Milky Way’s supermassive black hole erupted two... - Wissenschaft und Deutsch (on Hiatus)

Milky Way’s supermassive black hole erupted two million years ago


The brightest glow in the Magellanic Stream comes from the region nearest the Galactic Center.
According to a recent release from the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), AAO Fellow Dr. Joss Bland-Hawthorn and his colleagues have identified the last eruption from a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy as occurring two million years ago.  Although astronomers have suspected that an eruption occurred, this is the first time that astronomers have dated the occurrence.
Evidence of the eruption was drawn from the observation of a lacy filament of gas, mostly hydrogen, called the Magellanic Stream.  This trails behind the galaxies two small companion galaxies, called the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.
“For twenty years we’ve seen this odd glow from the Magellanic Stream,” said Professor Bland-Hawthorn, an ARC Federation Fellow at the University of Sydney, Australia, and a Fellow at the Australian Astronomical Observatory, who led the research team.
The results of the study have been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal, in an article entitled, “Fossil Imprint of a Powerful Flare at the Galactic Centre Along the Magellanic Stream.”
“Since 1996, we’ve been aware of an odd glow from the Magellanic Stream, but didn’t understand the cause. Then this year, it finally dawned on me that it must be the mark, the fossil record, of a huge outburst of energy from the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy,” noted Professor Bland-Hawthorn.
“It’s been long suspected that our Galactic Centre might have sporadically flared up in the past. These observations are a highly suggestive ‘smoking gun’,” added Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, one of the first scientists to suggest that black holes generate the power seen coming from quasars and galaxies with “active” centers.
The existence of the galaxy’s supermassive black hole has been known for decades.  A swarm of stars whose paths let us measure the black hole’s mass reveals that it is four million times the mass of the sun.
Evidence has been accumulating of a real catastrophe in the past.  Infrared and X-ray satellites have seen a powerful outflow of material from the central region of the black hole.  Antimatter boiling out has left its signature, and there are the “Fermi bubbles” billowing out from the Galactic Center, observed in gamma-rays and radio waves.
“All this points to a huge explosion at the [center] of our Galaxy,” said Dr. Phil Maloney of the University of Colorado in Boulder. “What astronomers call a Seyfert flare.”
“Together with Dr. Ralph Sutherland from Mount Stromlo Observatory and Dr Maloney […] I calculated that to explain the glow it must have happened two million years ago because the energy release shown by the Santa Cruz group perfectly matched, to our delight, that from the Magellanic Stream,” said Professor Bland-Hawthorn.
The brightest glow in the Magellanic Stream comes from the region nearest the Galactic Center.
“There are lots of stars and gas clouds that could fall onto the hot disk around the black hole,” said Professor Bland-Hawthorn.  “There’s a gas cloud called G2 that we think will fall in next year.  It’s small, but we’re looking forward to the fireworks!”
Read more: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/scientists-unravel-secrets-of-supermassive-black-hole-at-center-of-milky-way/#ixzz2fuSa3YkT

Milky Way’s supermassive black hole erupted two million years ago

The brightest glow in the Magellanic Stream comes from the region nearest the Galactic Center.

According to a recent release from the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), AAO Fellow Dr. Joss Bland-Hawthorn and his colleagues have identified the last eruption from a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy as occurring two million years ago.  Although astronomers have suspected that an eruption occurred, this is the first time that astronomers have dated the occurrence.

Evidence of the eruption was drawn from the observation of a lacy filament of gas, mostly hydrogen, called the Magellanic Stream.  This trails behind the galaxies two small companion galaxies, called the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.

“For twenty years we’ve seen this odd glow from the Magellanic Stream,” said Professor Bland-Hawthorn, an ARC Federation Fellow at the University of Sydney, Australia, and a Fellow at the Australian Astronomical Observatory, who led the research team.

The results of the study have been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal, in an article entitled, “Fossil Imprint of a Powerful Flare at the Galactic Centre Along the Magellanic Stream.”

“Since 1996, we’ve been aware of an odd glow from the Magellanic Stream, but didn’t understand the cause. Then this year, it finally dawned on me that it must be the mark, the fossil record, of a huge outburst of energy from the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy,” noted Professor Bland-Hawthorn.

“It’s been long suspected that our Galactic Centre might have sporadically flared up in the past. These observations are a highly suggestive ‘smoking gun’,” added Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, one of the first scientists to suggest that black holes generate the power seen coming from quasars and galaxies with “active” centers.

The existence of the galaxy’s supermassive black hole has been known for decades.  A swarm of stars whose paths let us measure the black hole’s mass reveals that it is four million times the mass of the sun.

Evidence has been accumulating of a real catastrophe in the past.  Infrared and X-ray satellites have seen a powerful outflow of material from the central region of the black hole.  Antimatter boiling out has left its signature, and there are the “Fermi bubbles” billowing out from the Galactic Center, observed in gamma-rays and radio waves.

“All this points to a huge explosion at the [center] of our Galaxy,” said Dr. Phil Maloney of the University of Colorado in Boulder. “What astronomers call a Seyfert flare.”

“Together with Dr. Ralph Sutherland from Mount Stromlo Observatory and Dr Maloney […] I calculated that to explain the glow it must have happened two million years ago because the energy release shown by the Santa Cruz group perfectly matched, to our delight, that from the Magellanic Stream,” said Professor Bland-Hawthorn.

The brightest glow in the Magellanic Stream comes from the region nearest the Galactic Center.

“There are lots of stars and gas clouds that could fall onto the hot disk around the black hole,” said Professor Bland-Hawthorn.  “There’s a gas cloud called G2 that we think will fall in next year.  It’s small, but we’re looking forward to the fireworks!”



Read more: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/scientists-unravel-secrets-of-supermassive-black-hole-at-center-of-milky-way/#ixzz2fuSa3YkT




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