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Space & Astronomy

The center of our galaxy exploded 'recently'

By T.K. Randall
October 7, 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)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by lightly 5 years ago
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 5 years ago
As far as we can observe it does appear that most spiral galaxies formed around supermassive blackholes.
Comment icon #4 Posted by joc 5 years ago
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 5 years ago
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 5 years ago
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 5 years ago
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 5 years ago
Yes,a super massive black hole!
Comment icon #9 Posted by Jon the frog 5 years ago
So puny we are...
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 5 years ago
Speak for your self  
Comment icon #11 Posted by Jon the frog 5 years ago
Puny dwarf ! 


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