Antimatter Hints at Galactic Turmoil

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Science  09 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5314, pp. 897
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5314.897

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WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA-- Last week's announcement here that the orbiting Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory had spotted a wayward cloud of positrons--the antimatter equivalent of electrons--near the galactic center is forcing astronomers to revise their image of a placid Milky Way. One scenario holds that the cloud is a legacy of thousands of stellar explosions that rocked the galactic center about 10 million years ago, creating positrons and driving them outward.