The Fermi bubbles, including in the gamma-ray light, the tower of the Milky way and meet up with a massive cosmic blast from the center of our galaxy, the milky way. A new study is trying to determine the explosion date. (Credit: NASA Goddard)
At the center of our galaxy, the milky way is a supermassive black hole that seems to love to blow bubbles.
Hot air out of the poles of the galactic center, and two huge balls of gas, stretch out in the room for the 25,000-light-year-per unit (approximately the same as the distance between the Earth and the center of the milky way Galaxy), but it is only visible in the ultra-powerful X-ray and gamma-ray light. Scientists call it the cosmic gas spheres with the Fermi bubbles, and a couple of million years ago. What is the cause of this bout of celestial indigestion, however, it is one of the galaxy’s greatest mysteries.
Now, by looking at the evidence of the violent, the bubble-blowing event in the red-hot clouds of gas, in one of the Milky way’s satellite galaxies, the researchers have reconstructed a plausible explanation for the bubbles’ birth. According to a study published in the Oct. 8. in the preprint journal arXiv.org the Fermi bubbles were created by the epic glow of warmth, the use of nuclear power, which shot out of the galaxy in poland, from about 3.5 million years ago, was bright in the room for hundreds of thousands of light-years. Related: a Huge ‘Bubbles’ of Radio Energy and can be Spotted in the milky way Galaxy
The effect of this would have been a sort of “like a lighthouse beam that is radiated from our galaxy, the milky way is the center for over 300,000 years, and lead study author, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, the managing director of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy at the University of Sydney, told live Science in an email. And, in light of the recent (cosmically speaking) the date of the explosion, which is Bland-Hawthorn and his team have been calculated, the blast can still be seen to have been the first human being.
“It’s a great idea, that is, when cave men walked the Earth, if they had looked in the direction of the galactic center, they would have seen some kind of giant ball of gas,” Bland-Hawthorn said in a video accompanying the study.
Pieces of flare
To date, the risk of explosion, as the researchers were looking at the Hubble space telescope observations of the Magellanic Stream, a 600,000 light-year-wide arc of the gas gap of the two dwarf galaxies that orbit the milky way Galaxy known as the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds). From our vantage point on Earth, the Magellanic Stream, extends over one half of the sky as it does through the space, about 200,000 light-years away.
That is, it is far, far away, but still close enough to neighboring galaxies, and to feel the warmth of the particular, the violent outbursts of our galaxy’s central black hole, according to the researchers. Indeed, while most of the hydrogen gas in the Magellanic Stream, very cold, and the recent Hubble observations have revealed at least three regions, where the gas is unusually warm. These, however, are in line with the north and south poles of the milky way Galaxy, and the galactic center. According to Bland-Hawthorn, that’s a sure sign that the warm regions have been roasted due to a huge flare-up of charged particles radiating from our galaxy and into deep space.
“This can only be done radiatively by the sample in the galaxy’s nucleus,” Bland-Hawthorn said to the of Science e-mail address.
With the help of mathematical models, and Bland-Hawthorn and his colleagues showed how such a burst of energy, known as a Seyfert flare, a type of rash that can occur in galaxies with an active black hole at 10 million years or so — it can blast out from the galactic center, and on the way to the warmest regions of the Magellanic Stream. They have calculated that, in order to reach the affected parts of the river, and the explosion must have taken place between 2.5 and 4.5 million years ago, at a time when the early ancestors were already here on Earth.
While the primitive human ancestors may have given the air of mystery, it is unlikely that they would be affected by the energy, thanks to the Earth’s protective atmosphere, Bland-Hawthorn said. This is good news for us, he added; Seyfert flares to occur somewhat at random, in normal galaxies like our own and previous research suggests that there may be others on the way.
“It is reasonable to assume that an explosion that occurred 10 million years ago, and the jet has now arrived in our way,” Bland-Hawthorn, told Live Science, adding that the flares can get caught in the immediate vicinity of the black hole, which she did for many millions of years. “You know, I think that some of the most powerful eruptions on the Sun would be roughly the same amount of power — so very bad for the satellites, and space-walkers, but our atmosphere also protects life is good.”
The team’s study will appear in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal.
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Originally published on Live Science.