Friday, September 24, 2021 08:36 AM (GMT+7)
Astronomers have discovered the Per-Tau Shell, a giant void lurking between the constellations Perseurs and Taurus, in the Earth-containing galaxy.
According to Science Alert, it’s a spherical void 700 light-years away, surrounded by dense molecular clouds of dust and cold gas, where stars form.
Map of the galaxy containing the Earth Milky Way showing the location of the hole – Photo: ESA/CfA
According to a team led by astrophysicist Shmuel Bialy from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), there are two theories leading to the formation of the galaxy “hole”.
First, a powerful supernova broke out of the core of a bubble-like structure, ejecting gas so forcefully that it created a pore formation. Second, a series of ancient supernovas that appeared within millions of years have gradually carved out this region of space.
The Per-Tau Shell, or fully known as the Peseur-Taurus Supershell, has been discovered in the massive data store of Gaia, the ESA’s (European Space Agency) space mapping satellite.
Initially, the scientists focused on the dense area of surrounding molecular clouds, only to accidentally discover the hole. The estimated time it was formed is about 6-22 million years ago, which is quite “new” because that time period is only a moment in the history of the universe.
The study has just been published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Researchers predict that, in 2037, the universe will have a supernova explosion like the one we once experienced.