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Home / Science / According to scientists, huge "structures" are at the center of our galaxy galaxy

According to scientists, huge "structures" are at the center of our galaxy galaxy



In the middle of our Milky Way, huge "balloon-like structures" have been discovered, scientists say.






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The pair of giant bubbles ̵

1; spanning hundreds of light years – emit radio signals and are among the greatest features ever found in the center of our galaxy.

They are so large that they overshadow all other radio structures in the middle of our galactic neighborhood. [19659004] They were probably born after a massive energetic eruption that exploded near the supermassive black hole, researchers said.

"The center of our galaxy is relatively quiet compared to other galaxies with very active central black holes," said Ian Heywood of the University of Oxford, who is the lead author of an article in the journal Nature describing the discovery.

"Nonetheless, the Milky Way's central black hole may, from time to time, become unusually active, burning up massive dust and gas globally at regular intervals, and it is possible that such a frenzy would trigger large outbreaks of this previously invisible feature

The huge structure was discovered by the MeerKAT telescope of the South African Radio Astronomical Observatory (SARAO), with which Professor Heywood and his team mapped the regions English: emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art…1007 You searched for radio emissions at a certain wavelength in the middle of our galaxy. The galaxy in search of light.

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Using those techniques to look at the huge bubbles – examining their size and shape, and finding that they appear to be almost identical – the researchers were able to find evidence that they suggest shows they were formed in an intense eruption. That seems to have happened over a short period of time, but was so extreme that it punched through the matter of space.

"The shape and symmetry of what we have observed strongly suggests that a staggeringly powerful event happened a few million years ago very near our galaxy's central black hole," said William Cotton, an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia, and co-author on the paper.

"This eruption was possibly triggered by vast amounts of interstellar gas falling in on the black hole, or a massive burst of star formation which sent shockwaves careening through the galactic centre. In effect, this inflated bubbles in the hot, ionized gas near the galactic centre, energizing it and generating radio waves that we could eventually detect here on Earth."

The space around our galaxy's black hole is very different to that everywhere else in the Milky Way, far more turbulent and active than any other part of the galaxy. It is also largely mysterious, since it can be so hard to see – there are huge, long and narrow filaments that have not been spotted elsewhere, and which researchers still do not understand.

The new structures could help illuminate those filaments. Both might have been formed by the same mysterious energetic event.

"The radio bubbles discovered by MeerKAT now shed light on the origin of the filaments," said Farhad Yusef-Zadeh at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and a co-author on the paper. "Almost all of the more than one hundred filaments are confined by the radio bubbles."

Until now, it was not possible to see the structures because they were behind the glare of bright signals coming from the middle of the galaxy. Scientists were able to use new techniques to look through those dazzling emissions and see the new, towering formations.

"These enormous bubbles have until now been hidden by the glare of extremely bright radio emission from the center of the galaxy," said Fernando Camilo of SARAO in Cape Town and co-author on the paper.

"Teasing out the bubbles from the background noise was a technical tour de force, only made possible by MeerKAT's unique characteristics and ideal location. With this unexpected discovery we're witnessing in the Milky Way a novel manifestation of galaxy-scale outflows of matter and energy, ultimately governed by the central black hole."

The new research is published today in Nature, and is written by authors from 15 different institutions. It is the first paper to detail research from the MeerKAT's full array since it was launched last year.


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