Astronomers observe the events around the black hole at the centre of our galaxy

Astronomers observe the events around the black hole at the centre of our galaxy
Glimpse into the heart of the Milky Way: this X-ray broad-band mosaic image consists of more than a hundred individual XMM-Newton observations within the central degree of the Milky Way. The colours indicate observations at different energies; this map covers a region about 500 hundred light years across. In addition to the X-ray emission from the regions around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way this map reveals X-ray binaries, star clusters, supernova remnants, bubbles and superbubbles, non-thermal filaments and many other sources. Credit: MPE / ESA

Who left the deep scars on the heart of our Milky Way? In their hunt for elusive clues that might reveal the culprit, an international team of astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics has been scouring cosmic images of the X-ray satellite XMM-Newton. The prime suspect is the supermassive black hole lurking at the centre of the Milky Way. But a number of massive stars and supernovae do not appear entirely innocent, either.

The study of the X-ray emission from the Galactic centre is of primary importance for astronomy. One of the first large projects approved and performed by the X-ray satellite XMM-Newton, right after launch, was a scan of the Galactic centre. A team lead by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) has recently obtained a new scan with XMM-Newton and connected these observations to all archival data to obtain the best maps in both X-ray continuum and line emission produced so far.

With this, the team was able to characterise in detail the fallout from catastrophic events that have released vast amounts of energy. The forensic study led in particular to the discovery of how enormous X-ray emitting bubbles of plasma, tens of across, are impacting their environment, creating giant cavities in the gas, dust and cooler plasma at the Milky Way's centre.

Mass monster caught red-handed

One of the most telling clues from the X-ray images is a pair of bipolar "lobes" that extend for tens of light years above and below the Galactic plane and are centred on the location of the . Previous circumstantial evidence had implicated the black hole in this mayhem, but the new findings effectively catch it and its stellar gang red-handed in the act of committing acts of violence. In fact, the sources of matter and energy needed to inflate these bipolar lobes with hot, X-ray emitting gas could be either outflows launched from very near the event horizon of the super-massive black hole, winds from orbiting around the hole, or catastrophic events associated with the death of massive stars close to it.

Warm plasma in the outskirts of the imaged region

The team also discovered fingerprints of warm plasma in the outskirts of the imaged region (hundreds of light years). This indicates that the acts of violence taking place at the centre of the Milky Way have effects that extend far beyond that region. The newly discovered plasma might be associated with an inhomogeneous hot "atmosphere" of hot gas permeating the Galaxy's central regions, perhaps fed by continuous or episodic outflows of mass and energy from the Milky Way's core. Similar structures are occasionally observed at the centres of other galaxies. However, thanks to the proximity of the Milky Way centre, the XMM-Newton maps can directly image this phenomenon in superb detail.

Astronomers observe the events around the black hole at the centre of our galaxy
Zoom into the centre: magnified image of the central 100 light years of the Milky Way centre, where here only the soft X-ray emission is shown. The Galactic black hole and its surrounding emission are located in the brightest central region of the image, and the bipolar lobes appear above and below that location. Credit: MPE / ESA
Superbubbles at the galactic heart

Another major disturbance in this unruly region has also been discovered: a few "superbubbles", gigantic cavities tens of light years across that contain hot plasma emitting soft X-rays. One such region has an energy content of at least 1051 erg (approximately the total energy emitted by the Sun in its 10 billion year lifetime)! The evidence indicates that this enormous structure was inflated over the past tens of thousands years by powerful winds from the most massive stars of the spectacular Quintuplet stars cluster and by such as explosions of massive stars. Such large energy releases have a profound impact on the evolution of interstellar matter at the Galactic centre.

So, while the crime scene reconstruction is still being pieced together, with these new X-ray images the astronomers have a much clearer idea of what might have happened over the past couple billion years – and how our Milky Way might continue to evolve in future. One thing is clear: the violence in the neighbourhood of the Galactic centre will undoubtedly continue well into the future.


Explore further

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More information: "The XMM–Newton view of the central degrees of the Milky Way" MNRAS (October 11, 2015) Vol. 453 172-213 DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1331
Provided by Max Planck Society
Citation: Astronomers observe the events around the black hole at the centre of our galaxy (2015, August 20) retrieved 25 May 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-08-astronomers-events-black-hole-centre.html
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Aug 20, 2015
Who is all the cutesy anthropomorphizing for? Schools don't use this site anymore because of all the trolls. Serious researchers find it annoying in the extreme and the trolls don't actually read the articles. Is it that the writers are all secondary school students?

