(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of astronomers has discovered a small satellite galaxy in our Milky Way. According to researchers, it is in it that the source of powerful radiation is located, which scientists have been looking for over the past ten years.
An international team of researchers has studied a phenomenon known as the Fermi Cocoon. For this, data from the Gaia and Fermi space telescopes were analyzed.
Scientists explain that the center of the Milky Way “blows out” a pair of colossal bubbles of gamma radiation, covering 50,000 light-years across. Outwardly, they resemble an hourglass. This object was discovered about 10 years ago using Fermi.
During this time, scientists have not been able to find the source of radiation that forms two huge bubbles.
It was only possible to establish that the “petals” are covered with several mysterious substructures, consisting of very bright gamma radiation. One of the brightest spots, called the Fermi cocoon, is in the southern “petal”.
Until now, the popular theory has been that this unusual phenomenon could be somehow related to the outbursts of a supermassive black hole in the distant past.
However, a new study reveals that the Fermi cocoon is in fact due to radiation emanating from the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy, one of the satellites of our Milky Way.
Scientists have determined that due to its narrow orbit around our galaxy and previous passages through the galactic disk, the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy has lost much of its interstellar gas. She also lost many of her stars, which were torn out of her core and moved into elongated “sleeves”
Now this galaxy was at rest. She has practically no gas left from which stars could form, and there are no stellar nurseries. However, telescope data indicate that the source of gamma rays is located inside this galaxy.
Given its current state, astronomers have proposed two possible explanations for the origin of gamma rays.
Such, for example, may be a population of millisecond pulsars unknown to us. The second option is the annihilation of dark matter. The conducted modeling suggests that the first scenario may turn out to be true.
This means that the dwarf galaxy may contain millisecond pulsars – the remnants of certain types of stars, much more massive than the Sun. Now they exist in close binary systems and at times emit powerful beams.
The electrons released by them collide with low-energy photons from the cosmic microwave background, which creates very high-energy gamma rays.
Using the model, the researchers demonstrated that the presence of millisecond pulsars logically explains the existence of the Fermi cocoon and at the same time refutes the dark matter option.
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