Jan 10, 2008
Source of antimatter identified in the Galaxy
INTEGRAL discovers a factory of positrons in the Milky Way (10 January 2008)

Surprisingly, an asymmetry in the distribution of antimatter in the central regions of our Galaxy has just been discovered. By adding all scientific data acquired since five years by the spectrometer SPI aboard the INTEGRAL satellite, a European research group, including scientists from the Service d'Astrophysique at CEA-IRFU , has observed a gamma-ray photon emission of an energy of 511 keV, which is characteristic for the annihilation of electrons and their antimatter particles, the positrons. The researchers could determine the morphology of the 511 keV emission in the central regions of our Galactic disk, which reveals to be asymmetric and very similar to the distribution of a certain type of X-ray binary sources. For some time already these objects are thought to be efficient factories for positron production, and could explain the origin of these antimatter particles in the central regions of our Galactic disk. This work has been published in the scientific journal Nature on January 10th, 2008.


See also

- The CEA/CNRS press release (in french)  (10 January 2008)
- The ESA press realease (10 January 2008)

For details and more information in French : click HERE

#2332 - Last update : 01/10 2008


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