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Giant Bubbles at Centre of Milky Way Galaxy Were Birthed by Supermassive Black Hole



The Milky Way galaxy, among the hordes of mysterious elements of the cosmos, also fosters two enormous bubbles occupying the centre of the galaxy from above and below. The bubbles were spotted in 2020 by eRosita, an X-ray telescope, and kickstarted a discourse that made scientists and astronomers scratch their brains. A new study emerging from the collaboration of the University of Michigan, National Tsing Hua University, and the University of Wisconsin might have answers for the phenomenon’s existence. The research suggests that the giant bubbles are a result of a profoundly strong jet activity emanating from a supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.

These cosmic jet activities emerging from the supermassive black hole are believed to have started about 2.6 million years ago and lasted till about 100,000 years ago. The same is reflected in the study published in Nature Astronomy. “Our findings are important in the sense that we need to understand how black holes interact with the galaxies that they are inside because this interaction allows these black holes to grow in a controlled fashion as opposed to growing uncontrollably,” said Mateusz Ruszkowski, co-author of the study.

The results devised in this study also give an explanation for the existence of Fermi Bubbles that were discovered in 2010. The team suggests that Fermi bubbles, along with microwave haze – a fog of charged particles – were also formed due to the same jet of energy emanating from the supermassive black hole.

The contents of the eRosita bubbles (the two bubbles are named after the telescope that spotted them) are unknown. The only information that is certain is that eRosita bubbles enclose Fermi bubbles and contain some high-energy radiation in the form of cosmic rays. The lead author of the study, Karen Yang, assistant professor at the National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, said that the study focuses on the interaction between the cosmic rays and gas within Milky Way.

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