Scientists discover 6 million light year wide gas cloud

Posted on Thursday, Apr 26 2007 @ 03:10 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Scientists have discovered a giant gas cloud about 300 million light years away. They believe this 6 million light years wide object might be formed by the collective sigh of several supermassive black holes, MSNBC reports:
“One of the most exciting aspects of the discovery is the new questions it poses,” said study leader Philipp Kronberg of Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico. “For example, what kind of mechanism could create a cloud of such enormous dimensions that does not coincide with any single galaxy or galaxy cluster? Is that same mechanism connected to the mysterious source of ultra high energy cosmic rays that come from beyond our galaxy?”

The plasma cloud is located about 300 million light years away near the Coma Cluster and is spread across a vast region of space thought to contain several galaxies with supermassive black holes, or active galactic nuclei, embedded at their centers.

"One reasonable interpretation is that the cloud represents the aggregate release of magnetic and cosmic ray energy from this grouping of galaxies, which is unusually concentrated," Kronberg told SPACE.com.


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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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