The large bubbles have surrounded the black hole in the centre of our galaxy, and researchers seem to be one step closer to finding out why that has happened.
Back in 2020, researchers took pictures of the two bubbles using an X-ray telescope called eRosita.
At the time, there was much debate over how the bubbles were formed, with some scientists suggesting that the bubbles, called Fermi and eRosita (after the telescope which was used to discover them), could have been the result of a nuclear starburst.
Such an explosion sees a star erupting into a supernova and then expelling material.
Now, the new research in the Nature Astronomy journal has suggested to scientists that they were created via a powerful jet that was emitted from the supermassive black hole in the centre of the galaxy.
This outflow is caused when material falls towards the black hole, but doesn’t cross its event horizon (the point where nothing can escape). Then, some of that material is hauled back into space, which stops the black holes from growing too quickly, and thus this chaotic energy then forms the bubbles around the black hole.
Astronomer Mateusz Ruszkowski at the University of Michigan said: “Our findings are important in the sense that we need to understand how black holes interact with the galaxies that they are inside because this interaction allows these black holes to grow in a controlled fashion as opposed to growing uncontrollably.”
Ruszowski added: “If you believe in the model of these Fermi or eRosita bubbles as being driven by supermassive black holes, you can start answering these profound questions.”
Featured Image Credit: NASA Goddard
Topics: Science, Space, NASA, News