Two strange blobs of X-ray energy swirl from the center of the galaxy

Millions of years ago, a powerful explosion shook the center of the Milky Way, where double shock waves shoot through the air. Those waves slammed through the galaxy with bulldozers, heating all the gas and dust in their path, leaving two meaningful blobs of hot, highly energetic gamma rays in their wake.

Today those blobs are – now the Fermi Bubbles – cover half the width of our galaxy. One lobe towers 25,000 light-years above the Milky Way’s disk, and the other looms just as big. Since their discovery in 2010, the bubbles have been a monolithic mystery of our galaxy – and now we know they’re not alone.