Thursday, 20 January 2011

Review: Belbooks N.3

Dear Irina!  Thank you so much for your wishes, of course I wish you also a very very happy year!! I was in such a hurry to leave the office on the 24th, that I just downloaded the book, put it in my bag and left!! And I did just right, as I stayed away for 2 weeks, enough to indulge in the
(b)witch project of mine. Thank you so much for this pleasant, inspiring, easy to read book!
Liana, Greece, Creta

Friday, 7 January 2011

Look what happens in our universe!!!!

WASHINGTON -- NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has unveiled a previously unseen structure centered in the Milky Way. The feature spans 50,000 light-years and may be the remnant of an eruption from a supersized black hole at the center of our galaxy.

"What we see are two gamma-ray-emitting bubbles that extend 25,000 light-years north and south of the galactic center," said Doug Finkbeiner, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., who first recognized the feature. "We don't fully understand their nature or origin."

The structure spans more than half of the visible sky, from the constellation Virgo to the constellation Grus, and it may be millions of years old. A paper about the findings has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal. 

illustration of gamma-ray bubbles extentFrom end to end, the newly discovered gamma-ray bubbles extend 50,000 light-years, or roughly half of the Milky Way's diameter, as shown in this illustration. Hints of the bubbles' edges were first observed in X-rays (blue) by ROSAT, a Germany-led mission operating in the 1990s. The gamma rays mapped by Fermi (magenta) extend much farther from the galaxy's plane. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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gamma-ray structure visible by processing Fermi all-sky data at energies from 1 to 10 GeVA giant gamma-ray structure was discovered by processing Fermi all-sky data at energies from 1 to 10 billion electron volts, shown here. The dumbbell-shaped feature (center) emerges from the galactic center and extends 50 degrees north and south from the plane of the Milky Way, spanning the sky from the constellation Virgo to the constellation Grus. Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT/D.