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Galaxies 2018, 6(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies6010027

X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Observations of the Fermi Bubbles and NPS/Loop I Structures

1
Institute for Science and Engineering, Waseda University, 3-4-1, Okubo, Shinjuku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan
2
Department of Astronomy, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
3
RIKEN, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 22 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract

The Fermi bubbles were possibly created by large injections of energy into the Galactic Center (GC), either by an active galactic nucleus (AGN) or by nuclear starburst more than ~10 Myr ago. However, the origin of the diffuse gamma-ray emission associated with Loop I, a radio continuum loop spanning across 100° on the sky, is still being debated. The northern-most part of Loop I, known as the North Polar Spur (NPS), is the brightest arm and is even clearly visible in the ROSAT X-ray sky map. In this paper, we present a comprehensive review on the X-ray observations of the Fermi bubbles and their possible association with the NPS and Loop I structures. Using uniform analysis of archival Suzaku and Swift data, we show that X-ray plasma with kT~0.3 keV and low metal abundance (Z~0.2 Z) is ubiquitous in both the bubbles and Loop I and is naturally interpreted as weakly shock-heated Galactic halo gas. However, the observed asymmetry of the X-ray-emitting gas above and below the GC has still not been resolved; it cannot be fully explained by the inclination of the axis of the Fermi bubbles to the Galactic disk normal. We argue that the NPS and Loop I may be asymmetric remnants of a large explosion that occurred before the event that created the Fermi bubbles, and that the soft gamma-ray emission from Loop I may be due to either π0 decay of accelerated protons or electron bremsstrahlung. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fermi bubbles; North Polar Spur; Loop I; Galactic halo; X-rays Fermi bubbles; North Polar Spur; Loop I; Galactic halo; X-rays
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kataoka, J.; Sofue, Y.; Inoue, Y.; Akita, M.; Nakashima, S.; Totani, T. X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Observations of the Fermi Bubbles and NPS/Loop I Structures. Galaxies 2018, 6, 27.

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