These observations are a highly suggestive 'smoking gun'," said Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, who was one of the first people to suggest that black holes generate the power seen coming from quasars and galaxies with 'active' centers.
It's orbited by a swarm of stars whose paths let us measure the black hole's mass: four million times the mass of the Sun.
The region around the black hole, called Sagittarius A* ["A-star"], pours out radio waves, infrared, X-rays and gamma rays.
An artist’s conception of a black hole generating a jet.
Two million years ago the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy was 100 million times more powerful than it is today.
But evidence has been building of a real cataclysm in the past.
Infrared and X-ray satellites have seen a powerful 'wind' (outflow) of material from this central region. And there are the 'Fermi bubbles'—two huge hot bubbles of gas billowing out from the galactic center, seen in gamma-rays and radio waves.
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Struck by the fiery breath of Sagittarius A*, the Stream is emitting light, much as particles from the Sun hit our atmosphere and trigger the colored glows of the aurorae—the Northern and Southern Lights.