Not long ago, the center of the Milky Way exploded

Not long ago, the center of the Milky Way exploded
An artist's impression of the massive bursts of ionizing radiation exploding from the center of the Milky Way and impacting the Magellanic Stream. Credit: James Josephides/ASTRO 3D

A titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way just 3.5 million years ago, sending a cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and out into deep space.

That's the finding arising from research conducted by a team of scientists led by Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn from Australia's ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3-D) and soon to be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

The phenomenon, known as a Seyfert flare, created two enormous 'ionisation cones' that sliced through the Milky Way—beginning with a relatively small diameter close to the black hole, and expanding vastly as they exited the Galaxy.

So powerful was the flare that it impacted on the Magellanic Stream—a long trail of gas extending from nearby dwarf called the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. The Magellanic Stream lies at an average 200,000 from the Milky Way.

The explosion was too huge, says the Australian-US research team, to have been triggered by anything other than nuclear activity associated with the black hole, known as Sagittarius A, or Sgr A*, which is about 4.2 million times more massive than the Sun.

"The flare must have been a bit like a lighthouse beam," says Professor Bland-Hawthorn, who is also at the University of Sydney.

An artist's impression of the massive bursts of ionizing radiation exploding from the center of the Milky Way and impacting the Magellanic Stream. Credit: James Josephides/ASTRO 3D

"Imagine darkness, and then someone switches on a lighthouse beacon for a brief period of time."

Using data gathered by the Hubble Space Telescope, the researchers calculated that the took place little more than three million years ago.

In Galactic terms, that is astonishingly recent. On Earth at that point, the asteroid that triggered the extinction of the dinosaurs was already 63 million years in the past, and humanity's ancient ancestors, the Australopithecines, were afoot in Africa.

"This is a dramatic event that happened a few million years ago in the Milky Way's history," says Professor Lisa Kewley, Director of ASTRO 3-D.

"A massive blast of energy and radiation came right out of the galactic centre and into the surrounding material. This shows that the centre of the Milky Way is a much more dynamic place than we had previously thought. It is lucky we're not residing there!"

The blast, the researchers estimate, lasted for perhaps 300,000 years—an extremely short period in galactic terms.

Not long ago, the center of the Milky Way exploded
A schematic diagram modelling the ionizing radiation field over the South Galactic Hemisphere of the Milky Way, disrupted by the Seyfert flare event. Credit: Bland-Hawthorne, et al/ASTRO 3D

In conducting the research, Professor Bland-Hawthorn was joined by colleagues from the Australia National University and University of Sydney, and, in the US, the University of North Carolina, University of Colorado and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.

The paper follows on from research also led by Professor Bland-Hawthorn and published in 2013. The earlier work looked at evidence of a massive explosive event beginning in the centre of the Milky Way, ruled out a nuclear starburst as the cause and tentatively tied it to activity in SgrA*.

"These results dramatically change our understanding of the Milky Way," says co-author Magda Guglielmo from the University of Sydney.

"We always thought about our Galaxy as an inactive galaxy, with a not so bright centre. These new results instead open the possibility of a complete reinterpretation of its evolution and nature.

"The flare event that occurred three million years ago was so powerful that it had consequences on the surrounding of our Galaxy. We are the witness to the awakening of the sleeping beauty."

The latest work firms up SgrA* as prime suspect, but, the researchers concede, there is still a lot more work to be done. How evolve, influence and interact with galaxies, they conclude, "is an outstanding problem in astrophysics".


Explore further

Hubble observes tiny galaxy with big heart

More information: The paper will be available on the preprint site Arxiv.org from Sunday, October 6. Search The Large-Scale Ionisation Cones In The Galaxy or "Bland-Hawthorn" from that date to locate.
Journal information: Astrophysical Journal

Provided by ASTRO 3D
Citation: Not long ago, the center of the Milky Way exploded (2019, October 6) retrieved 20 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-10-center-milky.html
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Oct 06, 2019
-and the Puppeteers along with their planet aling with a few others in a kemplerer rosette are long gone.

Oct 06, 2019
my surmises are based on this article
i need to see the original paper by the researchers
to verify or correct the information & conclusions
presented in this article

1st impression, sounds to me as another variety of 'polar jets'

2nd thought, the writer of the article is conflating BH/EH with it's surrounding Accretion Disk SagA*

3rd, i hypothesize that some comparatively fast-moving mass intersected with or against the AD
probably either a large tight-knit star cluster
or the core of a small satellite galaxy

speculating that there was enough momentum
& gravitational pull from the BH
for some,maybe all of the colliding mass to breach the AD

then rebound against the Slack Hole Event Horizon

this conjecture may explain why the explosive recoil resulted in flaring radiation beam-cones
similar to polar jets

or, maybe not

it will be fun to see how this line of inquiry plays out
against my guesstimates

Oct 06, 2019
"The flare event that occurred three million years ago was so powerful that it had consequences on the surrounding of our Galaxy. We are the witness to the awakening of the sleeping beauty."

Well, I see your consequences and raise your awakenings by; this triggered the rise of the human ancestors 3 million years ago. Hey, I too, am master of my reverie.

