Gamma-Ray Bubbles from the Center of the Milky Way
Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT/D. Finkbeiner et al.

Top Ten of 2010

2010 was an astonishing year for physics. Maybe not as impressive as 1905 (but what year could be? well maybe 1687) but impressive nonetheless. 2010 was the year of the highest temperature recorded on earth (4 trillion degrees Celsius, at Brookhaven National Lab). It was the year that a macroscopic object was made to vibrate due to the laws of quantum mechanics, thanks to physicists at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It's year when the most massive star, R136a1 in the LMC's Tarantula Nebula, was reported, at over 200 times the mass of the sun. And was a solution to the Pioneer anomaly finally found? But one of the most astounding announcements is shown in the image above. This image is an all-sky view of the Universe in Gamma-rays, taken by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Fermi's unprecedented sensitivity provides a unique view of enormous, though subtle, features. Like the enormous gamma-ray bubbles surrounding the Milky Way, produced (probably) by an intermittent outburst from Sgr A*, the Milky Way's supermassive black hole. What will 2011 bring?
Published: February 21, 2011

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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 Sunday, 27-Feb-2011 20:52:40 EST