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The Energy Spectrum and Composition of the Fermi Bubbles

Presentation #115.04 in the session The Milky Way: Galactic Center and Outflows.

Published onJun 29, 2022
The Energy Spectrum and Composition of the Fermi Bubbles

The Fermi Bubbles are two giant lobe-shaped structures at the center of the Milky Way, extending over 50 degrees above and below the Galactic Center and emitting photons with energies up to 500 GeV. Competing theories propose different origins for the gamma-rays that the Fermi Bubbles emit and that the Fermi-LAT instrument detects. Leptonic models of the Fermi Bubbles propose that high-energy electrons within the Fermi Bubbles interact with the interstellar radiation field via Inverse Compton scattering to produce gamma rays (Su et al. 2010). On the other hand, hadronic models of the Fermi Bubbles propose that gamma rays from within the Bubbles are produced by cosmic ray protons and heavier cosmic ray nuclei colliding with gas (Crocker and Aharonian 2011). Using 12 years of Fermi-LAT data, we construct gamma-ray maps of the sky and isolate the gamma-ray emission of the Fermi Bubbles. We examine the energy spectrum of the combined north and south Fermi Bubbles, then the energy spectra of spatial subregions within the Fermi Bubbles. We use the overall and subregion energy spectra to assess the plausibility of leptonic models for the physical composition of the Fermi Bubbles.

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