Oct 06, 2019
So, all that nonsense about gravity waves is just that, nonsense! There is no way they could record an gravitational wave, They couldn't live that long!

Oct 06, 2019
So, all that nonsense about gravity waves is just that, nonsense! There is no way they could record an gravitational wave, They couldn't live that long!


What on Earth are you talking about?

Oct 06, 2019
I'm amazed that all the trolls go to sleep at the same time.
This can not be a coincidence!


Oct 07, 2019
Galaxys born inside to outside.

You dont understund that Nucleus of atoms expanding and recycling dark expanding pushing force which have example nature of expanding light.

Expanding light waves is dark for us, but we know, there is waves because we can register photons.

But almost all expanding light mass is in dark expanding waves.

Expanding lights interactive with eachother and get eachother expanding faster and faster. So expanding light moving faster and faster same way what matter and light expanding.


Oct 07, 2019
So, Dark Expanding light waves interactive with eachother and get eachother expanding faster. Thats why expanding light moving faster and faster same way what matter and light expanding.

Explanation for

1. Bending light near star and galaxy

2. Cosmologys way redshifted light

3. Gravity redshifted light

So, there is no expanding space!

No curving space!

Space is infinity 3 D place which is nothing.


Oct 07, 2019
Every expanding supermassive concentrations born own 3 D big bang.

After that expanding supermassive concentrations collide with each other and then born lot of new expanding stars which pushing away from galaxy centre supermassive concentration same way what matter and light expanding.


Oct 07, 2019
I'm amazed that all the trolls go to sleep at the same time.
This can not be a coincidence!
......because the article is so pathetically ridiculous it's ONLY the trolls like you who bother with reading it, I haven't read it.

I just looked at the ludicrous drawing & skipped to the Comments to see who would identify themselves with silly stuff like this, and who do I find but the the usual gaggle of Pop-Cosmology acolytes, like jimbobabbler & pushingdark matter.

Oct 07, 2019
@Benni has ignored the articles about particle fountains emerging from the galactic center. Typical troll.

Search this site for "milky way fountains." You'll find plenty.

Oct 07, 2019
I'm amazed that all the trolls go to sleep at the same time.
This can not be a coincidence!


......because the article is so pathetically ridiculous it's ONLY the trolls like you who bother with reading it, I haven't read it.


I just looked at the ludicrous drawing & skipped to the Comments to see who would identify themselves with silly stuff like this, and who do I find but the the usual gaggle of Pop-Cosmology acolytes, like jimbobabbler & pushingdark matter.

@Benni has ignored the articles about particle fountains emerging from the galactic center. Typical troll.
.......and of course schneibo who parks himself here at the same times everyday just waiting for Benni to show up with his most recent words of knowledge, wit & wisdom.

Oct 07, 2019
@Benni has no science. All it has is trolling. Get the science; do the search. Then start ignoring @Benni.

Oct 07, 2019
.......and of course schneibo who parks himself here at the same times everyday just waiting for Benni to show up with his most recent words of knowledge, wit & wisdom.


Hahahahaha. Says the scientifically illiterate janitor! What is a half-life, you uneducated clown? As for 'wit', I would say you are halfway to becoming one of them!

Oct 07, 2019

Joy, the paper is open access. So I don't have to rely on the LESS-THAN-HIGH-SCHOOL DESCRIPTION in this article. I'll have something to say..... This "QUANTUM TAG" might or might not be better described there. I'm also going to check out the journal, but so far they seem to be on the up-and-up.

Hmmm, ...not a new FORMALISM for weak measurements, as far as I can tell so far. It's associated with the same ideas, but it's broader in scope than that. The quantum logic is a bit difficult so it's taking me a little while to make a synopsis, but I promise not to directly use Schroedinger's Cat, .... I may comment on the use of it in this article. I hope they didn't use it in the paper. I'm still reading and ruminating.

https://phys.org/...ing.html
So, disappointed in Benni, in missing out where DaSchitebo was thwarted by a "less-than-high-school description" and so was forced to go ruminating over formalisms and "quantum tags".

Oct 07, 2019
The explosion was too huge, says the Australian-US research team, to have been triggered by anything other than nuclear activity associated with the black hole...A massive blast of energy and radiation came right out of the galactic centre and into the surrounding material. This shows that the centre of the Milky Way is a much more dynamic place than we had previously thought.

LaViolette has predicted these periodic ejections for decades. Superwave radiation events from the core alter climate on Earth, inducing extinction events. It could come at any moment. The ice age was a recent event from the galactic core. The evidence will be found in the ice core record, if desired.

Oct 07, 2019
so, all the sockpuppet trolls finally woke up from their puppy-pile

realizing that they had failed ti post any of their usual useless blathering nonsense
for the last few minutes!

benni & his compatriot looneytoons
auntieoral, tux, rod & mrpus came yapping out of their kennels
all we are missing this pack of anti-science trolls is cantthink & sillyegghead.

Oct 07, 2019
Phys.org, do something about your piece of shit comments section you stupid fucks. Can't even have a civilized discussion with the loons and idiots.

