"Milky Way Galaxy" by Nick Risinger / Public Domain

Not long ago, the center of the Milky Way exploded

Oct 7, 2019


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.

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