Reviews of topical problems

Gamma rays and the structure of the Galaxy

,  a,
a Moscow State Engineering Physics Institute (State University), Kashirskoe shosse 31, Moscow, 115409, Russian Federation

The observations and theoretical interpretations of galactic $\gamma$ rays in the energy region 10$^7$--10$^{10}$ eV are reviewed. Galactic $\gamma$ rays consist of a diffuse component and radiation from discrete sources. The diffuse component, which is formed as the result of interaction of cosmic rays with interstellar gas, reflects the large-scale structure of the Galaxy. Recent observations have revealed the existence of a belt of molecular hydrogen at a distance 4--8 kpc from the Galactic Center and indicate a nonuniformity of the distribution of cosmic rays over the disk and in the halo of the Galaxy. Information on the small-scale structure of the Galaxy in the $\gamma$ region is obtained from the discrete $\gamma$-ray sources, of which more than twenty have now been observed. The best known of these are the pulsars in the Crab Nebula, Vela-X, Cygnus X-3, and the region of the Galactic Center. Possible mechanisms for the $\gamma$ radiation of discrete sources are discussed.

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Fulltext is also available at DOI: 10.1070/PU1979v022n06ABEH005574
PACS: 98.50.Eb, 98.70.Qy, 98.40.-p
DOI: 10.1070/PU1979v022n06ABEH005574
Citation: Gal’per A M, Luchkov B I, Prilutskii O F "Gamma rays and the structure of the Galaxy" Sov. Phys. Usp. 22 456–473 (1979)
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:   ,   ,    «-   » 128 313–343 (1979); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0128.197906d.0313

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