Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Crab Pulsar Emits Light at Higher Energies Than Expected

12.10.2011
Detection defies current pulsar models, leads to new theories

Pulsars--highly magnetized, rotating stars--were first discovered more than 40 years ago, and are now believed to be a type of stellar leftover, or remnant--in this case, a neutron star--that results from the explosion and gravitational collapse of a more massive star.

In the October 7 issue of Science, astrophysicists with VERITAS report an unexpected finding in the Crab Pulsar, which is the central star in the Crab Nebula in the constellation of Taurus. They detected pulsed gamma rays, or light energy, above one hundred thousand million electron volts. The detection cannot be explained with current pulsar models that show pulsed gamma rays in the range of a few hundred million electron volts to a few thousand million electron volts. The finding is causing researchers to consider new theories about gamma-ray production. More on the discovery can be found in press releases by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Santa Cruz and others. The paper, online in Science today, had 95 coauthors, including scientists from 26 institutions in five countries, who are part of the VERITAS collaboration.

Left is an artist's conception of the VERITAS array of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) observing the Crab Nebula. IACTs detect high-energy gamma-rays. Also seen is a very high energy gamma-ray originating from the Crab Nebula producing an airshower in the high atmopshere. The telescopes observe the Cherenkov radiation produced by the energetic electrons in the airshower. Right is an artist's conception of the pulsar at the center of the Crab Nebula, with a Hubble Space Telescope photo of the nebula in the background.

VERITAS, or Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System, is a ground-based observatory for gamma-ray astronomy located at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona. It is operated by a collaboration of more than 100 scientists from 22 different institutions in the United States, Ireland, England and Canada. VERITAS is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Smithsonian Institution, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Science Foundation Ireland, and Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom.

Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF (703) 292-8070 bmixon@nsf.gov
Lisa Van Pay, NSF (703) 292-8796 lvanpay@nsf.gov
Program Contacts
James Whitmore, NSF (703) 292-8908 jwhitmor@nsf.gov
Co-Investigators
Rene Ong, University of California, Los Angeles (310) 825-3622 rene@astro.ucla.edu

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2011, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Bobbie Mixon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nsf.gov
http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=121926&org=NSF&from=news

Further reports about: Crab Nebula IACTs NSF Science TV Telescope VERITAS gamma rays nebula

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Simple experiment explains magnetic resonance
09.12.2019 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Electronic map reveals 'rules of the road' in superconductor
09.12.2019 | Rice University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electronic map reveals 'rules of the road' in superconductor

Band structure map exposes iron selenide's enigmatic electronic signature

Using a clever technique that causes unruly crystals of iron selenide to snap into alignment, Rice University physicists have drawn a detailed map that reveals...

Im Focus: Developing a digital twin

University of Texas and MIT researchers create virtual UAVs that can predict vehicle health, enable autonomous decision-making

In the not too distant future, we can expect to see our skies filled with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages, maybe even people, from location...

Im Focus: The coldest reaction

With ultracold chemistry, researchers get a first look at exactly what happens during a chemical reaction

The coldest chemical reaction in the known universe took place in what appears to be a chaotic mess of lasers. The appearance deceives: Deep within that...

Im Focus: How do scars form? Fascia function as a repository of mobile scar tissue

Abnormal scarring is a serious threat resulting in non-healing chronic wounds or fibrosis. Scars form when fibroblasts, a type of cell of connective tissue, reach wounded skin and deposit plugs of extracellular matrix. Until today, the question about the exact anatomical origin of these fibroblasts has not been answered. In order to find potential ways of influencing the scarring process, the team of Dr. Yuval Rinkevich, Group Leader for Regenerative Biology at the Institute of Lung Biology and Disease at Helmholtz Zentrum München, aimed to finally find an answer. As it was already known that all scars derive from a fibroblast lineage expressing the Engrailed-1 gene - a lineage not only present in skin, but also in fascia - the researchers intentionally tried to understand whether or not fascia might be the origin of fibroblasts.

Fibroblasts kit - ready to heal wounds

Im Focus: McMaster researcher warns plastic pollution in Great Lakes growing concern to ecosystem

Research from a leading international expert on the health of the Great Lakes suggests that the growing intensity and scale of pollution from plastics poses serious risks to human health and will continue to have profound consequences on the ecosystem.

In an article published this month in the Journal of Waste Resources and Recycling, Gail Krantzberg, a professor in the Booth School of Engineering Practice...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

The Arctic atmosphere - a gathering place for dust?

09.12.2019 | Earth Sciences

New ultra-miniaturized scope less invasive, produces higher quality images

09.12.2019 | