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In this issue:
People: Theresa Wong Shares a Smile
Fermi Telescope Discovers Giant Structure In Our Galaxy

SLAC Today

Wednesday - November 10, 2010

People: Theresa Wong Shares a Smile

(Photo - Theresa Wong)
 (Photo courtesy Theresa Wong.)

If staff members or visitors at the Linac Coherent Light Source have a request, chances are that Theresa Wong will help them. And she'll do it all with her radiant smile.

Wong is one of four administrative assistants at the LCLS who do everything from processing daily facilities requests to coordinating major meetings and events.

"If it's something we can do, we'll do it," she said, referring to herself and fellow LCLS administrative assistants Siony Manti, Araceli Zapata and Irene Hu. "We're here to make everyone's lives a little easier."

Since arriving at SLAC in March, Wong has increasingly taken on more responsibilities. One of her major roles is to arrange travel for LCLS visitors whose expenses are paid for by SLAC. She is also the point of contact for any LCLS-related events, including three major meetings held twice a year. 

Read more...

Fermi Telescope Discovers Giant Structure In Our Galaxy

(image - FGST sky map)
A giant gamma-ray structure was discovered by processing Fermi all-sky data at energies from 1 billion to 10 billion electronvolts, shown here. The dumbbell-shaped feature (center) emerges from the galactic center and extends 50 degrees north and south from the plane of the Milky Way. (Image: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT/D. Finkbeiner et al.)

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has unveiled a previously unseen structure centered in the Milky Way. The feature spans 50,000 light-years and may be the remnant of an eruption from a supersized black hole at the center of our galaxy.

"What we see are two gamma-ray-emitting bubbles that extend 25,000 lightyears north and south of the galactic center," said Doug Finkbeiner, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., who first recognized the feature. "We don't fully understand their nature or origin."

The structure spans more than half of the visible sky, from the constellation Virgo to the constellation Grus, and it may be millions of years old. A paper about the findings has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

The bubble structure wasn't easy to spot, according to SLAC astrophysicist and Fermi Large Area Telescope team member Simona Murgia. "In addition to the bulk of the gamma-ray emission from the Milky Way, also the contribution of local sources has to be carefully subtracted," she noted. "This will ultimately help the search for the origin of these structures and the processes that govern them."  

Read more from NASA...

See also:

"Bubbles of Energy Are Found in Galaxy" New York Times

"Milky Way's Black Hole May Blow Bubbles" Science News 

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