The Milky Way has a supermassive black hole which ‘recently’ exploded 3.5 million years. In fact, it was along the same time our earliest ancestors were walking on the Earth. Interestingly, scientists couldn’t really find dates of such an event until very recently, and it is quite unique that this happened 63 million years after the dinosaurs were wiped off.
There were two conical flares that went through our Milky Way for more than 200,000 light-years. They then burst into outer space, which then affected the Magellanic Stream.
Scientists are of the opinion that the entire event was possible due to the presence of Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole in our Milky Way. Incidentally, our “large sun” would seem meager in comparison to this black hole since it is over 4 million times larger!
This totally changes the ideology we have towards our galaxy being an inactive one. University of Sydney’s Dr. Magda Guglielmo, also the co-author of this study, believes that our galaxy has a very, very bright center.
Here’s a timelapse of images over 2.5 hr from May from @keckobservatory of the supermassive black hole Sgr A*. The black hole is always variable, but this was the brightest we’ve seen in the infrared so far. It was probably even brighter before we started observing that night! pic.twitter.com/MwXioZ7twV
— Tuan Do (@quantumpenguin) August 11, 2019
Indeed, we can actually understand where the entire stance of our galaxy changed. The timeline of this event helped scientists reinterpret and reinvent our galaxy for the blast had major consequences throughout.
Although Sagittarius A has always been considered to be a very docile black hole, this event did change a lot of things. It released the Seyfert flare which is considered to be somewhat of a lighthouse- according to Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn.
His team which is ASTRO 3D, based in Sydney considered this beam to be an enormous energy beam. Prof. Lisa Kewley, the director, considers this event to have changed the complete history of our galaxy.
A hugely penetrative blast came through the center of the galaxy and into everything that it touched. This proves that our galaxy is much more active than we give it credit for. In fact, the center of the galaxy is even more proactive than the rest. We are lucky that we aren’t inside it.
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The discovery was done using the Hubble Space Telescope, and the time set at 3.6million years. Black Holes are interesting astronomical objects for lack of a better term, which changes the very construct of time and space. They aren’t visible to the naked eye, so their presence can only be studied using the movement of the objects around them.
Although they are usually dormant, and sleepy, researchers are of the opinion that Sagittarius A is getting more vociferous by the minute and taking in more and more amounts of debris.
IMAGE CREDIT: Vadim Sadovski