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NASA Space Science

Gamma Ray Mystery Reestablished By Fermi Telescope 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the back-to-the-drawing-board dept.
eldavojohn writes "New observations from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope reveal that our assumptions about the 'fog' of gamma rays in our universe are not entirely explained by black hole-powered jets emanating from active galaxies — as we previously hypothesized. For now, the researchers are representing the source of unaccounted gamma rays with a dragon (as in 'here be') symbol. A researcher explained that they are certain about this, given Fermi's observations: 'Active galaxies can explain less than 30 percent of the extragalactic gamma-ray background Fermi sees. That leaves a lot of room for scientific discovery as we puzzle out what else may be responsible.' And so we reopen the chapter on background gamma-rays in the science textbooks and hope this eventually sheds even more light on other mysteries of space — like star formation and dark matter."
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Gamma Ray Mystery Reestablished By Fermi Telescope

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  • by RabidMoose (746680) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @12:54PM (#31347210) Homepage
    Alien exhaust fumes.

    BAM! I just proved the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. What do I win?
  • Black (Score:5, Funny)

    by florescent_beige (608235) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @12:55PM (#31347222) Journal

    Caveat: I am not a cosmetologist. Not even a cosmologist although I dated one once. Cosmetologist I mean. So I think that my insights into outer space and whatnot, well, have a great deal of validity.

    To wit, wherein TFS claims "we previously hypothesized" etc etc actually no we didn't I went and read TF old article and I distinctly notice it talks about the galaxy and not the universe which to my understanding are different classifications of entities altogether.

    Having typed all that I have to concede that I forgot what I was going to say. So I'll say this: what's with all the black in outer space anyway. Black holes, black energy, black matter, even the nothing part is black. Black black black. It's depressing.

    • Re:Black (Score:5, Funny)

      by AndrewBC (1675992) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @01:02PM (#31347332) Homepage
      I see a red dwarf and I want it painted black...
      • by dwarfsoft (461760)

        Holly: Well, the thing about a black hole - its main distinguishing feature - is it's black. And the thing about space, the colour of space, your basic space colour, is black. So how are you supposed to see them?
        Rimmer: But five of them? . How can you manage to miss five black holes?
        Holly: It's always the way, isn't it? You wait three million years for one to come along, then all of a sudden five turn up at once.

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      So I'll say this: what's with all the black in outer space anyway. Black holes, black energy, black matter, even the nothing part is black. Black black black. It's depressing.

      Thus the old astrophysicist saying: "Always bet on black".

    • by thomst (1640045)
      The "new black" is gamma.
    • The Nothing, whilst dominated by sand and possibly beetles, is of course anything but black...
    • It's like, how much more black could it be? And the answer is none. None more black.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by OldSoldier (168889)

      So I'll say this: what's with all the black in outer space anyway. Black holes, black energy, black matter, even the nothing part is black. Black black black. It's depressing.

      I know you meant this in jest, but it's a surprising legitimate question [wikipedia.org]. (or at least it was.)

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Black black black. It's depressing.

      Black* is beautiful, baby! Maybe that's whay all the white kids annoying attempt to emulate black people. Black is the absense of light, without light you can't see the ugliness.

      Interestingly, in China white is the color of mourning.

      *Disclaimer -- I'm white

    • by evilviper (135110)

      what's with all the black in outer space anyway. Black holes, black energy, black matter, even the nothing part is black. Black black black. It's depressing.

      "Dark" means we have no idea WTF it is.

      Dark matter means our equations don't work, and the movements we can observer show there's additional matter out there, but we can't see it.

      Dark energy means, notwithstanding the previous "dark" entity, our equations STILL DON'T WORK, so besides that extra mass, there's extra energy out there, too, which we also ca

  • Oh No! (Score:4, Funny)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @12:59PM (#31347274)

    This unexplained Gamma Ray Cloud is maki n_g___ M_ e____A_n__G__R___Y_____!

    Rarr!!!

  • by CTalkobt (81900) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @01:05PM (#31347384) Homepage
    It's simple - it's brownian motion on a galactic scale...
    Mmmm .. Brownies... Me hungry.
  • by Cow Jones (615566) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @01:07PM (#31347430)

    The interesting thing about space telescopes is that they allow you to look into the past. For example, here's what gamma rays looked like 20 years ago [freemindrecords.com.br] - they're near the bluish spectrum, heading towards our time, and they're wearing cheesy 80s style shades.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      All telescopes allow you to see in the past. If you look at our closest neighbor, you see it from four years ago. Actually, it is impossible to see the present even with the naked eye -- everything you see is light that was reflected off of something, and the spped of light id finite and measurable. Even the image of the screen you are looking at is a tiny fraction of a second old; it is from the past.

      • I take it you didn't bother clicking the image which your parent-post linked?

