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Space

+ - Black Holes Discovered as Source of Gamma Rays

Submitted by
eldavojohn
eldavojohn writes "A very recent paper has been published that gives a very sound explanation for the source of gamma rays that permeate our galaxy. Objects like the Milky Way's central supermassive object (Sagittarius A*) are now suspected to be the culprit but since these are widely believed to be a black holes, little is known and skepticism is high that even gamma radiation could escape them. All that has been observed is gamma rays seem to coming from black holes. To test this theory, two scientists created a computer model and found that intense gravity near the event horizon caused protons to fling outward at near light speeds where some would randomly make it beyond 10 light years of the black hole after thousands of years. Once they are sufficiently far away, these super high-energy protons would collide with low-energy protons to form pions which decay into gamma radiation emanating in all directions from the collision. If their simulation holds to be accurate and survives the skepticism of the community, the source of some gamma rays that were believed to all be remnants of the big bang could instead be signals from just outside black holes. Not only does a rapidly rotating Wolf-Rayet star collapsing into a black hole cause narrow streams of gamma radiation but apparently they continue to emit them long after their formation."

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