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

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)), pp. 293-296. (doi:10.1038/nature02407).

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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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Published date: 18 March 2004


Local EPrints ID: 37949
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 0a647f2e-f81c-4610-a501-735eec3fae27
ORCID for A. Bird: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 26 May 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:40

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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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