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          No, but I thought I'd seen the image before, and besides it didn't matter to the point I was making.

  • Perhaps it is a faint glow from the heliopause?

    • by forand (530402)
      The article is rather bad about conflating observation of an isotropic intensity with something inherently extra-galactic. That being said emission due to cosmic ray interactions confined by the heliopause have been predicted and aside from being too faint it is also anisotropic.
    • It would probably be non-isotropic then, with a seasonal variation as the Earth orbits. I'm sure that would have been noticed.

    • by matang (731781)
      the universe is awful old to be going through heliopause. it would explain the hot flashes though.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Maybe the universe is in menopause? No, that would only explain its heat and crabbiness. Maybe it's pregnant? That would explain its glow!

  • by Vitriol+Angst (458300) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @02:57PM (#31348778)

    I've always had a theory that the Extra Gamma ray bursts are the creation of Universes. This is a continuous processes.

    About 30 years ago, I figured the "Hubble Constant" would be found to be increasing, because the Universe, would be attracted to these "outer Universes" through Gravity (but it doesn't work at all how it is presented in Physics) -- but ALSO, that Space/Time was growing itself, and this would change the laws of Physics over time. The extra gravity of galaxies, that APPEARS to be explained by Dark Matter, is really a bleed-through of gravity from these other Universes. It is non-localized and cannot be explained by counting particles, but the existence of so many particles, creates a zone where the Gravity is more likely to bleed through. Thus, more cumulative mass than the actual mass in the system.

    There are cases where you can get a "shadow" a blank area of space, that has gravity, but no particles. It has to do with a "superposition" of other Galaxies with ours. They don't exist in the same space, but they would have an AFFINITY, for a position in space. Such loosely bound but massive forces of gravity, might be used to MOVE massive objects like stars. I've got a lot of VERY simple theories that are only difficult to understand because they are completely alien to anything I've heard. The Multiverse Theory of Quantum Mechanics where all states are possible -- is the REAL CLUE to how General Relativity is not a contradiction. We DO NOT have spontaneously spawned Multiverses, because they all RESOLVE to only one, that satisfies equal and opposite forces. Existence, is merely the convergence of all possible states with the ONLY ONE, that satisfies the conditions. Physics itself -- is NOT a law that controls ANYTHING, it's the byproduct. There is only ONE thing -- space/time, and it's interference with itself creates discrete and opposite 4 Dimensional ripples. This interference with each other and we see as the 4 dimensions we exist in -- but they are a "matrix of oscillations." The in-and out flow of Space/Time into this Universe is through discrete "holes" in the oscillating boundaries that we call particles and all the forces in physics can easily be explained by this one interaction.

    So when there is a "big bang" for a created Universe or an "inverting one" -- we get a Gamma Ray burst. You can't LOCATE the new Universe, because distance and location OUTSIDE of a Universe is meaningless -- thus, they have no relative location with each other, but they do have AFFINITY, with influences on Light and Gravity, since Space/Time are a property "in-between" all Universes and what we call Particles the movement of this space/time is what creates the phenomena that we think of as light and gravity.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      I've always had a theory that the Extra Gamma ray bursts are the creation of Universes.

      It's not testable, so it's not a theory. It's a hypothesis. </pedant>

      but ALSO, that Space/Time was growing itself, and this would change the laws of Physics over time.

      If they are growing at the same rate, how aould that change the laws of physics?

      At any rate, it was an interesting comment and should have been modded as such.

      • by tqk (413719)

        I've always had a theory that the Extra Gamma ray bursts are the creation of Universes

        It's not testable, so it's not a theory. It's a hypothesis.

        "String Theory" ring any bells (ignoring its controversy ftm)? This is English. We steal from everyone else, mangle to taste, appall those we it stole from, then carry on. What do Giovanni Caboto, Jean Cabot, and John Cabot have in common?

        We also plow vast piles of cash at planck scale potentialities (string theory), but that's a human condition.

        • I have the distinct feeling you've said something witty, but I think I'd have to google a lot of Cabots to know for sure.

          You might be saying; "Lots of money has gone to String Theory, and it doesn't really have a Proof yet." So thanks, I think.

          At some point, there is Authoritative Wild Ass Speculation, mine is merely Arm-Chair Scientist Wild Ass Speculation. In a Universe of possibility -- I think we stand on the same firm ground that exists and does not exist unless observed. ;-)

          My BIG difference with Stri

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          "String Theory" ring any bells (ignoring its controversy ftm)? This is English.

          "String theory" always struck a raw nerve with me. When you're talking to someone in a redneck bar (as I often do), saying "my theory is she's [whatever]) is perfectly valid, but in a technical forum like slashdot or worse, in a scientific paper, saying "theory" when you mean "hypothesis" (as in "string throry", AARG!) is bad bad bad.

