The First All-Sky Extreme Energy Map Reveals An Unknown Monster In Our Galaxy (Synopsis)

"I happen to have discovered a direct relation between magnetism and light, also electricity and light, and the field it opens is so large and I think rich." -Michael Faraday

With the launch of the Fermi satellite in the late 2000s, we began observing the highest energy photons in the Universe -- gamma rays -- all over the sky, to unprecedented precision. Produced from cosmic ray showers in space when high energy protons run into other, stationary protons, these gamma rays locate point sources from supermassive black holes to supernova remnants to pulsars.

Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, of data from the Fermi LAT collaboration. Image credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, of data from the Fermi LAT collaboration.

There is, additionally, a great correlation between the infrared sky and the gamma ray sky, since the great high-energy background scatters off of the diffuse infrared gas, producing gamma rays there as well. But while a great many sources can be correlated with known structures, Fermi reveals at least one unknown, intense behemoth that emits spectacularly in gamma rays.

Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA, for the WISE collaboration. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA, for the WISE collaboration.

Go find out what my guess is as to its nature!

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Hey Ethan, first off I would just like to say thank you for the work you do taking fascinating and mind boggling topics and making them accessible to a layman like myself. I love reading your blog/s and check for new content almost daily. Earlier today I read this article...

http://www.engadget.com/2016/01/08/you-say-advertising-i-say-block-that…

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I wanted to read it but Forbes refuses to serve the page, demanding that I turn off the adblocker that I don't have.

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By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 09 Jan 2016 #permalink

It's a problem for Windows users as well. Fortune has hust added this roadblock.

Please stop the whining and learn to configure your ABP properly. Here are the filters that currently work for me:- https://imgur.com/ykReRaV

By Patrick Sweetman (not verified) on 11 Jan 2016 #permalink