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The center of our galaxy exploded 'recently'


Posted on Monday, 7 October, 2019 | Comment icon 11 comments

Our galaxy is more active than scientists had realized. Image Credit: Nick Risinger
Scientists have discovered that a high-energy flare ripped through the galaxy in the relatively recent past.
The cataclysmic event was thought to have been triggered by nuclear activity associated with Sagittarius A* - a gargantuan black hole four million times the mass of the Sun.

It occurred 3.5 million years ago and could be felt over a distance of 200,000 light years.

Scientists believe that the flare produced two enormous 'isolation cones' which sliced through the galaxy, leaving behind a trail of gas that extends between the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.
"The flare must have been a bit like a lighthouse beam," said study team leader Prof Bland-Hawthorn from the University of Sydney. "Imagine darkness, and then someone switches on a lighthouse beacon for a brief period of time."

The discovery suggests that our galaxy is a lot more active that previously thought.

"These results dramatically change our understanding of the Milky Way," said study co-author Magda Guglielmo. "We always thought about our galaxy as an inactive galaxy, with a not so bright center."

Source: BBC News | Comments (11)

Tags: Supermassive Black Hole

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by lightly on 8 October, 2019, 12:27
I think that's a good question joc.    All spiral galaxies obviously spin around  something Extremely massive at their centers...most likely a black hole?     But there are other types of galaxies, including what is called an irregular Galaxy.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 8 October, 2019, 13:02
As far as we can observe it does appear that most spiral galaxies formed around supermassive blackholes.
Comment icon #4 Posted by joc on 8 October, 2019, 15:32
Thank you... Which makes since because galaxies are rotating... as if they were slowly being sucked down the bathtub hole..which gives rise to another question. What eventually happens to a black hole? 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 8 October, 2019, 16:41
It is thought that eventually they will evaporate due to something called Hawking radiation, but how that works is way above my paygrade so here is a link instead: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawking_radiation
Comment icon #6 Posted by joc on 9 October, 2019, 0:28
I pretended I was understanding all that until I got to the equations....suffice to say...yeah....beyond my pay grade as well.
Comment icon #7 Posted by lightly on 9 October, 2019, 13:17
I wonder why spiral galaxies form a flattened Disk shape?    I've probably read about it before ,but I don't remember any explanations for that .    . . . . The discs are bulged in the center.... And elliptical galaxies are roundish ,rather than flat.
Comment icon #8 Posted by cerberusxp on 13 October, 2019, 8:41
Yes,a super massive black hole!
Comment icon #9 Posted by Jon the frog on 18 October, 2019, 15:41
So puny we are...
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 18 October, 2019, 20:39
Speak for your self  
Comment icon #11 Posted by Jon the frog on 21 October, 2019, 22:19
Puny dwarf ! 


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