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Thursday, July 17, 2014

A New Structure Is Discovered at the Center of Our Galaxy

Posted by on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 8:37 AM

It looks like this:

  • NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Science and Astronomy:
“What we see are two gamma-ray-emitting bubbles that extend 25,000 light-years north and south of the galactic center,” said Doug Finkbeiner, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., who first recognized the feature. “We don’t fully understand their nature or origin.”
I will not say what those purple bubbles look like to me.


Comments (29) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment

I'm ever upper class high society,
God's gift to ballroom notoriety,

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on July 17, 2014 at 8:55 AM · Report this
It's long been theorized that a massive black hole lies at the center of our galaxy, so I would imagine such gamma "bubbles" would be the result of the huge amounts of matter being accreted from nearby stars in the densely populated galactic core.
Posted by COMTE on July 17, 2014 at 9:04 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 3
So black holes spew outward as well as draw in? And gamma rays can escape but light cannot?
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 17, 2014 at 9:11 AM · Report this
6 4
Posted by 6 on July 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 5…

(Can't believe no one beat me to this one).
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 6
@3: When a black hole forms, a huge gamma ray burst occurs, which flies out through space in two directions at the speed of light. We discovered this when we were scanning radiation in space looking for evidence the Soviets were testing nukes ON THE MOON.

I believe they are the biggest explosions in the univers since the Big Bang. If we were to lose the galactic lottery and get hit by one, Earth would more or less be a scorched rock, and there is nothing we could do about it. Good times.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 7
@6 So this is fossil light?
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 17, 2014 at 9:18 AM · Report this
Venn Diagram
Posted by stu ungar on July 17, 2014 at 9:36 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 9
Funny, I saw a fly when I saw the picture. And I bet Charles saw boobs.
Posted by Matt from Denver on July 17, 2014 at 9:44 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 10
God's Balls!
Posted by Max Solomon on July 17, 2014 at 9:51 AM · Report this
fletc3her 11
What I find mysterious is why the jets become this spherical structure. The pull of gravity from the galactic disk should be exerting an influence so some matter traveling less than perpendicular might tend to curve back toward the disk, but it surprises me the forces would be in such balance than a spherical structure would emerge.

My understanding is that the lobes are not the result of a gamma ray burst, but are themselves emitting gamma rays, and x-rays. Whatever was ejected from the galactic center was hot enough that it continued or continues to burn many millions of years later.
Posted by fletc3her on July 17, 2014 at 9:57 AM · Report this
originalcinner 12
Airbnb's logo, the "that doesn't look anything like a horse's head" Milky Bars, and now this. What is it, penis pareidolia week?
Posted by originalcinner on July 17, 2014 at 10:12 AM · Report this
13… <--something like this, perhaps
Posted by Corprew on July 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM · Report this
pooPeter 14
cosmic mother titties
Posted by pooPeter on July 17, 2014 at 10:20 AM · Report this
lots of racist comments already about black holes
Posted by Doot on July 17, 2014 at 10:30 AM · Report this
@3 - there is a region around a black hole, but outside the "trapped forever" boundary, where space time is spinning. Because of conservation of angular momentum and all that jazz, some stuff gets ejected outwards along the axis of rotation.
Posted by Alden on July 17, 2014 at 10:31 AM · Report this
@11, pretty sure structures like this are caused by large fast moving explosions in the center, in this case the core, followed the accretion disk, in this case the galactic plane, cutting it off in the middle, creating that node. I don't think it's so much a balance of forces, but an imbalance. The faster moving the ejecta the more it will form an "ideal" shape.
Posted by GermanSausage on July 17, 2014 at 10:34 AM · Report this
I was hoping for a real science article in the Stranger but got juvenile humor instead. :(
Posted by AnotherTom on July 17, 2014 at 10:38 AM · Report this
@18, what do you expect. Every time I come here to see election endorsements it reads like a string of profanity by a drunk grandfather (except my grandfather ranted about O-buma).
Posted by ChefJoe on July 17, 2014 at 11:07 AM · Report this
originalcinner 20
@18: yep, triumph of hope over experience. Personally, I do come here for the juvenile humor so I'm golden.
Posted by originalcinner on July 17, 2014 at 11:11 AM · Report this
@5: Not only were you beaten, you were beaten by John Bailo.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on July 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM · Report this
Beetlecat 22
@18 -- are you kidding? this thread is about %50 sciency stuff.
Posted by Beetlecat on July 17, 2014 at 11:39 AM · Report this
venomlash 23
Looks like a Chinese Yo-Yo to me.

When matter falls in towards a black hole, some of it ends up being ejected in jets aligned to the hole's axis of rotation rather than actually falling past the event horizon. The gravitational energy released tends to heat and compress the accretion disk, meaning that the polar jets usually glow brightly at whatever points in the spectrum: usually X and gamma rays near the hole itself with further, more dispersed, gas emitting radio waves.
This is off the top of my head, don't take it as gospel.
Posted by venomlash on July 17, 2014 at 11:53 AM · Report this
Dougsf 24
Thank you @4, I thought I was going to have to take the fall for that one.
Posted by Dougsf on July 17, 2014 at 12:31 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 25
@21: I was referring to the Arrested Development reference in the link, something that often happens at light speed around here. Bailo was referring to AC/DC, if I am not mistaken.

I remain victorious!
Posted by Theodore Gorath on July 17, 2014 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 26
@10 "God' balls". Really tiny balls when size is measured by the universe.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 17, 2014 at 1:36 PM · Report this
Send all republicans to the "black hole" Promise them huge testicles and young virgins, probably get rid of at least half of them before elections. (Erections before elections) New campaign promise for the uneducated republican voter base.
Posted by longwayhome on July 17, 2014 at 8:39 PM · Report this
Alas, we are just skid marks from squeezed from God's butt checks.
Posted by fotoeve on July 17, 2014 at 10:13 PM · Report this
Does this galaxy cluster make my dick look big?
Posted by c-leb on July 18, 2014 at 8:09 AM · Report this

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