MIT astronomers discover a new and mysterious system 3,000 light years from Earth. The stellar oddity appears to be a new “black widow binary”, which may have originated near the center of the Milky Way.
This likely triple black widow is raising questions about how such a system could have formed. Based on its observations, the MIT team proposes an origin story: As with most black widow binaries, the triple system likely arose from a dense constellation of old stars known as a globular cluster. This particular cluster may have drifted into the Milky Way’s center, where the gravity of the central black hole was enough to pull the cluster apart while leaving the triple black widow intact.
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