Two Massive Bubbles of Energy Found in Galaxy
Odd. There are photos at the link, so click through to see them.
Scientists have detected two gigantic bubbles of high-energy radiation spilling out from the Milky Way’s center that may have erupted from a supermassive black hole.
The mysterious structures each span 25,000 light-years across, meaning that together they cover more than half the area of the visible sky, and are emitting gamma rays, the highest-energy wavelength of light.
Newly discovered gamma-ray bubbles extend 50,000 light-years, or roughly half of the Milky Way’s diameter, as shown in this illustration. (Credit: Goddard Space Flight Center)
The bulbous features may be evidence of a burst of star formation a few million years ago, researchers said. Or they may have been produced when a supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy gobbled up a bunch of gas and dust.
The newly discovered structures remain an enigma for now, scientists said. [New photo of gamma-ray bubbles]
“We don’t fully understand their nature or origin,” said study leader Doug Finkbeiner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.