Astronomy

Giant Space Bubbles Baffle Astronomers



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Somewhere in our lifetimes, we have all watched the movies.  Stars Wars, Armageddon, and the like that try to use the vastness that is space to delight our minds with thoughts of what is and what could be.  We think of possible other life forms and what other galaxies might exist beyond the ones that we already know.  However except for what things like the Hubble telescope show us, all of this is pure conjecture.  But every once in awhile something is found that makes us go, "Wow, what the heck is that".  Such is the case of two recently discovered giant space bubbles found.

Now one might ask how is it that we never saw this giant space bubbles before.  After all, we do these days have an array of technologies on this planet we can use to search for such things.  Well the best guess is that they were not visible before this time due to the fact that they were probably blocked by what is described as a fog bank.  No not like our fog, but rather a fog of gamma radiation across the sky in its location.

As big as these two bubbles are though it makes you wonder what a thick fog that had to be!  The bubbles are located to the north and south of the center of the Milky Way and are thought to be so big that an article in the Telegraph mentions that if a beam light traveling at 186,282 miles per second would take 50,000 years to get from the edge of one to the edge of the other.  That's a long way to travel just to see the light on the other side!

The man behind the discovery is astronomer Doug Finkbeiner, who works in the United States at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Finkbeiner worked with his team and made this amazing discovery with the help of data gleaned from NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope, which was put into space back in 2008, is the most powerful detector of gamma rays, which is how they discovered the bubbles.  Another amazing factoid out of this was the fact that this was data available to John Q. Public if they wanted!  Even with this discovery though, Finkbeiner admits that where it comes from or how it came to be is not at this point understandable.

The only things thought to be possibly known about the bubbles is that they are probably millions of years old and came to be by perhaps an explosion from a black hole deep within our galaxy.  In the end, it gives the mind again something to ponder when we stare off into the sky and think what actually might be out there.

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