Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15203788Astronomers 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.