Oct 07, 2019
LaViolette has predicted these periodic ejections for decades. Superwave radiation events from the core alter climate on Earth, inducing extinction events. It could come at any moment. The ice age was a recent event from the galactic core. The evidence will be found in the ice core record, if desired.


LaViolette is a loon. Have I mentioned that previously? As mad as a hatter.
So, ice cores easily go back to the last ice age - what should we be looking for?

Oct 07, 2019
From the abstract: "We show how these are clouds caught in a beam of bipolar, radiative 'ionization cones' from a Seyfert nucleus associated with Sgr A*." From the abstract of the 2013 paper that first noticed the UV flare: "...`Seyfert flare' ... Seyfert outburst." [ https://arxiv.org...309.5455 ]

The odd thing, besides that we believed Milky Was was relatively calm as galaxies go (low star formation rate), is that Seyfert galaxies are distant, i.e. early. So this is analogous but the Seyfert nucleus maybe not a Seyfert galaxy makes

@jimmybobber, TopJimmy: If they are not cranks, they are representatives of mostly bot-relying Russian troll factories according to statistics. Your time correlation implies these are cranks, I take it. Yeah, even mindless bots can't be as stupid as they typically are.

I am reminded of Rosling that commented on polling people on statistics, that our pre-conceptions makes us more stupid than random choosing chimps. But trolls *avoid* being right!

Oct 07, 2019
https://www.lives...les.html

What I think they get wrong is the assumption that the atmosphere will protect us in such an event. LaViolette suggests that the radiation event will compress the relative solar pressure to cause a dust clouding event surrounding our planet, resulting in dramatic climate change, depending the level of the event. So while major events may occur on million year timescales, more frequent ejections from the core may still cause less severe climate change. Perhaps even minor changes every few hundred years.

LaViolette also predicts that such an event may appear in the sky during daylight, as the Hopi Indians apparently observed. Sag. A, a blue star. If you suddenly see it, maybe seek underground shelter?

Oct 07, 2019
Note the hourglass figure, no coincidence there.

Oct 07, 2019
Note the hourglass figure, no coincidence there.


What bloody shape do you expect jets from a BH to attain as they propagate in opposite directions from a central source, and are compressed and distorted by the material they encounter? Triangular? A dodecahedron, perhaps?

Oct 07, 2019
Note the hourglass figure, no coincidence there.


What bloody shape do you expect jets from a BH to attain as they propagate in opposite directions from a central source, and are compressed and distorted by the material they encounter? Triangular? A dodecahedron, perhaps?

A morphology that reveals itself to be Z-pinch plasma filaments.

Oct 07, 2019
Note the hourglass figure, no coincidence there.


What bloody shape do you expect jets from a BH to attain as they propagate in opposite directions from a central source, and are compressed and distorted by the material they encounter? Triangular? A dodecahedron, perhaps?

A morphology that reveals itself to be Z-pinch plasma filaments.


Lol. Z-pinch! Where do you get this crap? As if we didn't know. I suppose a mushroom cloud from a nuclear detonation is a frigging z- pinch, is it? Or from a volcanic eruption? You don't half talk some crap.

Oct 07, 2019
Further hint for the hard of thinking;

Z-pinch: >>>>>>>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>>>

AGN, SMBH, planetary nebulae, etc: <<<<<<<<<<<<<<< >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Oct 08, 2019
@jimmybobber, TopJimmy: If they are not cranks, they are representatives of mostly bot-relying Russian troll factories according to statistics. Your time correlation implies these are cranks, I take it. Yeah, even mindless bots can't be as stupid as they typically are.

I am reminded of Rosling that commented on polling people on statistics, that our pre-conceptions makes us more stupid than random choosing chimps. But trolls *avoid* being right!

Uh huh. Perhaps take a gander at the gems those 2 have contributed to "civilized discussion" on this site. Grandpa screaming "Get off my lawn", is more civilized.

Oct 08, 2019
Measurements with the Hubble Space Telescope, announced in 2006, suggest the Magellanic Clouds may be moving too fast to be long term companions of the Milky Way.[21] If they are in orbit, that orbit takes at least 4 billion years. They are possibly on a first approach and we are witnessing the start of a galactic merger

https://en.wikipe...c_Clouds

I believe the above and their conclusion that the flares lasted for 300000 years would confirm Benni's acute observation of "ludicrous drawing" [and animation].
Now will DaSchitebo the "resident science know-it-nothing", apologize.

Oct 08, 2019
The odd thing, besides that we believed Milky Was was relatively calm as galaxies go (low star formation rate), is that Seyfert galaxies are distant, i.e. early. So this is analogous but the Seyfert nucleus maybe not a Seyfert galaxy makes

Further to my post above, I would suggest that, at that point in time the Magellanic Clouds approach triggered this event and the original hypothesis of the Milky Way being calm still holds.

Oct 08, 2019
wow, even for you, that last comment is rank

contradicted yourself at least once
maybe twice?
in that short paragraph

in addition to contradicting your prior pitiful anti-science screeds

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