Formation of large-scale magnetic structures associated with the Fermi bubbles
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik,
2 Space Research Institute RAS, 84/32 Profsoyuznaya Street, Moscow 117997, Russia
3 Astrophysical Big Bang Laboratory, RIKEN, 351-0198 Saitama, Japan
4 Departament d’Astronomia i Meteorologia, Institut de Ciències del Cosmos (ICC), Universitat de Barcelona (IEEC-UB), Martí i Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Accepted: 26 November 2013
Context. The Fermi bubbles are part of a complex region of the Milky Way. This region presents broadband extended non-thermal radiation, apparently coming from a physical structure rooted at the Galactic centre and with a partly ordered magnetic field threading it.
Aims. We explore the possibility of an explosive origin for the Fermi bubble region to explain its morphology, in particular that of the large-scale magnetic fields, and provide context for the broadband non-thermal radiation.
Methods. We performed 3D magnetohydrodynamical simulations of an explosion that occurred a few million years ago that pushed and sheared a surrounding magnetic loop, anchored in the molecular torus around the Galactic centre.
Results. Our results can explain the formation of the large-scale magnetic structure in the Fermi bubble region. Consecutive explosive events may match the morphology of the region better. Faster velocities at the top of the shocks than at their sides may explain the hardening with distance from the Galactic plane found in the GeV emission.
Conclusions. In the framework of our scenario, we estimate the lifetime of the Fermi bubbles as ≈2 × 106 yr, with a total energy injected in the explosion(s) of ≳1055 ergs. The broadband non-thermal radiation from the region may be explained by leptonic emission, which is more extended in radio and X-rays, and is confined to the Fermi bubbles in gamma rays.
Key words: shock waves / methods: numerical / Galaxy: center
© ESO, 2014