Huge Flare

31 May 2010

At ... XMM Newton images of the emisson of the neutral iron flourescent line in molecular clouds around Sgr A taken between 2004 and 2008 shows that the supermassive black hole thought to be at the centre of the Milky Way went through a turbulent phase during the past few centuries. The evidence comes from surrounding molecular clouds whose variation in X-ray and gamma-ray luminosity reflects a major flare in the recent past (see the Astrophysical Journal). It began 4 centuries ago and for around 300 years the black hole was a million times brighter than it is now (see also ).