What Is The Light In The Center Of The Milky Way Galaxy?

Unveiling the Mystery: A Light at the Center of the Milky Way Galaxy Unravel the secrets of this cosmic phenomenon

Video of the day November 30th 2019

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So What Is Going On?

As you likely all know, the universe is full of weird objects, entities, planets, stars, and whatnot. But the things that contain most of the mysteries are galaxies, and the one that we currently live in is known as the Milky Way Galaxy. Why we named it after candy is beyond me but that is another topic for another day.

Anyway, as we are in the Milky Way candy, I mean galaxy, we often look to find things within it to see how it can impact Earth, affect Earth in the long run, or just reveal to us something about the galaxy and the universe at large. To that end, scientists have been looking at the center of the Milky way, and to their shock, they found something they not only had no idea about, but they have no idea how to explain it.

To put it basically, there is a light at the center of the Milky Way, and no one knows how it got there, why it’s there, how we’ve missed it for so long, and most importantly, what it is.

Now, if any of you are sci-fi fans or video gamers, you’ll know that some games already depict a “light” at the center of galaxies because it’s a really cool effect. Heck, if you look up random pictures of galaxies on Google, you’ll likely see the same thing. But this is different because this is real, and we know that this isn’t just something as simple as a star shining brightly, it’s a mystery, and one that NASA has been trying to solve for a few months now.

Why Should We Care About A Light?

I know what you’re thinking, “Why should we care about a random light in the sky of space? Does it really matter what this light is in the center of the Milky Way?” Yes, yes it does matter, and we should absolutely care about why it’s there and why we haven’t uncovered it until now. Think about it, scientists at NASA and beyond have been observing the galaxy for decades. The last two decades especially have been full of major reveals found by telescopes and satellites that they have launched to great effect. So how is it that now is the time where we learn about this mysterious light? Doesn’t that feel odd to you?

Just as important, what if this light is more than just a light? I’m not saying aliens per se, but what if this light is a signal of some kind of event within the Milky Way galaxy? Wouldn’t you want to know about that? You have to remember that there is still so much we don’t know about space. There’s a LOT of mysteries and theories that are out there that haven’t been proven. So to have something like this just show up? Yeah, that’s a big deal.

Plus, if it is aliens, we most definitely want to pay attention to it. Oh, and the same goes for if this is some event that could potentially harm the planet in some way. I guess that’s important too. Either way, the point here is that while this may seem like a light that is light years away, it’s something that could change our way of thinking about the universe. And that alone makes it worth our time.

How The Light Was Discovered?

So now that I got your attention and you understand why this mysterious light matters, let’s talk about something very important, how we even saw this light. Because if you think we just looked up at the night sky and just saw this light in the middle of the galaxy, you would be very wrong.

You see, while the night sky might look empty outside of the stars, it’s actually full of space junk and debris. Specifically, there’s a large layer of space dust that prohibits us from seeing certain things, even with high-end telescopes that we have here on Earth. That’s why we build ones like the Hubble Space Telescope to go into orbit and look at things for us from a better viewpoint.

One such device that we built to observe the Milky Way as a whole was the Fermi Gamma Ray Telescope. This was launched with the specific desire to see Gamma Rays in the Milky Way and see how it shaped thing. Gamma Rays are the highest frequency of light on the electromagnetic spectrum, and this satellite is able to see them and relay information back to scientists at NASA. It was this satellite that allowed us to truly view the center of the galaxy. Which is where the light comes in.

You see, while we can’t exactly tell or show you the shape of the galaxy, there are ways to predict the shape and everything that the shape allows. This includes the amounts of gamma radiations that parts of the galaxy should emit. But, when the Fermi telescope looked at the center of the galaxy, it noticed that the amounts of gamma radiation it was pouring out was beyond anything else in the ENTIRE galaxy. Which is why scientists are so focused on this mystery, because they have no idea what in the center of the galaxy could cause such a reaction. That’s not to say they don’t have theories on the subject though…

Dark Matter?

Ok, so let’s talk about theories as to how and why this light at the middle of the galaxy exists. One of the most popular (and if we’re being honest the one that they’re hoping is true) is that the center of the galaxy is comprised of Dark Matter.

To put Dark Matter in the most basic of terms (because scientists could literally wax on about this particular subject for days on end, trust me), Dark Matter is a theoretical property of the universe that is believed to not just exist, but affect the universe in various ways. It’s believed that this was created when the Big Bang happened at the dawn of time. The creation of the universe created this invisible matter that just lurks out there amongst the stars. Sometimes it affects the gravity of objects, other times it affects the movements and trajectories of things going through space, and some even theorize that this is one of the components that helps the universe expand at a continuous rate despite the Big Bang being done for billions of years.

