Bubbles of Energy Are Found in Galaxy
By Dennis Overbye | nytimes.com
From end to end, the newly discovered gamma-ray bubbles extend 50,000 light-years, or about half of the Milky Wayís diameter, as shown in this illustration.
Something big is going on at the center of the galaxy, and astronomers are happy to say they donít know what it is.
A group of scientists working with data from NASAís Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope said Tuesday that they had discovered two bubbles of energy erupting from the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The bubbles, they said at a news conference and in a paper to be published Wednesday in The Astrophysical Journal, extend 25,000 light years up and down from each side of the galaxy and contain the energy equivalent to 100,000 supernova explosions.
ďTheyíre big,Ē said Doug Finkbeiner of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, leader of the team that discovered them.
The source of the bubbles is a mystery. One possibility is that they are fueled by a wave of star births and deaths at the center of the galaxy. Another option is a gigantic belch from the black hole known to reside, like Jabba the Hutt, at the center of the Milky Way. What it is apparently not is dark matter, the mysterious something that astronomers say makes up a quarter of the universe and holds galaxies together.
ďWow,Ē said David Spergel, an astrophysicist at Princeton who was not involved in the work.
ďAnd we think we know a lot about our own galaxy,Ē Dr. Spergel added, noting that the bubbles were almost as big as the galaxy and yet unsuspected until now.
Jon Morse, head of astrophysics at NASA headquarters, said, ďThis shows again that the universe is full of surprises.Ē
One of the most surprised was Dr. Finkbeiner. A year ago he was part of a group led by Gregory Dobler of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, Calif., that said it had discerned the existence of a mysterious fog of high-energy particles buzzing around the center of the Milky Way. The particles manifested themselves as a haze of extra energy after all the known sources of gamma rays ó the most energetic form of electromagnetic radiation ó had been subtracted from Fermi data that had recently been made public.
At the time, Dr. Finkbeiner and his colleagues speculated that the haze was produced by dark matter. The center of the galaxy is home to all manner of wild and woolly high-energy phenomena, including a gigantic black hole and violently spinning pulsars, but cosmological theories also suggest that dark matter would be concentrated there. Collisions of dark matter particles, the theory goes, could produce showers of gamma rays.
But in the follow-up analysis, the haze ó besides being bigger than Dr. Finkbeiner and his colleagues had thought ó turned out to have sharp boundaries, like, well, a bubble. Dark matter, according to the prevailing theory, should be more diffuse.
ďDark matter has been there billions of years,Ē Dr. Finkbeiner explained. ďIf something has been going on for billions of years, you wouldnít expect a sharp edge.Ē
He and the other scientists said this did not mean that dark matter was not there clogging the center of the galaxy, but that it would be harder to see.
Red Ice Radio
Paul A. LaViolette - Earth Under Fire, Galactic Superwaves & Subquantum Kinetics
Susan Joy Rennison - A New Cosmic Age, Space Weather & Cosmic Radiation
John Major Jenkins - Galactic Alignment 2012 & Mayan Cosmology
Earth Passing Into the Cosmic "Energy Cloud"
Cosmic Hand Reaches for the Light
Life in the Milky Way: Do Galactic Cycles Influence Earth's Biological History?
The Cloud Mystery Ė Galactic influence on Earth' multi-million-year climate cycles
Latest News from our Front Page
Professor: Reason Itself Is A White Male Construct
A philosophy and religion professor at Syracuse University gave an interview to The New York Times Thursday in which he critiqued the notion of pure reason as simply being a “white male Euro-Christian construction.”
Prof. John Caputo was being interviewed by fellow philosophy professor George Yancy for the 13th installment of an interview series Yancy conducts with philosophers regarding racial topics.
Given its emphasis on first principles ...
The Broken Window Fallacy
Youtube description: This short video explains one of the most persistent economic fallacies of our day.
Jenji Kohan and the Jewish Hyper-Sexualization of Western Culture
As detailed in The Culture of Critique, Freud and his followers regarded anti-Semitism was a universal pathology which had its roots in sexual repression. The theoretical basis for this can be found in Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality where he linked aggression to the frustration of human drives — especially the sex drive. Kevin MacDonald notes that: ...
Confederate History - Dispelling the Myths
History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will help to clarify and dispell some of these rampant inaccuracies.
MYTH - The War of 1861 - 1865 was fought over slavery.
FACT - Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain ...
Gays Rights May Open Door for Pedophile Rights
Democrats have attempted to normalize pedophilia as a sexual orientation.
A recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage may soon allow pedophiles to argue they are suffering discrimination.
‚ÄúUsing the same tactics used by ‚Äėgay‚Äô rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals,‚ÄĚ writes Jack Minor ...
|More News » |