wonder that so many of them are altright fairytails. Perfect tools for Pimp Putin and his favorite whore, trump. To use for stuffing American ballot boxes with fake votes.

I am open for suggestions of how, if at all possible? To reform or even replace the present wreckage. Maybe some way of preventing a commentator from hiding behind sock-puppets? And some way to prevent commentators from fraudulently upvoting and starring their own comments?
jonesdave
3.7 / 5 (9) Oct 11, 2018
If one accepts the possibility that the original researchers are incorrect in their assumptions it opens a humongous can of worms for the plasma ignoramuses. The assumptions and conclusions based on nearly the entire edifice of the standard guesswork are up for reinterpretation given this finding. This isn't just about these red stars and these elements but the guesses of plasma ignoramuses everywhere.


No, thicko. This is how science works, you cretin. Somebody makes an observation. They report it in the scientific literature. Other people read it, and decide to test it. They find it to be flawed.
On the other hand, we have unqualified woo merchants making sh!t up, never publishing it, and pretending that their sub-human scientific proposals are somehow valid.
Big difference, Velikovsky boy.
RealityCheck
2.1 / 5 (7) Oct 11, 2018
@RNP.

Further to our recent exchange in that other thread, where I pointed out the total disregard/disrespect, for science/humanity principles, daily demonstrated by the bot-voting ignoramus trolls 'gang' which have been trying to skew/sabotage proper objective discussions, I now ask you to consider why anyone (except malignant trolls) would rate '1' against my above polite and on-science post to danR. I trust you will now see why I will not waste my time/energy pandering/cow-towing to bot-voting troll gangs obviously having NO interest in polite/fair discourse on the science and logics, but only in disruption/sabotage trying to gain control/censoring power over others using their gang-bully tactics and rate-metrics skewing. There is NO place for such 'bad actors' on science sites; EVER; at any level; as they bring DISREPUTE on the OBJECTIVE scientific endeavor. With such 'friends' as these 'bad actor' bot-voting gangs, true science/scientists don't need 'other' enemies! :)
granville583762
3.4 / 5 (5) Oct 12, 2018
Begone to the quantum fluctuations
rrwillsj> The system is broken and has been for some time. More than a decade.
I am open for suggestions of how, if at all possible? To reform or even replace the present wreckage.

Your wish is my command Oh masterly one, if one of your three worldly wishes is to banish the wreckage to the quantum fluctuations for eternity rrwillis, your wish lies in the implementation of the layout of https://techxplore.com

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