The problem here is that because Dark Matter is invisible, it’s nearly impossible to detect. We have ways of thinking that this is a real entity, but we can’t detect it as of yet, and that is why it’s one of the biggest desires of NASA to prove Dark Matter and Dark Energy (its counterpart) exist. Which with this light in the center of the Milky Way, it may be closer than they realize. In potentia of course.

Why Would This Light Be Dark Matter?

From the outside perspective, it may seem weird that some Gamma Radiation readings would lead to scientists thinking this is Dark Matter, right? Especially if it’s invisible? Well, that is true, but there are other factors here that you need to consider. First and foremost, when considering what this “light” is in terms of the Gamma Radiation, we know what it also isn’t. You see, the stars in the universe all emit a certain spectrum of light, this is very basic science. 

However, when it comes to Gamma Radiation, the stars of our universe don’t have the power or ability to produce them. So that means that the center of our galaxy isn’t a star or anything close to that. So that begs the question, “Where does Gamma Radiation come from?” You likely know one source of it via comics and movies, as Gamma Radiation can be a result of nuclear explosions and reactions. But don’t worry, it won’t make you turn green when you get angry.

However, that’s not the only place where the radiation can come from, there are a lot of space events that can cause it as well. Black Holes for example can cause Gamma Radiation, which is why there are some who believe that there is a black hole in the center of every galaxy. Supernovas exploding also emit gamma radiation. Fission and Fusion are culprits as well.

But even then, the levels of this light’s gamma radiation goes beyond what is expected for these events, and thus, some believe that Dark Matter is the result. Even going to theorize that the extreme levels of Gamma Radiation is because the violent nature of Dark Matter is causing it to collide with itself in that area of space, thus making more Gamma Radiation.

However, not everyone believes this.

130 light year region in the center of the Milky Way

It’s Not Dark Matter?

As with every good theory, there are those who believe certain things, and those who don’t. In the case of the Dark Matter theory for the light and gamma radiation outpouring there are those who don’t think it’s what’s really going on. And thankfully, it’s for a very simple reason that they don’t believe it. Mainly, it’s about location.

This light and the radiation emanates from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, right? Well, one aspect of Dark Matter that we didn’t mention before is that it’s supposed to make up about 85% of matter that exists in the universe at large. So, that would mean that if the center of our Milky Way is a violent place because of Dark Matter and it’s causing all sorts of in-fighting…why isn’t that happening in other places in the universe? Or better yet, why isn’t it happening in other places in our own galaxy?

Sure, it’s possible that there are areas like the center of the Milky Way where Dark Matter gathers in greater numbers, but that would also mean that there has to be smaller areas of collisions throughout the area, but there aren’t at present. There have been no other detections of Gamma Radiation on this level detected since the launch of the satellite. And that satellite quite literally scanned the galaxy for traces of Gamma Radiation. So if it’s Dark Matter, why are these collisions so centralized? No one really knows, and thus they feel that Dark Matter isn’t the cause of the Gamma Radiation emissions.

But in that case, what is causing them?

A Pulsar?

Stars in our universe have many different states, from being tiny when they are born, to growing into massive supergiants as they head towards the ends of their life. However, there are a few…outlier states that can be very different from everything else. One such situation is when a star actually starts to collapse upon itself. This event can cause a few different things to happen. One of them is a black hole, another thing though is a Neutron Star. In this instance, the star folds on itself, but maintains its energy despite getting very, very small compared to other stars. In these cases, they can be just 18 miles across, but have the energy of a full-blown star.

A pulsar is born when said neutron star starts to rotate at a rapid rate, far beyond what a regular star should do. When this happens, it emits radiation on a series of levels and spectrums, and yes, that includes Gamma Radiation.

So a new theory is being born that the center of the Milky Way galaxy is composed of either highly dense Neutron Stars, or a Pulsar that is emitting unheard of levels of radiation.

Right or Wrong?

So which of these theories is right? Which of these theories is wrong? And are there other explanations for what is really going on in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy right now? The answers aren’t so clear-cut, and that’s why NASA and others are racing to try and find the real answers that are out there. Because right now we simply do not know what is going on right now in the center of our own galaxy.

It’s very possible that things are like the scientists say, and if that’s true, then that’s another piece of the galactic puzzle solved. But, it’s also true that the scientists could be wrong about all of these theories and that something else is going on right now. Considering that the Earth is about 25,000 light years from the center of the galaxy, we’re lucky we’re able to see or detect anything at all. And it’s not like we can just look at it and get a better view. We need to use the objects and tools we have in order to find the truth, but sometimes that takes time.

The Mysteries Of The Universe

No matter which theory is proven right or wrong, there is something very important that needs to be taken away from this whole endeavor. And that is that despite all of our wonderful toys…I mean technology…we still have a lot to learn about the universe at large.

By our own admission, we don’t know how everything works within it. We have proven theories, and math and science that guide us through the basics and such, but there is still a lot out there to explore and wonder about. 

So the real question is, what will be the next mystery that is thrown our way?

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