The Fermi bubbles, two giant structures above and below the Galactic center (GC), are among the most important discoveries of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Studying their physical origin has been providing valuable insights into cosmic-ray transport, the Galactic magnetic field, and past activity at the GC in the Milky Way galaxy. Despite their importance, the formation mechanism of the bubbles is still elusive. Over the past few years, there have been numerous efforts, both observational and theoretical, to uncover the nature of the bubbles. In this article, we present an overview of the current status of our understanding of the bubbles' origin, and discuss possible future directions that will help to distinguish different scenarios of bubble formation.
- Pub Date:
- February 2018
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- Matched to the published version in the special issue of Galaxies