Milky Way 'Accelerator' Generates Gamma Rays (image) University of Arizona Share Print E-Mail Caption This graphic illustrates the idea that the black hole at the center of the Milky Way is like an extremely powerful particle accelerator, revving up protons in the surrounding magnetic plasma and slinging them into lower-energy protons with such energy that high-energy gamma rays result from the collision. The yellow line depicts the chaotic flight of a high-energy proton flung into a lower-energy proton in the hydrogen gas cloud. The green arrow represents the high-energy gamma ray that results from the proton collision. Credit Sarah Ballantyne Usage Restrictions Credit art courtesy of Sarah Ballantyne Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.