Inflation of 430-parsec bipolar radio bubbles in the Galactic Centre by an energetic event
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2019

The Galactic Centre contains a supermassive black hole with a mass of four million Suns1 within an environment that differs markedly from that of the Galactic disk. Although the black hole is essentially quiescent in the broader context of active galactic nuclei, X-ray observations have provided evidence for energetic outbursts from its surroundings2. Also, although the levels of star formation in the Galactic Centre have been approximately constant over the past few hundred million years, there is evidence of increased short-duration bursts3, strongly influenced by the interaction of the black hole with the enhanced gas density present within the ring-like central molecular zone4 at Galactic longitude |l| < 0.7 degrees and latitude |b| < 0.2 degrees. The inner 200-parsec region is characterized by large amounts of warm molecular gas5, a high cosmic-ray ionization rate6, unusual gas chemistry, enhanced synchrotron emission7,8, and a multitude of radio-emitting magnetized filaments9, the origin of which has not been established. Here we report radio imaging that reveals a bipolar bubble structure, with an overall span of 1 degree by 3 degrees (140 parsecs × 430 parsecs), extending above and below the Galactic plane and apparently associated with the Galactic Centre. The structure is edge-brightened and bounded, with symmetry implying creation by an energetic event in the Galactic Centre. We estimate the age of the bubbles to be a few million years, with a total energy of 7 × 1052 ergs. We postulate that the progenitor event was a major contributor to the increased cosmic-ray density in the Galactic Centre, and is in turn the principal source of the relativistic particles required to power the synchrotron emission of the radio filaments within and in the vicinity of the bubble cavities.

Författare

I. Heywood

Rhodes University

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

University of Oxford

F. Camilo

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

W. D. Cotton

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

F. Yusef-Zadeh

Northwestern University

T. D. Abbott

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

R. M. Adam

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

M. A. Aldera

Tellumat (Pty) Ltd

E. F. Bauermeister

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

R. S. Booth

A. G. Botha

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

D. H. Botha

EMSS Antennas

L. R.S. Brederode

SKA Organisation, UK

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

Z. B. Brits

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

S. J. Buchner

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

J. P. Burger

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

J. M. Chalmers

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

T. Cheetham

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

Dirk I. L. de Villiers

Universiteit Stellenbosch

M. A. Dikgale-Mahlakoana

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

L. J. du Toit

EMSS Antennas

S. W.P. Esterhuyse

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

B. Fanaroff

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

A. R. Foley

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

D. J. Fourie

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

R. Gamatham

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

S. Goedhart

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

S. Gounden

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

M. J. Hlakola

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

C. J. Hoek

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

A. Hokwana

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

D. Horn

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

J. Horrell

University of Cape Town

B. Hugo

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

Rhodes University

A. R. Isaacson

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

J. L. Jonas

Rhodes University

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

J. D.B.L. Jordaan

EMSS Antennas

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

A. Joubert

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

G. I.G. Józsa

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

Rhodes University

R. P.M. Julie

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

F. B. Kapp

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

J. S. Kenyon

Rhodes University

P. P.A. Kotzé

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

H. Kriel

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

T. W. Kusel

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

R. Lehmensiek

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

EMSS Antennas

D. Liebenberg

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

A. Loots

Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission

R. T. Lord

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

B. M. Lunsky

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

P. S. Macfarlane

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

L. G. Magnus

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

C. M. Magozore

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

O. Mahgoub

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

J. P.L. Main

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

J. A. Malan

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

R. D. Malgas

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

J. R. Manley

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

M. D.J. Maree

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

B. Merry

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

R. Millenaar

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

N. Mnyandu

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

I. P.T. Moeng

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

T. E. Monama

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

M. C. Mphego

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

W. S. New

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

B. Ngcebetsha

Rhodes University

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

N. Oozeer

African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

A. J. Otto

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

S. S. Passmoor

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

A. A. Patel

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

Adriaan Peens-Hough

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

S. J. Perkins

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

S. M. Ratcliffe

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

R. Renil

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

A. Rust

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

S. Salie

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

L. C. Schwardt

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

M. Serylak

University of the Western Cape

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

R. Siebrits

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

S. Sirothia

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

Rhodes University

O. Smirnov

Rhodes University

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

L. Sofeya

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

P. S. Swart

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

C. Tasse

GEPI - Galaxies, Etoiles, Physique, Instrumentation

Rhodes University

D. T. Taylor

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

Isak P. Theron

EMSS Antennas

Rhodes University

K. Thorat

Rhodes University

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

A. J. Tiplady

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

S. Tshongweni

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

T. J. van Balla

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

A. van der Byl

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

C. van der Merwe

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

C. L. van Dyk

Peralex Electronics (Pty) Ltd

R. Van Rooyen

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

V. Van Tonder

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

R. Van Wyk

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

B. H. Wallace

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

M. G. Welz

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

L. P. Williams

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory

Nature

0028-0836 (ISSN) 1476-4687 (eISSN)

Vol. 573 7773 235-237

Ämneskategorier

Astronomi, astrofysik och kosmologi

Atom- och molekylfysik och optik

Den kondenserade materiens fysik

DOI

10.1038/s41586-019-1532-5

PubMed

31511683

Mer information

Senast uppdaterat

2019-11-10