Scientists have discovered a cluster of colorful threads emanating from a supermassive black hole at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy, stunning the researchers and exciting the scientific community.
In recently released photos, Northwestern University's Farhad Yusef-Zadeh and his collaborators discovered a new population of massive filaments, measuring 5-10 light-years in length, along the galactic plane with the appearance of several lines and dashes overlapping each other.
The discovery comes after Yusef-Zadeh discovered vertical filaments near Sagittarius A* in the 1980s, the galaxy's central supermassive black hole, according to a news release from Northwestern University.
An expert in radio astronomy, Yusef-Zadeh is a professor of physics and astronomy at Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and member of CIERA.
"The new MeerKAT observations have been a game changer," he said. "The advancement of technology and dedicated observing time have given us new information. It's really a technical achievement from radio astronomers."
"It was a surprise to suddenly find a new population of structures that seem to be pointing in the direction of the black hole," said Yusef-Zadeh.
Yusef-Zadeh futher noted, "We found that these filaments are not random but appear to be tied to the outflow of our black hole. By studying them, we could learn more about the black hole’s spin and accretion disk orientation. It is satisfying when one finds order in a middle of a chaotic field of the nucleus of our galaxy."