Scientists have discovered in the center of the Milky Way a couple of huge “tubes” emitting X-rays. The nature and origin of these objects have not yet been clarified.
The discovery is described in a scientific article published in the journal Nature by an international group of astronomers.
The discovery was made thanks to the XMM-Newton orbital X-ray observatory. It clarifies the publication ScienceNews, previously allusions to the existence of such structures were also found in the data of the Subaru telescope.
The “tunnels” stretch for hundreds of light-years and connect the center of the Galaxy with the so-called Fermi bubbles. Recall that these are two giant spherical objects, one of which is located above and the other below the plane of the Milky Way. The diameter of each of the bubbles is about 25 thousand light years. This value is a quarter of the diameter of the galactic disk and 25 times its thickness.
Probably, the detected objects serve as energy channels between the central black hole of the Milky Way and the Fermi bubbles.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, G. Ponti et al. (Nature 2019) / translation of Vesti. Science.
Fermi bubbles were discovered in 2010 due to its x-ray and gamma radiation. Since then, the debate about their nature has not ceased. The hard radiation of these “balls” means that they are fed from a powerful source of energy.
It was natural to assume that such a “power station” is the central supermassive black hole of the Milky Way. However, until now there was no known channel through which energy could flow into the bubbles from this “generator”. It seems that the “pipes” play this important role.
Nevertheless, it remains unclear how exactly the black hole activity could lead to the formation of such “tunnels” and the Fermi bubbles themselves. The answer to this question will be able to give only subsequent observations.