A source accelerating Galactic cosmic rays to unprecedented energy discovered at the centre of the Milky Way
For more than 10 years the H.E.S.S. observatory in Namibia, run by an international collaboration of 42 institutions in 12 countries, has been mapping the center of our galaxy in very-high-energy gamma rays.
These gamma rays are produced by cosmic rays from the innermost region of the galaxy.
Artist’s impression of the giant molecular clouds surrounding the Galactic Centre, bombarded by very high energy protons accelerated in the vicinity of the central black hole and subsequently shining in gamma rays. Credit: © Dr Mark A. Garlick/ H.E.S.S. Collaboration
A detailed analysis of the latest H.E.S.S. data, published on 16 March 2016 in Nature, reveals for the first time a source of this cosmic radiation at energies never observed before in the Milky Way: the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, likely to accelerate cosmic rays to energies 100 times larger than those achieved at the largest terrestrial particle accelerator, the LHC at CERN.
To be continued on