Galactic Filaments Trace out Spacememory Network Around Sagittarius A*

black hole dynamics galactic center galactic filaments galactic nucleus spacememory supermassive black hole unified spacememory network william brown Oct 09, 2023

Galactic Filaments Trace out Spacememory Network Around Sagittarius A*

By: William Brown, scientist at the International Space Federation

Recent observations of thermal molecular filaments aligned radially and horizontally in the galactic plane and emanating from the central supermassive black hole— Sagittarius A*— reveal the underlying hydrodynamic ordering structure of the spacememory network and the relationship geometry of the spacememory architecture to the black hole magnetohydrodynamics at the Galactic Nucleus. 

Hundreds of strange filaments twist through the Galaxy’s center

The center of our galaxy is full of myriad radially ordered twisted filaments of hot plasma, which may have formed due to an extensive collimated outflow of energy from Sagittarius A* along the galactic plane. New work has revealed in exquisite detail many of the characteristics of this newly discovered population of Galactic Center Filaments, although many intriguing questions remain about their formation and ordered alignment.

Two populations of filaments, perpendicular and parallel to the galactic plane, which runs horizontally. Image by Farhad Yusef-Zadeh [1].

The discovery was made by the Farhad Yusef-Zadeh research team, a group of astrophysicists at Northwestern University in Illinois, utilizing data from the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa to observe and analyze the mysterious galactic filaments [1]. Yusef-Zadeh's group uses high sensitivity and resolution of new astronomical facilities such as VLA, MeerKAT and ALMA (radio and submm interferometers), as well as other space-based X-ray and near-IR facilities like Chandra and HST to study the origin of the activity at the Galactic Center.

In 1984, Yusef-Zadeh discovered a set of highly organized large vertical filaments near the Galactic Center [2], and since then has added observations of thousands of similar filaments extending throughout the region [3] as well as large bubbles indicating ordered hydrodynamic energy outflows from Sagittarius A*.

A radio image of the central portions of the Milky Way galaxy. The large wispy arcs above and below the bright center are newly discovered structures that researchers are studying to better how our galaxy evolved. These “radio bubbles” were detected by the MeerKAT telescope array. Credit: SARAO/Oxford. 

The ordered alignment of the relatively short Galactic Center Filaments, some aligned horizontally with the equatorial plane of the galactic disc and some extending radially from Galactic Center, came as a surprise to the astrophysicists because the previously detected vertical filaments are aligned with the galaxy’s magnetic field, but filaments outside of the galaxy’s north-south polar alignment should be randomly oriented. Raising questions about the hydrodynamic processes underlying their formation and what could be producing the ordered non-random orientation and alignment of the many filaments.

Physicist Nassim Haramein has suggested that the ordered alignment of the newly discovered Galactic Center Filaments is a direct observation of the coupling of Planck-scale plasma modes of the quantum vacuum (hydrodynamics of the spacememory network) with the energy outflows and inflows of the central supermassive black hole, which describes a number of characteristics of the activity of the galactic nucleus that have perplexed astrophysicists, such as the underlying dynamics of active galactic nuclei feedback shaping the galaxy (see video below for our recent Unified Science Review discussing the dynamics of active galactic nuclei feedback and coupling with the underlying Planck plasma medium).     

The recent discovery of the Galactic Center Filaments is an exciting continuation of the analysis of the active dynamics of the galactic nucleus and supermassive black holes. There are many intriguing characteristics, such as the difference of the newly discovered population of galactic filaments with those first observed more than 40 years ago. For example, the vertical filaments measured up to 150 light years tall, while the horizontal ones are only 5 to 10 light years long, all pointing towards Sagittarius A*. These horizontal filaments also seem to be made of gas, unlike the vertical filaments, which are most likely made up of high-energy electrons. However, both populations of filaments seem to be moving away from Sagittarius A*, indicating that the supermassive black hole is at least in-part the source of the strange formations. Indeed, there seems to be significant correlation of the molecular filaments with the Fermi bubbles that are known to have originated from a colossal output of energy from Sagittarius A* [4], placing the formation of the structures at a relatively recent ~2 – 6 million years ago.

A Universal Dynamic

The morphology and high organization of the filaments, from the 150-light year vertically aligned filaments towering over Sagittarius A* to the thousands of short Galactic Center Filaments, is highly intriguing, indicating magnetohydrodynamic ordering forces that are not yet fully understood. The thousands of recently discovered filaments appear in pairs and clusters, often stacked equally spaced, side by side like strings on a harp or spilling sideways like individual ripples in a waterfall. While the ordering dynamics are not fully understood, and the best explanation may be the underlying hydrodynamic feedback of the spacememory network, the composition of the collimated galactic threads have been largely delineated. Using observations from the radio telescopes, the Farhad Yusef-Zadeh research group discovered that the vertically-aligned filaments comprise cosmic ray electrons gyrating along a magnetic field at close to the speed of light.

