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Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory Science Support Center

ANTIMATTER CLOUDS AND FOUNTAIN DISCOVERED IN THE MILKY WAY

Scientists using data from an instrument on NASA Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) have discovered two unexpected clouds of antimatter in the Milky Way Galaxy which scientists call antimatter annihilation radiation.

Scientists from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Washington, DC, and other institutions used CGRO Oriented Scintillation Spectrometer Experiment (OSSE) to make the discovery, which points to the existence of a hot fountain of gas filled with antimatter electrons rising from a region that surrounds the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The nature of the furious activity producing the hot antimatter-filled fountain is unclear, but could be related to massive star formation taking place near the large black hole at the center of the galaxy. Other possibilities include winds from giant stars or black hole antimatter factories.

Model for the distribution of positrons towards the center
		of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Model for the distribution of positrons towards the center
		of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Model for the distribution of positrons towards the center
		of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Click images for larger views

Models for the distribution of positrons towards the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.


The complete text of NASA Press Release 97-83 on the antimatter clouds and fountain.

Northwestern University News Release on the unexpected cloud of antimatter above the galactic center.


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This page was last modified on Monday, 01-Aug-2005 13:41:47 EDT.

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