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Bad Astronomy | Image of the Center of the Galaxy Showing incredible chaos

The center of our galaxy is a terrifying mass of matter and energy.

Do you think the presence of such a supermassive black hole would be the source of chaos? But it’s actually a minor problem. On the other hand, the frenzy at the center of the Milky Way is caused by stellar explosions. Areas where massive stars are formed and hot gas stream And all this rope pull – almost literally – is a powerful magnetic field.

The best way to see this is to look at opposite ends of the spectrum in this case. rather Indeed: high-energy X-rays and low-energy radio waves. And when you do, what you see is a great chaos:


This image shows a large area of ​​the sky, more than 2 x 4 degrees, covering about 50 full moons — at the size of the center of a galaxy about 26,000 light-years away, an area 1

,000 x 2,000 light-years away. The galaxy is a flat disk. And we see that it’s a wide horizontal line through the middle of this image. (The exact center of the galaxy is to the right of the very bright white disc in the center of the image) and the sacred moly. What a mess!

It’s hard to know where to start. But most of what you see is hot gas. (shown by more powerful X-rays in red, green, and blue) floating there. or be blown up by an exploding star or the birth of a new star in a gigantic star nursery This gas is so hot that it glows in X-rays. And this image is of 370 mosaics taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory in space over two decades between 1999 and 2019.

This added mosaic was observed from the MeerKAT Radio Observatory in South Africa (shown in light purple and gray), although the radio waves were at low energy. But it can also exhibit a large amount of energy-intensive physical mechanisms. including strong magnetic fields Electrons revolve around magnetic field lines. emit radio waves called synchrotron radiation.

This means that MeerKAT observations show us where the magnetic field lines are. And you’ll notice that it tends to form long, thin beams of light that are aligned pointing away from the galaxy’s center. The center of the galaxy is filled with large clusters such as Arches and Quintuplet, as well as exploding stars. This will heat the gas and blow it away from the center. although the mechanism involved is unknown. This gas has a magnetic field of its own. And gas clouds can form long streams at the junctions where they collide. their magnetic fields interact reconnect and stimulates gas in the incredibly thin tendons

A type of creeper known as G0.17-0.41 appears to be more perpendicular to the galactic plane. Radio waves are emitted hundreds of light years — a four trillion kilometers — but only a few light years wide. And only the brightest 20 light years emit X-rays. Obviously, magnetic fields can force gases very well.

You can also see large gas clusters. (Look for purple bubbles that are mostly long lines above the galactic plane. and the red bar below) that are exploding. We’ve seen this in other galaxies, and what we see here can be very relevant. very Fermi bubbles larger than those seen in gamma rays extending tens of thousands of light-years from the galaxy’s core.

something With all the available energy it is ejecting that gas at high speed from the center of the galaxy. And it’s not clear what it is. Astronomers argue that it was caused by several supernovas exploding gas. or the total energy of thousands of young massive stars born there that also blows strong winds. There is also a supermassive black hole Sgr A* not far away. This can give energy to relatively intense processes and may play a role as well. no one really knows

Can you blame them? Look at that region! Yay

I sometimes tease my geologist friends. by telling her that the world lied to us The basic concept in geology is Something deeper is older Since things tend to pile up over time… unless there is an uplift or vertical or earthquake or erosion, or or, or try to think realistically what what happened when in geology I say arrogantly that, unlike astronomy, things tend to be so far apart that it’s relatively easy to look at them. And it’s not hard to see what’s what.

Yes. I’m going to have to show you this picture. And I’m sorry.

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