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Letter to Nature. Compact sources as the origin of the soft gamma-ray emission of the Milky Way

Letter to Nature. Compact sources as the origin of the soft gamma-ray emission of the Milky Way
Letter to Nature. Compact sources as the origin of the soft gamma-ray emission of the Milky Way
The Milky Way is known to be an abundant source of gamma-ray photons, now determined to be mainly diffuse in nature and resulting from interstellar processes. In the soft gamma-ray domain, point sources are expected to dominate, but the lack of sensitive high-resolution observations did not allow for a clear estimate of the contribution from such sources. Even the best imaging experiment revealed only a few point sources, accounting for about 50% of the total Galactic flux. Theoretical studies were unable to explain the remaining intense diffuse emission. Investigating the origin of the soft gamma-rays is therefore necessary to determine the dominant particle acceleration processes and to gain insights into the physical and chemical equilibrium of the interstellar medium. Here we report observations in the soft gamma-ray domain that reveal numerous compact sources. We show that these sources account for the entirety of the Milky Way's emission in soft gamma-rays, leaving at most a minor role for diffuse processes.
0028-0836
293-296
Lebrun, F.
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Terrier, R.
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Bazzano, A.
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Belanger, G.
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Bird, A.
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Bouchet, L.
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Dean, A.
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Del Santo, M.
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Goldwurm, A.
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Lund, N.
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Morand, H.
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Parmar, A.
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Paul, J.
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Roques, J.-P.
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Schonfelder, V.
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Strong, A.W.
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Ubertini, P.
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Walter, R.
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Winkler, C.
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Lebrun, F.
3199bd6d-2853-421c-b9ac-a1169dbda400
Terrier, R.
88bc87ec-daaa-4720-a85b-6acd641cabde
Bazzano, A.
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Belanger, G.
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Bird, A.
045ee141-4720-46fd-a412-5aa848a91b32
Bouchet, L.
55e5ab02-1c03-4785-b2d1-d287fc4f4129
Dean, A.
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Del Santo, M.
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Goldwurm, A.
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Lund, N.
e45c733b-8220-4f3d-827f-35c38a6286ba
Morand, H.
e2f0dcf2-cc69-4bd6-9452-490efea1087c
Parmar, A.
74931a18-4f2d-49f0-8137-2be2c695a053
Paul, J.
fb875029-2055-41f1-a8a6-db8cfa05f5e9
Roques, J.-P.
9d952627-0e89-4e6f-b978-9648dc38b520
Schonfelder, V.
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Strong, A.W.
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Ubertini, P.
7035748e-152c-473e-8766-a2fa3ac49fcb
Walter, R.
ca141f43-45f4-408a-a4f2-7cac51552458
Winkler, C.
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Lebrun, F., Terrier, R., Bazzano, A., Belanger, G., Bird, A., Bouchet, L., Dean, A., Del Santo, M., Goldwurm, A., Lund, N., Morand, H., Parmar, A., Paul, J., Roques, J.-P., Schonfelder, V., Strong, A.W., Ubertini, P., Walter, R. and Winkler, C. (2004) Letter to Nature. Compact sources as the origin of the soft gamma-ray emission of the Milky Way. Nature, 428 ((6980)), 293-296. (doi:10.1038/nature02407).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Milky Way is known to be an abundant source of gamma-ray photons, now determined to be mainly diffuse in nature and resulting from interstellar processes. In the soft gamma-ray domain, point sources are expected to dominate, but the lack of sensitive high-resolution observations did not allow for a clear estimate of the contribution from such sources. Even the best imaging experiment revealed only a few point sources, accounting for about 50% of the total Galactic flux. Theoretical studies were unable to explain the remaining intense diffuse emission. Investigating the origin of the soft gamma-rays is therefore necessary to determine the dominant particle acceleration processes and to gain insights into the physical and chemical equilibrium of the interstellar medium. Here we report observations in the soft gamma-ray domain that reveal numerous compact sources. We show that these sources account for the entirety of the Milky Way's emission in soft gamma-rays, leaving at most a minor role for diffuse processes.

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More information

Published date: 18 March 2004

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 37949
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/37949
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 0a647f2e-f81c-4610-a501-735eec3fae27
ORCID for A. Bird: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6888-8937

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 May 2006
Last modified: 10 Nov 2021 02:42

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Contributors

Author: F. Lebrun
Author: R. Terrier
Author: A. Bazzano
Author: G. Belanger
Author: A. Bird ORCID iD
Author: L. Bouchet
Author: A. Dean
Author: M. Del Santo
Author: A. Goldwurm
Author: N. Lund
Author: H. Morand
Author: A. Parmar
Author: J. Paul
Author: J.-P. Roques
Author: V. Schonfelder
Author: A.W. Strong
Author: P. Ubertini
Author: R. Walter
Author: C. Winkler

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