Artist’s conception of the December 27, 2004 gamma ray flare expanding from SGR 1806-20 and impacting Earth’s atmosphere. Credit: NASA
A gigantic explosion on a neutron star halfway across the Milky Way galaxy, the largest such explosion ever recorded in the universe, should allow astronomers for the first time to probe the interiors of these mysterious stellar objects.
An international team of astrophysicists, combing through data from a NASA X-ray satellite, the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, reports in the July 20th issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters that the explosion produced vibrations within the star, like a ringing bell, that generated rapid fluctuations in the X-ray radiation it emitted into space. These X-ray pulses, emitted during each seven second rotation by the fast-spinning star, contained the frequency vibrations of the neutron star’s massive quakes.
Much as geologists probe the Earth’s interior from seismic waves produced by earthquakes and solar astronomers study the sun using shock waves traveling through the sun, the X-ray fluctuations discovered from this explosion should provide critical information about the internal structure of neutron stars.
Kim McDonald | EurekAlert!
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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