Fermi discovers giant gamma-ray bubbles in the Milky Way

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    NASA image release November 9, 2010

    To view a video about this story go to: www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/5162413062

    Using data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, scientists have recently discovered a gigantic, mysterious structure in our galaxy. This never-before-seen feature looks like a pair of bubbles extending above and below our galaxy's center.

    But these enormous gamma-ray emitting lobes aren't immediately visible in the Fermi all-sky map. However, by processing the data, a group of scientists was able to bring these unexpected structures into sharp relief.

    Each lobe is 25,000 light-years tall and the whole structure may be only a few million years old. Within the bubbles, extremely energetic electrons are interacting with lower-energy light to create gamma rays, but right now, no one knows the source of these electrons.

    Are the bubbles remnants of a massive burst of star formation? Leftovers from an eruption by the supermassive black hole at our galaxy's center? Or or did these forces work in tandem to produce them? Scientists aren't sure yet, but the more they learn about this amazing structure, the better we'll understand the Milky Way.

    To learn more go to: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/GLAST/news/new-structure.html

    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

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    Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

    Rubo Stars & Lore Stars, Andrea LD, and 68 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Stefan Lorse 93 months ago | reply

      holy crap, can this thing, kill us?

    2. I is 93 months ago | reply

      very creative

    3. joshua conti 93 months ago | reply

      wow. is this real? cus its simply amazing!

    4. PJ Nelson 93 months ago | reply

      Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
      .*~*~*~*~Golden 19 Award~*~*~*~*.

    5. blueachilles 93 months ago | reply

      Heard about this on the BBC news this morning....but saw it here on Flickr last night!

    6. lajosferencz296 53 months ago | reply


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