New study reveals the center of Milky Way exploded 3.5 million years ago

The sky is seen at night just before the predicted merger between our Milky Way galaxy and the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, in this NASA photo illustration released May 31, 2012. About 3.75 billion years from now, Andromeda's disk will fill the field of view and its gravity will begin to create tidal distortions in the Milky Way. The view is inspired by dynamical computer modelling of the future collision between the two galaxies. The two galaxies collide about 4 billion years from now and merge to form a single galaxy about 6 billion years from now. Reuters

A new study conducted by a team of astronomers has revealed that a giant explosion happened in the center of Milky Way around 3.5 million years ago. The explosion that happened in ancient times was so powerful that it had sent a cataclysmic energy flare through the galaxy. The powerful impact was felt at least 200,000 light-years away, and the galactic blast literally shook the entire system.

Researchers in the study report that will soon be published in The Astrophysical Journal, revealed that the energy flare named 'Sifter Flare' originated near the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. Scientists made this conclusion after analyzing data collected by the Hubble telescope.

Researchers believe that this new finding could help to know more about the evolution of Milky Way.

"These results dramatically change our understanding of the Milky Way. We always thought about our Galaxy as an inactive galaxy, with a not so bright center," said Magma Guglielmo, a researcher at the University of Sydney and the co-author of the study, BBC reports.

A few days back, another study report published in the journal Nature had revealed that Andromeda galaxy will collide with the Milky Way in another 4.5 billion years. The study report added that the Andromeda galaxy has a very violent past, and it has devoured many small galaxies over the course of time.

It is still unclear whether the Milky Way galaxy will be devoured by Andromeda in this galactic war.

Before this collision, Milky Way may devour the large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), and experts believe that this cosmic event will happen in the next 2.5 billion years. In this galactic war, the Milky Way will become successful, as it has a very large size when compared to LMC. Milky Way is more than 100,000 light-years wide, while LMC is just 14,000 light-years wide.

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