Back in late 2010, astrophysicists spotted two gargantuan, gamma-ray emitting bubbles mysteriously coming out of the galactic center. Now the bubbles have an equally baffling companion: a strange haze of microwaves that extends through the galaxy, and "defies explanation."
The haze was detected by the European Space Agency's Planck mission, a space observatory located at the second Lagrangian point in the Earth-Sun system. (For a quick explanation of the Lagrangian points, check out this recent post.) Planck's primary mission is to study the cosmic microwave background, the thermal radiation left over from the Big Bang found throughout the universe. But to do that, it first must identify and remove all other microwave sources, which is where this haze enters the picture.