Integral 511 keV Image of the Milky Way
Credit: J. Knödlseder (CESR) and SPI team

The Anti-Galaxy

What does the opposite of the Milky Way look like? The image above shows one version of it. This image, obtained with the SPI instrument on the INTEGRAL observatory, shows emission from anti-matter in the Galaxy - in particular it shows gamma-ray emission from electrons colliding and annihilating with anti-electrons (positrons). The INTEGRAL image shows that unlike matter, which is distributed in the galactic "bulge" and a galactic "disk", antimatter is only concentrated near the center of the Galaxy. The origin of the positrons are not known precisely. Perhaps they are produced by X-ray binaries, or supernovae, or perhaps by some type of exotic dark matter.

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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:25:29 EDT