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Home / Science / These two cosmic "chimneys" could heat bubbles the size of a galaxy over the Milky Way

These two cosmic "chimneys" could heat bubbles the size of a galaxy over the Milky Way



The supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy is a bit like the stove in the middle of a cozy pub. It's a bright, warm gathering place that revolves around the entire life of the Milky Way ̵

1; and according to a new study (March 20) in the journal Nature, there could even be one or two chimneys.

A recent study of X-rays bubbling from the galactic center of the Milky Way has revealed two unusual structures that have never before been described. Super-bright, X-ray-emitting, twin pillars seemed to emerge from the galactic center, one to the north and the other to the south, for hundreds of light-years in both directions. "Principal author of the study Gabriele Ponti, a researcher at the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) in Italy, told Live Science," If we look at it, we see clear evidence of a strong outflow of plasma from the galactic center. "[The 12 Strangest Objects in the Universe]

X-Ray Marks the Spot

Ponti and his colleagues found this evidence by analyzing more than 750 hours of X-ray observations made with the XMM-Newton and Chandra telescopes, which helped the team find an X-ray map of the Milky Way's center (pictured above) ), including the nearly symmetrical chimney banners that emerge on either side of Sagittarius A *, the bright source of radio waves believed to cover the galaxy's supermassive black hole.

Both the northern and the southern Chimneys extend about 522 light-years across the galactic center, and everyone gets hotter and denser he, the closer he is to the shooter A *. It seems clear that these bursts of heat and matter are the result of a large outflow from the galactic center, wrote Ponti and his colleagues, although the exact source is unknown. The available evidence points to two possibilities: Either the drain is caused by the supermassive black hole itself (which may throw some material into space, though it devours huge amounts of nearby gas and dust), or by periodic supernova explosions that occur everywhere more centrally Star clusters of the galaxy.

"The data supports both scenarios," said Ponti.

Blowing Cosmic Bubbles

The final destination of the chimneys, however, seems to be clearer than their origin.

In Their X The researchers saw that both the northern and the southern chimney extends into the base of two gigantic structures, the so-called Fermi Bubbles – essentially two huge cavities of gas and cosmic rays, spanning millions of years were cut out of the galactic center.

<figcaption class = "C ($ c-fuji-gray-h) Fz (13px) Py (5px) Lh (1.5)" title = "The Fermi Bubbles are two huge spheres of gas and cosmic rays that surmount the Milky Way, which covers a region about the size of the galaxy itself. These huge space bubbles can be fueled by a strong outflow of material from the center of the Milky Way. NASA Goddard "data-reactid =" 28 " >

The Fermi bubbles are two giant spheres of gas and cosmic rays that tower over the Milky Way and cover a region about the size of the galaxy itself. These huge space bubbles can be fueled by a strong flow of material from the center of the Milky Way. NASA Goddard

These bubbles begin about 326 light years above a criss-crossing galactic center Unlike the chimneys, however, the bladders stretch over tens of thousands of light years and protrude like two chambers of a giant hourglass on the Milky Way , Together, the two spheres occupy about as much space as The Galaxy itself, Ponti said: (Do not look too hard at them, since they are mostly gamma rays, the bubbles are invisible to the naked eye.)

Since In 2010, scientists know that our galaxy is blowing space bubbles and thinking that they were probably created by some turbulence event several million years ago at the center of the galaxy. However, according to Ponti, the discovery of the galactic chimneys represents the first direct link between these massive, gassy bullets and the relatively tiny core of the Milky Way.

"The chimneys are the tailpipes that control the activity of the galactic center The galaxy center is connecting Fermi bubbles, "said Ponti.

Further chimney exploration could give a more accurate source of Fermi bubbles, and the next step, Ponti said, is to image an even wider section of the galactic center – for example, to see if the Chimney flow over the supermassive black hole of the galaxy seems to be localized or extending over a larger cluster of stars, but in any case the hearth in the center of the galaxy will make a fire burn for us – perhaps a bigger one than anybody imagined.

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