Fermi-LAT Detection of Giant Gamma-Ray Bubbles Located Near the Galactic Center

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Date/Time:Friday, 19 Nov 2010 from 4:10 pm to 5:00 pm
Location:Room 3 Physics
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Review Talk by Arun Sreenivasan Madhavan, ISU Physics and Astronomy graduate student.

Fermi-LAT is a satellite-based gamma-ray detector which probes the high energy universe in the 30 MeV - 300 GeV regime. Recent data analysis by Su et al. has shown the existence of giant gamma-ray lobes extending fifty degrees above and below the galactic center. The lobes are spatially correlated with the hard-spectrum microwave excess known as the WMAP haze, and the edges line up with features in the ROSAT X-ray maps at 1.5-2 keV. It is possible that these lobes are the result of a large episode of energy injection into the Galactic center, e.g. past accretion onto the central massive black hole or a nuclear starburst within the last 10 million years. I will give an overview of this work, including a brief explanation of the analysis techniques used in the detection, a comparison to the WMAP haze and ROSAT X-ray features, and possible explanations as to the spatial and spectral profiles of the gamma-ray emisssion from the lobes.