With this data, the puzzle of what the filaments are made of has coalesced to form a coherent picture, and excitingly, data from outside our own galaxy are now elucidating some of the outstanding questions on how such seemingly mysterious galactic structures form. Astronomers have discovered a new population of galactic filaments outside our own galaxy, offering new opportunities to investigate the physical processes in the space surrounding the filaments [5].

The newly discovered filaments reside inside the Abell 194 galaxy cluster, about 220 million light years away from Earth. Some of the galaxies within the cluster are active radio galaxies, which appear to be breeding grounds for the formation of large-scale magnetic filaments. The formation of these galactic filaments, now observed in other galaxies, demonstrates that the phenomenon is universal and tied to the active galactic nuclei feedback dynamics of the central supermassive black hole of each respective galaxy.

Radiofrequency map of galaxy cluster NGC 547, NGC 545, and NGC 541, highlighting the active galactic nucleus of NGC 547 and associated E filaments extending from the polar jets; magnetized synchroton-emission filaments of plasma extending through the intragalactic medium. Note, the 3C40B radio structure is approximately 500 kpc, which is about 1.6 million light years across. Image source and credit [5].

Galactic Colossi

Although the new population of filaments looks like those in our Milky Way, and they share some key similarities, such as the same length-to-width ratio as the Milky Way’s filaments, and both populations appear to transport energy through the same mechanisms, there are some key differences: the filaments outside the Milky Way, for example, are much bigger — between 100 to 10,000 times longer. The size of these galactic colossi is astonishing, with some filaments reaching lengths up to 200 kiloparsecs, which is about four to five times larger than the size of our entire Milky Way Galaxy. They also are much older, and their magnetic fields are weaker. Most of them curiously hang at a 90-degree angle from the central supermassive black hole’s jets, extending into the intracluster medium—a dynamic medium driven by ongoing accretion along large-scale structure filaments and mergers with groups of galaxies, as well  as additional internal injections of energy from supernova explosions as the embedded galaxies evolve, and less frequent, but powerful injections of momentum, energy,  cosmic rays and magnetic fields from the jets of active galactic nuclei (supermassive black holes within the galactic nucleus).   

In analysis of the colossal filaments emanating from the polar jets of these distant galaxies, it can be seen that closer to the jet, the filaments’ electrons are more energetic, but they lose energy as they travel farther down the filament. Although the black hole’s jet might provide the seed particles needed to create a filament, something unknown must be accelerating these particles along the multi-kiloparsec lengths, and remarkably the electrons remain together over such astonishingly long distances, which is not easily explainable under a conventional model of magnetohydrodynamic flow in which there is no coupling to the underlying Planck plasma of the spacememory network.

The differences observed between the galactic filaments observed in the Milky Way and the older, colossal filaments seen in other galaxies like NGC547 may just be a result of the vantage of perspective, where we are able to resolve small 5 to 10 light year long filaments in our relatively nearby galactic center, while only the largest most prominent filaments are observable in other galaxies residing hundreds of millions of light years distant. The universality of the dynamic that is forming these filamentary plasma structures is what is intriguing, and will certainly reveal insights into the relatively unseen forces of spacememory shaping organized systems from cosmological to atomic scales.


[1] F. Yusef-Zadeh, R. G. Arendt, M. Wardle, and I. Heywood, “The Population of the Galactic Center Filaments: Position Angle Distribution Reveals a Degree-scale Collimated Outflow from Sgr A* along the Galactic Plane,” ApJL, vol. 949, no. 2, p. L31, Jun. 2023, doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/acd54b.

[2] F. Yusef-Zadeh, M. Morris, and D. Chance, “Large, highly organized radio structures near the galactic centre,” Nature, vol. 310, no. 5978, Art. no. 5978, Aug. 1984, doi: 10.1038/310557a0.

[3] F. Yusef-Zadeh, R. G. Arendt, M. Wardle, I. Heywood, W. D. Cotton, and F. Camilo, “Statistical Properties of the Population of the Galactic Center Filaments: The Spectral Index and Equipartition Magnetic Field,” ApJL, vol. 925, no. 2, p. L18, Feb. 2022, doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/ac4802.

[4] H.-Y. K. Yang, M. Ruszkowski, and E. G. Zweibel, “Fermi and eROSITA bubbles as relics of the past activity of the Galaxy’s central black hole,” Nat Astron, vol. 6, no. 5, Art. no. 5, May 2022, doi: 10.1038/s41550-022-01618-x.

[5] L. Rudnick et al., “Intracluster magnetic filaments and an encounter with a radio jet,” ApJ, vol. 935, no. 2, p. 168, Aug. 2022, doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/ac7c76.