Gargantuan, Never-Before-Seen Radio Bubbles Discovered Near Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

Scientists have discovered two gargantuan radio bubbles at the center of the Milky Way, near the galaxy’s supermassive black holes. These never-before-seen structures are believed to have formed during a “staggeringly powerful” eruption about seven million years ago, potentially from huge amounts of matter falling into the black hole, or from a massive burst of star formation.

The balloon-like structures stretch for 1,400 light-years, extending above and below the galactic plane—the plane on which most of the Milky Way’s mass lies. “We were surprised,” Fernando Camilo, from the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory, told Newsweek.

“Previous observations by other researchers with other telescopes of areas above (north of) the center of the galaxy had shown some radio features that we now realize are portions of the coherent bubble structure that we have discovered … The origin of those radio features was not known. But especially below (south of) the center of the galaxy, nothing remarkable was known—and in fact some scientists wondered why there was something in the north but apparently nothing in the south.”

Full article at: Newsweek

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