Giant gamma ray bubbles in our galaxy

Nov 19, 2010
An artist's conception of the two giant bubbles of gamma ray emission discovered in our Milky Way galaxy. Credit: NASA/GSFC

( -- Gamma rays are the most energetic form of light, typically about one hundred billion times as energetic as optical light.

Gamma rays are produced in four main ways: in extremely hot regions (temperatures of more than about 100 million degrees), when very fast moving charged particles interact with other charged particles or with magnetic fields, when atomic particles or nuclei decay, or when matter and anti-matter annihilate. Although they are fantastically energetic, from astrophysical objects are very difficult to detect because the atmosphere absorbs most of them, while telescopes in space need to use special techniques of particle physics because normal lenses or mirrors cannot focus high energy light.

CfA astronomer Doug Finkbeiner, together with two of his students, Meng Su and Tracy Slatyer, used NASA's Fermi Gamma Ray Telescope to study the diffuse gamma ray emission -- a haze that Fermi sees across the sky. Other satellites operating over a wide range of wavelengths, including in particular infrared and , had earlier spotted what seemed to be a faint haze centered on the nucleus of our galaxy. That more localized emission has been interpreted as being produced by moving in a . If true, those particles could also produce faint gamma ray structures buried within the haze seen more widely across the sky.

After meticulous modeling of the spatial structure of the large scale, diffuse gamma ray emission, the CfA astronomers subtracted it from the images to search for possible small scale structures. Their dramatic discovery: two humongous bubbles of high energy emission protruding about 50,000 light-years above and below the galaxy, and centered on its nucleus.

Since our Milky Way's center contains a black hole with a mass of about thirty million solar masses, the scientists argue that the bubbles were produced either by an eruption from the black hole sometime in the past, or else by a burst of star formation in that vicinity. More research is needed to sort out these and other alternatives, but whatever the conclusions, the discovery of these giant gamma ray lobes helps us better understand the environment of our own home galaxy, while also probing the dramatic activities of the massive found at the centers of most .

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User comments : 9

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1 / 5 (3) Nov 19, 2010
This observation was discussed in a recent video on the energy source in centers of stars and galaxies: http://www.youtub...yLYSiPO0

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo
1 / 5 (5) Nov 20, 2010
Allah is the greatest
5 / 5 (2) Nov 20, 2010
Two weeks ago PhysOrg featured (essentially) the same article. A lot of nutty comments followed.

Allah is the greatest
Sounds like a rightwing nut who's trying to denounce serious muslims by playing the "given role" of a non-scientific zealot.
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 20, 2010
LaViolette has an analysis of this evidence of a superwave event on his blog. The geometry of the bubbles coincide with a superwave event occuring approximately 26000 years ago, which is supported by evidence in the ice core record. It's so unfortunate for many that current physics does not support the cosmological evidence. Guess which is right? Watch the contrived explanations get more and more nutty from mainstream science. How embarrassing.
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 05, 2010
The previous post has been downvoted with yyz troll (as usually) - although these events were predicted with famous astronomer Oort in 1977 already and astronomers know about these ejection structures quite well.


It's not surprising, LaViolette's entry has been deleted from Wikipedia before some time. The trolls hate all people, who are more insightfull and clever.
not rated yet Dec 05, 2010
"The previous post has been downvoted with yyz troll (as usually)"

Hey beelize54, it wasn't me, but thanks for the heads up, I'll get right to it.

BTW, Tuxford has a number of posts here: http://www.physor...firstCmt

that at this time no one has ranked. Get your facts straight before posting, huh.
1.7 / 5 (6) Dec 05, 2010
You downovoted many Tuxford's posts, as everyone can make sure easily. So you're not only troll, but a liar too.

2.3 / 5 (4) Dec 13, 2010
These Fermi bubbles seem to be commonly ejected from galactic cores, sourced within a 2-light-year region. And this case indicates such ejections can turn on quickly, as was not observed a decade earlier.


Very likely these sources are extremely close to the galactic core, less than 50 times the radius of the event horizon.


And the core eruptions can evolve explosively, in only minutes.


And the core outbursts can turn off relatively quickly as well.


I find it implausible that accretion can be the mechanism in such a violent region. Interior genic energy (photon blue-shifting) heat imbalance could lead to explosive outbursts. Violates physics? Oh well. I don't think the universe cares.

1.8 / 5 (5) Dec 13, 2010
Beelize. LaViolette had to petition Wikipedia many times to finally get his name removed. There seems to be a concerted campaign to smear him. Wikipedia was just another tool used against him, that he had no time to police. (Look what they are doing to Gary McKinnon and Assange.)

I suspect his insights may lead to a new understanding, that threatens the classified world of secret weaponary. He has had a 2009 telephone interview mysteriously disconnected 24 times in two hours while discussing antigravity technology research history. Sophisticated eavesdropping for sure! NSA? I would not be surprised that a few posters here are merely government agents, steering the laughter as they have done for decades with UFO's.

Such a comment will draw ridicule. Oh well. I have nothing to defend. Decades of misinformation to fight against. Just looking for clarity in a confused subject. Cheers.

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