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Conference Paper

Galactic centre star formation writ large in gamma-rays


Crocker,  Roland
Division Prof. Dr. Werner Hofmann, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Crocker, R. (2011). Galactic centre star formation writ large in gamma-rays. Proceedings of Science, Texas2010: 183.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-3151-E
We have modelled the high-energy astrophysics of the inner 200 pc of the Galaxy with a view to explaining the diffuse, broad-band (radio continuum to TeV γ-ray), non-thermal signal detected from this region. Our modelling pins down the ISM parameters for the environment wherein cosmic ray (CR) electrons and ions reside in the Galactic centre (GC). We find that the magnetic field in this region is 100-300 μG, the gas density ~<60 cm^-3, and that a powerful (> 200 km/s) ‘super’-wind acts to remove > 95% of the cosmic rays accelerated in the region before they have time to lose their energy in situ. The ~10^39 erg/s carried away by the GC cosmic ray protons is precisely enough to energise the ~GeV γ-ray emission from the Fermi ‘bubbles’ recently found to extend north and south of the GC out to distances of ~10 kpc, provided that the bubbles constitute thick targets to the GC protons and that the situation has reached steady state. In such a situation of ‘saturation’ the hard, uniform spectrum of the bubbles are explained and secondary electron synchrotron explains the non-thermal microwave emission found in WMAP data mirroring the bubbles. Given the very low density of the bubble plasma (<0.01 cm^-3), the pp loss time in the Bubbles is > 5 Gyr. Our scenario thus has the startling implication that a GC source of nonthermal particles of time-averaged power 10^39 erg/s has persisted since the youth of the Galaxy