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Re: starship-design: antimatter fountain: popsci article

In a message dated 7/14/97 12:24:48 PM, bakelaar@injersey.com (Bakelaar)

>it sounds like science fiction: a fountain of antmatter
>spewing from the center of our galaxy. but that is just what
>astronomers claim they have discovered, using nasa's compton
>gamma ray observatory satellite. 
>launched into eart orbit six years ago, the observatory 
>monitors the heavens for emissions of gamma rays. in april,
>a research team led by astronomers at northwestern univ. 
>and the naval research lab. in washington announced that the
>observatory had foudn gamma rays emanating from a fountain-
>shaped region that appears to originate at the milky way's
>center. the high energy gammy-ray emissions were measured
>at 511,000 electron volts - precisely the energy produced
>when positrons (the antiparticles of electrons) are 
>annihilated by collisions with normal matter. "its an 
>unmistakable signature of the annihilation" says charles
>dermer, a theorist at the navy lab who is helping to 
>interpret the findings. 
>what could be generating the positrons? on earth, positrons
>are produced by the decay of certain radioactive isotopes
>but are quickly destroyed when they collide. dermer and 
>colleague jeff skibo point out that positrons are also
>produced by supernovas, explosions of massive stars. 
>successions of supernovas at the milky way's center could
>have sent a fountain of hot gases, mixed with positrons,
>shooting high above the galactic plane. mingling with the
>hot gad would destroy the positrons and produce the observed
>gamma rays, astronomers say.
>however, other scientists have proposed a different source for
>the positrons: one or more black holes believed to exist at 
>the galaxy's center.
>by andrew chaikin
>so guys, what do you think of this? id like to hear
>what you think... if its true or not, if they got anything
>wrong... etc etc.

Sounds likely.  We expected to find a big blackholes in the galactic center.
 Mater geting sucked in and other effects can produce antimatter.  Strange
that its that rich a source thou.