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Milky Way's black hole may blow bubbles

Astronomers discover gamma ray-emitting blobs above and below the galaxy’s center

5:02pm, November 9, 2010

The Milky Way is blowing bubbles of cosmic proportions.

Twin bubbles of gamma ray–emitting gas, each the size of a small galaxy, sit above and below the center of the Milky Way like the ends of a giant dumbbell, astronomers have discovered.

Douglas Finkbeiner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., and his colleagues analyzed data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to find the bubbles, which may have been generated in the galaxy’s core by a long-ago burst of star formation or by a past eruption from the supermassive black hole believed to lie there. Finkbeiner described the

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