In a remarkable revelation, astronomers have stumbled upon peculiar elongated structures resembling strands that appear to be reaching out towards a massive supermassive black hole located at the center of our galaxy.
These enigmatic filaments measure an astonishing 5 to 10 light-years in length, according to the researchers involved in the study.
Professor Farhad Yusef-Zadeh, the lead expert from Northwestern University, expressed his surprise, stating, “It was a surprise to suddenly find a new population of structures that seem to be pointing in the direction of the black hole.”
The findings of the research have been documented in a paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Yusef-Zadeh further added, “I was actually stunned when I saw these. We had to do a lot of work to establish that we weren’t fooling ourselves. And we found that these filaments are not random but appear to be tied to the outflow of our black hole.”
By scrutinizing these elongated structures, scientists hope to gain insights into the spin of the black hole and the orientation of its accretion disk. Discovering order amidst the chaotic nucleus of our galaxy is truly gratifying.
While astronomers speculate that these structures may have emerged as a result of spatial activity that occurred millions of years ago, the exact cause and origin of this phenomenon remain elusive.
In 1980, Professor Yusef-Zadeh made a groundbreaking discovery of one-dimensional gigantic filaments near Sagittarius A*, the black hole residing at the core of the Milky Way.
Unlike the previously observed vertical filaments, the newly unearthed structures are shorter and extend horizontally, emanating from the black hole.
Yusef-Zadeh remarked, “We have always been thinking about vertical filaments and their origin. I’m used to them being vertical. I never considered there might be others along the plane.”
The vertical filaments discovered earlier were significantly lengthier and more abundant than these newly discovered ones.
This astonishing revelation of elongated structures within the heart of the Milky Way offers a fascinating glimpse into the complex dynamics of our galactic center. Further exploration and analysis will undoubtedly shed more light on the nature and significance of these enigmatic structures.