I had to go to the original; couldn't finish the irritating pap published here.

Aug 20, 2015
One thing is clear: the violence in the neighbourhood of the Galactic centre will undoubtedly continue well into the future.


No mention of accretion??? What is a merger maniac to do?? Blame the surrounding massive stars around the black hole!

LaViolette has predicted this extreme environment in the galactic center decades earlier. And he warns of the periodic cosmic ray volleys (superwaves) that will change our own environment, perhaps leading occasionally to extinction events. When will we pay attention?

Aug 20, 2015
Everything that these researchers are describing -- the filamentary flows, the cellular structure, the bipolar lobes and temperatures that are truthfully inconsistent with a central energy source -- is consistent with what we've learned from the laboratory about electrodynamic plasmas conducting electrical currents. By all appearances, the observable structure in this central region is simply a homopolar motor (aka Faraday disc), in plasma form -- an apparently common structure sometimes referred to by laboratory plasma researchers as cartwheel structures which act as the hub-and-spokes for the ubiquitous filaments by now confirmed by Herschel to span the universe.

Aug 20, 2015
@plasma: The thing I keep asking myself is *why* the formations we see in space, which you've mentioned above, cannot *possibly* be due to electromagnetism. And for anyone who will jump into the thread, can you answer that form me? I'm asking that sincerely.

For Birkeland, the reasoning falls largely on commentary made from Kelvin in 1892, were he claimed explicitly that the Sun and Earth could not be linked electromagnetically - this is derived, I believe, from Newton's original premise of the vacuous solar system, and Heaviside's treatment of vacuous space as a perfect resistor. But we know now that all of these arguments are invalid. So what is the reasoning now?

Alfven said that the reason is largely MHD theory, where cosmic plasmas are treated *incorrectly* as superconducting, allowing for frozen-in field lines and forbidding the flow of current. Asking anyone, is this correct? Why is current in space impossible?

Aug 20, 2015
And before the merger maniacs and stubborn relativists mark me down, I invite them to first chew on this earlier news: that fierce winds have been found to emanate from a galactic center in ALL directions. So where does all that matter originate from?

http://phys.org/n...tml#nRlv

XMM-Newton telescope are showing that fierce winds from a supermassive black hole blow outward in all directions—a phenomenon that had been suspected, but difficult to prove until now.

Aug 21, 2015
According to the abstract of the original paper, these guys have compiled an atlas of features surrounding the galactic center based on IR, radio, and X-ray astronomy. This will be of great value in studying galactic dynamics over the coming decades, and probably a lot longer than that. A marvelous scientific achievement that also includes some new discoveries, including lobes extending from the location of the black hole perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy, bubbles of hot gas, and filamentary structures, all of which will require further research to determine their origins.

XMM-Newton is a very successful piece of science, I'd say.

Aug 21, 2015
Everything that these researchers are describing -- the filamentary flows, the cellular structure, the bipolar lobes and temperatures that are truthfully inconsistent with a central energy source -


This is very true. In addition to the gamma ray lobe along the minor axis of the Milky Way, a diffuse (but less intense) gamma ray halo extends all over and beyond the visible part of the galaxy. This and many other galactic and cosmic phenomena including high energy (gamma, X-rays) sources in galaxies (specially with active galactic nuclei (AGN)), gamma ray bursts (GRBs) are explained from a very different perspective. Links below (if interested):
1. http://redshift.v...2MAL.pdf
2. http://redshift.v...2MAL.pdf
And in a book by the same author: http://www.amazon...40414445


Aug 21, 2015
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Aug 21, 2015
For some people seem attractive the idea for the corrupted physical reality in the the fictional black hole visinity where the laws of physics cease to apply. This is in fact a disguised denial of God's laws and power. Dark cult.

You are seriously deranged.

Aug 21, 2015
@plasma: The thing I keep asking myself is *why* the formations we see in space, which you've mentioned above, cannot *possibly* be due to electromagnetism. And for anyone who will jump into the thread, can you answer that form me? I'm asking that sincerely.

Where would the required power come from? A Dark Cosmic Wall Outlet? In any case it should be possible to find the answers starting from https://en.wikipe...smology.

