INTEGRAL image of the center of the Galaxy
Credit: F. Lebrun (CEA-Saclay), ESA

Sources in the Mist

A vague glow, like a mist, of soft gamma rays surrounds much of our Galaxy, the Milky Way. The origin of this mist has been a mystery, until new observations with the INTEGRAL Gamma-Ray Observatory helped identify the true nature of this emission. With its fine spatial resolving capability, INTEGRAL has now shown that the diffuse soft gamma-ray emission near the center of the Milky Way is really composed of individual sources, like X-ray binaries, black holes and other objects. The image above is a soft gamma-ray map of the central part of the Milky Way obtained by the IBIS/ISGRI camera on INTEGRAL, showing soft gamma-ray emission from point sources with little contribution from diffuse processes.

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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