The Paradox of Youth: The Surprising Discovery of a Young Star Near a Supermassive Black Hole


The universe never ceases to amaze us with its infinite mysteries and surprises. From the tiniest subatomic particles to the largest structures in the cosmos, there is always something new and mind-boggling to discover. Recently, astronomers have stumbled upon a perplexing phenomenon that challenges our understanding of star formation in the vicinity of supermassive black holes.

  • It has long been believed that the harsh conditions around these cosmic monsters would prevent the birth of new stars. However, to scientists’ surprise, young stars were found near the black hole. This phenomenon, known as the “paradox of youth,” has puzzled scientists for years.
  • Recently, a baby star called X3a was discovered in the vicinity of the black hole. It is ten times bigger and fifteen times heavier than our Sun, and its existence could help close the gap between star formation and the young stars in the vicinity of the black hole. 
  • The conditions required for X3a to form in the immediate vicinity of the black hole include low temperatures, high densities, and cloud-cloud collisions that remove angular momentum.
  • Scientists theorize that a dense cloud formed in the outer gas and dust ring around the centre of the Galaxy collapsed under its own gravity and formed one or more protostars. This scenario would explain X3a’s “birth” and its stellar development phase. 
  • Furthermore, many galaxies have similar dust and gas rings, indicating that this mechanism could also occur in other galaxies. 

The discovery of X3a and the mechanism behind its formation shows that surprising discoveries in the universe can happen at any time. These discoveries help us better understand our universe and inspire us to continue exploring and discovering more about the mysteries of the cosmos.

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