Alfven said that the reason is largely MHD theory, where cosmic plasmas are treated *incorrectly* as superconducting, allowing for frozen-in field lines and forbidding the flow of current. Asking anyone, is this correct? Why is current in space impossible?

It is not. A plasma can support current, especially a superconducting one (which space plasma is not).

Aug 22, 2015
@my2cts

We lerned about your emotional state. Now let hear your arguments.

Aug 22, 2015
Where would the required power come from? A Dark Cosmic Wall Outlet?


The current model assumes a beginning to the present universe where the laws of physics as we know them completely break down, with no explicable answer as to have the Big Bang even *began*, and the biggest issue *you* can personally raise with current flow is "where does the power come from?"

I've read the wiki link you posted many times. I also read the article referenced within: "Can Electric Charges and Currents Survive in an Inhomogeneous Universe?" In the very beginning, it attempts to suggest that present observations on large scales indicate no current flow. This is not at all the case: ubiquitous filamentation of galaxy plasmas, the flowing of plasma through filaments and sheets from the ISM into protogalaxies, the helical magnetic fields that wrap around spiral arms and guide plasma towards the galactic center, the *measured* current in jets.

Aug 22, 2015
cont.

The enormous magnetic fields recently discovered around black holes, the Aflven waves propagating from the black holes, the helical magnetic field lines that structure galactic jets. There is plenty of evidence that electric currents are flowing through space, and the suggestion that it is not is ludicrous.

From your wiki article: "In conventional cosmology, plasma physics is not considered to be the dominant force on most large-scale phenomena, although much of the matter in the universe is thought to be ionised or exist as plasma."

Well sure, that makes perfect sense. 99% of the universe is formed out of plasma, but let's not considered plasma physics the dominant force bringing it together. That's the beginning to any sound model, for sure.

Aug 22, 2015
Let it also be said, "Can Electric Charges and Currents Survive in an Inhomogeneous Universe?" is the exact same kind of theoretical argument against the possibility of currents in space that was present by Arthur Schuster to attempt to invalidate Birkeland's hypothesis about currents traveling from the Sun.

You can find the former here: http://arxiv.org/...1v2.pdf, and the latter here: http://rspa.royal...5/575/44

These are hypothetical arguments that betray everything we know about plasma's behavior in lab. Where in any laboratory, anywhere on Earth, do we see filamentary structures and jet-like discharges occur in plasmas where current is not present? If you can provide me a source to that, I'll read it and take it into serious consideration.

Aug 22, 2015
Where would the required power come from? A Dark Cosmic Wall Outlet?


The current model assumes a beginning to the present universe where the laws of physics as we know them completely break down, with no explicable answer as to have the Big Bang even *began*, and the biggest issue *you* can personally raise with current flow is "where does the power come from?"

Yes. These currents need a continuous power source unless the whole universe is a superconductor ;-). Which it is not. So you may want to explain that.

I've read the wiki link you posted many times. I also read the article referenced within: "Can Electric Charges and Currents Survive in an Inhomogeneous Universe?" In the very beginning, it attempts to suggest that present observations on large scales indicate no current flow.

You asked a question. I suggested you research the answer yourself with this page as a starting point. But take any starting point that you like.

Aug 22, 2015
@my2cts

May be you can explain to us what is the power source for the rotation of each galaxy in different direction for the fictional tens of billion of years? It is curious to me if you can propose explanation without to use double standards in your perception of physical reality which we can observe and experiment on it.

Aug 24, 2015
Yes. These currents need a continuous power source unless the whole universe is a superconductor ;-). Which it is not. So you may want to explain that.


From back in '13: http://phys.org/n...rol.html

A team of Chinese and American scientists has learned how to maintain high fusion performance under steady conditions by exploiting a characteristic of the plasma itself: the plasma self-generates much of the electrical current needed for plasma containment in a tokamak fusion reactor.


In the tokamak configuration, the confining magnetic field is generated by external coils and by an electric current flowing within the plasma...The second step is to take full advantage of a surprising feature of the tokamak configuration: under certain conditions the electric current in the plasma can be generated by the plasma itself.


cont.

