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[BBC] - Crab Pulsar's high-energy beam surprises astronomers

post #1 of 11
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Quote:
Astronomers have spotted gamma ray emissions coming from the Crab Pulsar at far higher energies than expected.

This challenges notions of how these powerful electromagnetic rays - like light, but far more energetic - are formed, researchers suggest in Science.

They found emissions at more than 100 gigaelectronvolts - 100 billion times more energetic than visible light.

The Crab Nebula that hosts the pulsar continues to amaze astronomers, despite being one of the most studied objects.

The remnant of a supernova that lit up the skies on Earth in 1054, it has been taken in modern times to be a constant source of light - so constant that telescopes were trained on it for calibrations.

But earlier this year, the Crab was spotted emitting gamma-ray flares that have confounded astronomers.

Within the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar - a tiny, rapidly spinning neutron star that sprays highly energetic electromagnetic rays out at its poles like a lighthouse beam, sweeping past the Earth 30 times a second.

The pulsar's enormous magnetic field is known to gather up particles and accelerate them - in a process much like particle accelerators here on Earth.

As those particles move in curved paths, they emit the gamma rays that we can measure.
Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15203788
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post #2 of 11
personally i always like seeing science posts with that avatar next to it
    
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post #3 of 11
My uninformed thoughts wanted this to be about crabs with laser eyes.
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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzleBoy View Post
My uninformed thoughts wanted this to be about crabs with laser eyes.
+1
How frikin hard is it to get frikin crabs with frikin LASER BEAMS attached to their heads?

(Anyone else think of War of the Worlds all of a sudden?)
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chachi123 View Post
+1
How frikin hard is it to get frikin crabs with frikin LASER BEAMS attached to their heads?

(Anyone else think of War of the Worlds all of a sudden?)
first it must be sharks with lasers on their head
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post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chachi123 View Post
+1
How frikin hard is it to get frikin crabs with frikin LASER BEAMS attached to their heads?

(Anyone else think of War of the Worlds all of a sudden?)
For some reason, your reply just made me think of Dr.Evil.
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
gigaelectronvolts
That is going to be a major player in my lexicon. What a sweet word!
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
gigaelectronvolts
Giggidy
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post #9 of 11
i need an 80 plus gold gigaelectronvolt power supply for my next build
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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrizzleBoy View Post
My uninformed thoughts wanted this to be about crabs with laser eyes.
First thought:



Har-har and I'm an I dare call myself an optical engineering major.
Edited by MKHunt - 10/6/11 at 11:33pm
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