Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Huge Gama-ray emitters Found Extending from MilkyWay's Core

From the IO9 blog - Astronomers working with data from the Fermi space telescope, which detects gamma rays, were able to see two enormous structures extending 25k light years above and below the galactic plane. These bubble shaped structures are extremely strong gamma ray emitters invisible to the eye but extremely bright to gamma ray detecting equipment.

Though not fully understanding the dynamics behind what formed the huge globes of gamma rays, scientists speculate that the globes might have been formed by matter infalling onto the super-massive black holes at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Though there isn't any evidence of a gamma - ray jet now, when the Milky Way was much younger and denser, such a jet may have been much more likely. Here is a NASA film on the discovery.

IO9 article NASA article

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