Aug 24, 2015
"It is often said that a plasma with a high fraction of self-generated (bootstrap) current would be difficult to control. However, these experiments show that a high bootstrap fraction plasma is very stable against transients: the plasma seems to 'like' a state where a large fraction of the current is self-generated," said Dr. Andrea Garofalo, General Atomics scientist and co-leader of the joint experiment.


It might be a wise idea for astrophysicists to start incorporating "actual" laboratory plasma physics to their models. They may end up actually making sense...

Aug 24, 2015
in very specific conditions you can create fusion in plasma


Stunning, they're called stars but let's think this out. Fusion isn't invisible, in a tenuous plasma like the ISM or IGM products such as gamma rays are not absorbed so we should be able to detect them. Hydrogen fusion in particular is the most energy rich fusion reaction and emits positrons, these positions then annihilate and are detected. The galactic annihilation rate can be measured, its about 2E43 positons per second, this can be converted into a fusion energy rate and you get about 100,000 solar luminosities. Betelgeuse is that luminous. That amount of power is negligible on galactic scales.

You can make similar calculations for other fusion processes but ultimately you need a physical model, not just a quote from some paper saying that it can be done in a lab. You need to show how it can occur in the way you claim it does.

Aug 24, 2015
Instead of blindly "applying laboratory science" you need to apply your head. "Laboratory science" does not tell you what Pluto is made of, you need observations. "Laboratory science" does not tell you fusion must be occurring in the ISM, you need a model to compare to observations to see if it is possible.

Aug 24, 2015
@IMP-9: The entire purpose and point of my comments was to demonstrate the nature of laboratory plasmas as both capable of generating their own electric currents, and that in fact, as Dr. Garofalo is quoted, they "like" a state where they are doing exactly that. This was directly in response to mytwocts' question regarding how the currents in galaxies are generated, and what their power source is.

Not part of my comment was about fusion occurring in the ISM, I have no idea why you'd bring it up as a point of rebuttal. Or, for that matter, why you're building an argument out a quote that I didn't reference in my comments.

You need to show how it can occur in the way you claim it does.


Yes, I'm aware of that. I just happen to be of the mind that laboratory phenomena is should be the cornerstone of model building, not theoretical mathematics.

Aug 24, 2015
It's stands to completely obvious reason that for *any* kind of cosmological paradigm, quantifiable, testable models need to be built. For some reason, people here love to think that if you support Birkeland's work, or Alfven's, or that you like some of the general ideas in the EU framework, that you're somehow against the idea of building mathematical models. That you want to throw math to the wind and just run on nothing but connecting patterns. That's not true, and completely disingenuous. Birkeland was, among many things, an incredible mathematician and he modeled his theories very well.

I want to do the same, and I'm learning the math to do it. But until then, what I *am* here to discuss is that observational evidence supports their ideas, that building these models is possible, and that laboratory experiments can, have, and *should* help their construction. And lab work should *always* dominate theoretical math.

Aug 24, 2015
The present cosmological model *assumes* that (1) General Relativity is a heuristic for gravitation that can be applied universally, despite its complete lack of a mechanical explanation for the force of gravity and (2) that gravitation is dominant over electromagnetic forces in plasmas throughout space. The completely unwillingness to review those assumptions, even in the face of observational evidence that suggests they are incorrect - like the rotation curves of galaxies - means that instead what we get is dark matter, which exists *entirely* as an inferred, theoretical substance that has failed literally every experiment to detect it.

I don't think it's real, I think every laboratory plasma on Earth demonstrates much of what I posted above in response to electric currents and magnetic fields, and I think that Alfven's ideas should be revisited after *thirty years* of new evidence. If you don't, fine.

Aug 24, 2015
You seem very well educated/spoken about astrophysics though. I appreciate that. If you could, maybe you can answer my question - mytwocts didn't happen to answer it: why can't electric currents or fields exist in galactic scale plasmas, despite the presence of magnetic fields helically wrapping around spiral arms, guiding plasma towards the galactic center and radiating x-rays?

What keeps electricity out of space plasmas?

Aug 24, 2015
But that's not relevant if you can't tell us how these conditions occur withing the boundaries of what is observed. Plasmas don't like anything, as said above either the plasma is a superconductor and has no losses or there is some sort of energy source or the current will decay. This is a fact, simple energy conservation.

The article you point to is fusion in tenuous plasma in very specific conditions, it's an energy source. So the question is can it be applied to galactic scale effects? Why did I suggest the ISM and IGM. The tenuous plasma's are the ISM and IGM, there's nowhere else it can be on a large scale. Where it takes place however is however irrelevant to the argument.

