Recently, while conducting X-ray observations of the black hole, scientists found really big, one of the largest ever, balloon-like structures in the region. By Amitha Ameen
These enormous bubbles, mimicking the shape of an hourglass is sending out radio emissions many light-years beyond our galaxy. “The structure is edge-brightened and bounded, with symmetry implying creation by an energetic event in the Galactic Centre. We estimate the age of the bubbles to be a few million years,” quoted a study published in the journal – Nature. The bubbles were spotted while astronomers were peering at the center of our galaxy a.k.a Milky Way.
Although scientists aren’t sure how exactly these big bubbles in the Milky Way were formed, they are confident that this will enable them to learn more about the little-known black hole.
According to an article published on discovery.com, “This explosion was a dramatic moment in what is usually a quiet black hole, pointed out lead author Ian Heywood of the University of Oxford in a statement. “Even so,” Heywood added, “the Milky Way’s central black hole can — from time to time — become uncharacteristically active, flaring up as it periodically devours massive clumps of dust and gas. It’s possible that one such feeding frenzy triggered powerful outbursts that inflated this previously unseen feature.”
Just like in the Milky Way, there are black holes in many other galaxies. While scientists are still exploring and learning, there is just so much that we don’t know about in terms of the evolution and history of these objects.
Whatever caused that huge eruption from the Milky Way must have been big. “The shape and symmetry of what we have observed strongly suggests that a staggeringly powerful event happened a few million years ago, very near to our galaxy’s central black hole,” said William Cotton, a co-author on the new study.
What do you guys think? Could it finally be signs of other life reaching out to us? Let us know!