Milky Way Emits Huge Gamma Ray Bubbles

Massive bubbles of energy stump astrophysicists
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2010 2:48 PM CST
Milky Way Emits Huge Gamma Ray Bubbles
A NASA image of the massive gamma-ray bubbles.   (NASA)

(Newser) – Scientists say they have discovered two vast and mysterious bubbles of gamma-ray energy coming from the center of our galaxy. The bubbles, which extend an incredible 25,000 light years above and below the galaxy's plane, were discovered by scientists analyzing data from NASA's Fermi telescope, the Los Angeles Times reports. "They're big, they're sharp-edged and they contain a lot of energy," one astrophysicist says.

"We don't fully understand their nature or origin," the expert says, although scientists suspect they may have been produced by a single event, possibly a massive round of star formation or an eruption of particles from the massive black hole at the center of the galaxy. Io9 has another suggestion: "Maybe our galaxy is where all the advanced civilizations dump their dangerous trash, and what we're seeing is the intergalactic equivalent of a toxic plume."
(Read more astrophysics stories.)

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