          We also plow vast piles of cash at planck scale potentialities

          I see nothing wrong with that. Mayb

          • Forgive me,

            I've been corrupted by blogging on Digg so I speak "ID10T" quite fluently.

            Of course I KNOW what "Hypothesis" and "Theory" are -- but it's pretty ridiculous in normal every day speech to say; "My Hypothesis." It's kind of a given if someone is saying "My Theory is" it is a caveat, and this is not considered a publicly accepted theory. I have some Proof only for myself.

            And you understood as much -- but I didn't guess that was the issue with some others, because they knew enough to NOT say; "What is

      • by jonadab (583620)
        > It's not testable, so it's not a theory. It's a hypothesis. </pedant>

        If you're going to be pedantic, at least get it right.

        A theory is something that has already *been* tested, repeatedly. A hypothesis still has to be testable. An assertion that is neither is simply called "an idea".
      • by w0mprat (1317953)

        It's not testable, so it's not a theory. It's a hypothesis.

        A hypothesis is testable or it's not really a valid hypothesis.

        A theory is an explaination that best fits the observed facts.

        Conjecture is anything plausible given known facts, but not necessarily testable.

        Meh, definitions vary, but thats how I like it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by CTalkobt (81900)
      Dude - I still don't understand what you just said.
      Since this might be in code I took all the capitalized words to mean something and got :

      ALSO APPEARS AFFINITY.

      MOVE!

      VERY REAL CLUE!

      DO NOT RESOLVE!

      ONLY ONE NOT ANYTHING.

      ONE LOCATE OUTSIDE AFFINITY.

      I added punctuation for my clarity ... so other than telling me to move, get a clue and that there's 1 affinity I'm still not sure what you're saying...

      • by Naedst (1313869)

        Dude - I still don't understand what you just said.

        About 3/4 of the way through I was sure it was going to be a Yo Mumma's so Fat joke... maybe it was and he just forgot the punchline?

      • If I merely inspired someone to waste the time to pull out THINGS IN CAPITAL LETTERS.

        Meh.

        I could try explaining something I see visually better -- but would anyone bother holding out that long? So I keep it brief hoping that there is enough interest to see more.

        I really am NOT trying to push an idea of an "Electric Universe." Einstein was elegant and didn't pull ideas out of rabbit-holes. Relativity is sublime but it also stops at explaining how objects aren't constantly gaining mass as they accelerate in o

    • I'm only looking for ONE person to get what I'm saying -- because I realize that I'm out there on the edge, and people well versed in science are also afraid of looking like an idiot -- I am not however, because I've been right about more ideas than I care to count. Later, when I explain that I was in 6th grade trying to get someone to understand my idea of using fiber optics to do surgery in the body, or how right-angled inverse sound waves could muffle sound -- well, I was ignored then, and mentioning it

  • If not black hole jets then the astrophysicists next bet will be annilihating Dark matter. The symmetric LSP light symmetric particle has been a dark matter candiate for some twenty year. This gamma ray job could be LSP's annilhating but only if the have the gamma rays match with the galactic halos.

    ---

    Dark Matter [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

  • Okay, maybe this is where I inadvertently let on that I'm not a physicist, but what is a "dragon here be" symbol?!

    • That's OK. You want to be a medieval cartographer, not a physicist. Old maps would have things like "here be dragons" on them in unknown, unexplored regions. So, they are just marking the unknown, unexplained gamma rays as the 'dragons' on the map.
    • by jonadab (583620)
      > Okay, maybe this is where I inadvertently let on that I'm
      > not a physicist, but what is a "dragon here be" symbol?!

      Actually, what you just let on is that you're not a computer geek. (You can turn in your card and Slashdot ID later.)

      "Here be dragons", from the symbols on ancient maps, is what computer geeks say when they don't understand why a given section of source code is doing what it's doing. Just as ancient peoples found it dangerous to stray beyond the edge of their maps, any programmer wort
  • See, Maxwell was right. Space contains ether. We just never figured out how to measure it. :)
  • My theory is that the matter:antimatter ratio in the universe is only violated on small solar-system sized scales and the interstellar medium is in a 1:1 ratio. The CMB and excess gamma rays are just remenants of matter:antimatter collisions at the bow shock of our solar system. We gain matter as fast as antimatter so there is no net loss, and we continue in our bubble of matter unmolested save for cosmic rays.

    What kicked this off for me is a few things. Seeing that photons are their own antiparticle and al

  • The favoured particle for dark matter is currently the neutralino as it is likely to be the lightest supersymetric particle. It is believed that interactions with other neutralinos would cause annihilation of itself and create gamma rays. Of course you would expect the gamma rays to originate where the dark matter is concentrated which is currently thought to be the Galatic halo around a galaxy.

    Hopefully the LHC will uncover evidence for/against supersymmetry and answer many outstanding questions in physi

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