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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Massive Quasar Storm in Milky Way Explodes at 2 Million Miles an Hour

This graphic shows how NASA's Hubble Space Telescope probed the light from a distant quasar to analyze the so-called Fermi Bubbles, two lobes of material being blown out of the core of our Milky Way galaxy.

(Photo : NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)) This graphic shows how NASA's Hubble Space Telescope probed the light from a distant quasar to analyze the so-called Fermi Bubbles, two lobes of material being blown out of the core of our Milky Way galaxy.

A massive galactic explosion from the center of Milky Way that produced Fermi Bubbles has been detected by the Hubble Space Telescope's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS).

This bubbles were apparently formed by a 3 million kilometers-per-hour outburst from the center of the Milky Way about 2.5 to 4 million years ago. Today, the effects can still be felt via a couple of 30,000 light year old gas clouds as this colossal eruption spewed gas in two plumes at speeds of 2 million miles per hour.

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Scientists have only recently discovered these structures about five years ago using data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope. Since then, these gas clouds were observed and monitored by the team, and they have obtained its measurements and composition along with the velocity of the lobes.

These bubbles form a figure eight shape in the center of the Milky Way galaxy where astronomers used the light from a quasar which is a distant celestial object in order to monitor the Fermi Bubbles. These bubbles are also not visible to the human eye as they only emit X-rays, radio waves or gamma waves, all of which are invisible.

According to Andrew Fox, lead researcher of the study from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, other galaxies also possess this similar outflow of gases and other cosmic materials.

Data collected from the COS instrument indicate the composition of the material that made up the gas clouds of carbon, aluminum and silicon particles. This means that the gas is rich in the basic elements used to produce a star, or it could also be fragments from a star formation. 

This marks the first study that surveyed 20 quasars where their light passes through these Fermi Bubbles in the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

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