New interesting details about Milky Way are resurfacing these days.
3.5 million years ago, there was a so-called Seyfert flare coming from the Saggitarius A* – Milky Way’s supermassive black hole – this created two enormous ionization cones that sliced through the Galaxy.
They began with a small diameter close to the black hole and they expanded really quickly after that as they were exiting the Milky Way.
What is the Magellanic Stream?
Now, according to the latest reports coming from Sci-News, astronomers have been making use of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
These experts have found that the radiation cone that blasted out of the Milky Way’s south pole lit up a massive ribbon-like gas structure – this is called the Magellanic Stream.
The event ended up trailing the Milky Way’s two satellite galaxies: the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud.
It’s also worth noting the fact that the flash lit up a portion of the Magellanic Stream, and it managed to ionize its hydrogen – how this happened? well, by stripping atoms of their electrons.
The online publication mentioned above also offers some relevant quotes:
“The flash was so powerful that it lit up the stream like a Christmas tree — it was a cataclysmic event,” according to Dr. Andrew Fox who is an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute.
How the black hole impacts the galaxy and its environment
Fox continued and reportedly explained that, “This shows us that different regions of the Galaxy are linked — what happens in the Galactic center makes a difference to what happens out in the Magellanic Stream. We’re learning about how the black hole impacts the Galaxy and its environment.”
After more detailed analysis, the team of experts discovered proof that the ions had been created in the Magellanic Stream by an energetic flash.
The conclusions include the fact that the explosion was so huge that it managed to lit up the stream even if this structure is 200,000 light-years from the Galactic center.