Astronomers on Sunday said that they have discovered that a supermassive black hole at the centre of humanity’s home galaxy triggered a ‘cataclysmic’ explosion ‘not that long ago’. According to researchers, the explosion was so powerful that it rocketed out into the Magellanic Stream – a stream of gas lying some 200,000 light-years from our galaxy, reports METRO. It was also estimated that the blast lasted for perhaps 300,000 years, a long time in human terms. However, this is extremely short time as measured on the scale of galaxies, said astronomers from Australia’s ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions.
Researchers claim that such a powerful blast could only have been caused by nuclear activity associated with Sagittarius A, the black hole at the centre of our galaxy, which is 4.2 million times larger than the sun.
Meanwhile, multiple space observatories including NASA have spotted at least three supermassive black holes in a spectacular collision.
According to NASA, the impending collision is occurring one billion light-years away in a system known as SDSS J0849+1114, which is a merger of three galaxies. It is worth mentioning here that the team of scientists led by Ryan Pfeifle, an astrophysicist at George Mason University, identified the rare event while searching for galaxy mergers.
It is to be noted that according to scientists, supermassive black holes are the largest type of black hole that can grow to be millions or even billions of times as massive as the Sun. When galaxies collide, their central black holes emit radiation as they consume stars, gas, and dust from the merger.