Debye shielding is why E fields aren't huge in general. Magnetic fields have no such screening.

Aug 24, 2015
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Aug 24, 2015
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Aug 24, 2015
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Aug 24, 2015
Docile, get real. The bulge measures 1000s of lightyears, that is severe 1e16 km. Such a Schwarzschild radius requires 3e15 solar masses, which is nonsense in view of the galactic dynamics.

Aug 24, 2015
Hi carlo, IMP-9.

Regarding 'currents in space' and etc. I've long pointed out that all phenomena is a 'hybrid' dynamics involving many 'layers' of 'fields' and 'features' etc. According to my ToE, gravity effect/mechanism etc is identified/explained as emergent property/action in the more 'fundamental field' underlying all else in universal phenomena; and can produce in 'seed currents' which start mass-streaming, which can become 'currents', which then may create higher level dynamics/fields. So 'drivers' may initially be 'gravity', then plasma/EM fields arise and create further energetic phenomena/features observed. Gravity comes about because nothing is ever 'static' in the fundamental Universal 'field' system; ie, it ALWAYS HAD 'currents' and 'dynamics', but it is emergent/higher level 'hybrid' fields/dynamics we can see/study. Also plasma currents can involve 'plasmoids' which LOCALLY fuse matter, release more energy as 'jet' currents. Can't say more for now. Cheers. :)

Aug 24, 2015
You seem very well educated/spoken about astrophysics though. I appreciate that. If you could, maybe you can answer my question - mytwocts didn't happen to answer it: why can't electric currents or fields exist in galactic scale plasmas, despite the presence of magnetic fields helically wrapping around spiral arms, guiding plasma towards the galactic center and radiating x-rays?

What keeps electricity out of space plasmas?

I am sure currents exist or there would not be magnetic fields.
Plasmas are neutral on a small scale I believe.
Not an expert but since you claim you wil be doing all kinds of research, find out which scale and report back.

Aug 24, 2015
The present cosmological model *assumes* that (1) General Relativity is a heuristic for gravitation that can be applied universally, despite its complete lack of a mechanical explanation for the force of gravity

What do you mean? EM does not have a "mechanical explanation" either.
(2) that gravitation is dominant over electromagnetic forces in plasmas throughout space.

Reasonable. Charges cancel out at short range. Mass/energy does not.
I don't think it's real,

Proof is what distinguishes fantasy from reality.

Aug 24, 2015
@RC So you have an undisclosed ToE.
I wouldn't brag about it, since every nutcase has one.
Just concentrate on 1 little thing, but _prove_ it.
With math, observation the whole shabang.

Aug 24, 2015
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Aug 24, 2015
Actually, 3e11, so you are a factor of 10.000 off! The sun would have to move at 1-2 million km/s instead of 1-200. Don't you think the sky at night would look totally different ?
It is NUTS to entertain such an idea. Drop it.

Aug 24, 2015
Regarding 'currents in space' and etc.I've long pointed out that all phenomena is a 'hybrid' dynamics involving many 'layers' of 'fields' and 'features' etc.According to my ToE gravity effect/mechanism etc is identified/explained as emergent property/action in the more 'fundamental field' underlying all else in universal phenomena; and can produce in 'seed currents' which start mass-streaming, which can become 'currents' which then may create higher level dynamics/fields.So 'drivers' may initially be 'gravity' then plasma/EM fields arise and create further energetic phenomena/features observed. Gravity comes about because nothing is ever 'static' in the fundamental Universal 'field' system; ie, it ALWAYS HAD 'currents' and 'dynamics' but it is emergent/higher level 'hybrid' fields/dynamics we can see/study.Also plasma currents can involve 'plasmoids' which LOCALLY fuse matter, release more energy as 'jet' currents

Why you didn't explain him so good before now?

Aug 25, 2015
I meant 10-20.000 km/s of course.

Sep 19, 2015
Tuxford

1 /5 (7) Aug 20, 2015
And before the merger maniacs and stubborn relativists mark me down,


That name marks you, at least to any knowing Medieval English. A "tuxford" for those that don't know, was a person that gets sexual pleasure out of using their finger to dig crap out of their arse. I guess that's where you get your posts.

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