Milky Way had a Blowout Bash 6 Million Years Ago

Mark A. Garlick / Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
August 29, 2016
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Artist's rendering of center of Milky Way
Mark A. Garlick / Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

This artist's impression shows the Milky Way as it may have appeared 6 million years ago during a "quasar" phase of activity. A wispy orange bubble extends from the galactic center out to a radius of about 20,000 light-years. Outside of that bubble, a pervasive "fog" of million-degree gas might account for the galaxy's missing matter of 130 billion solar masses.


Image credit: Mark A. Garlick/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics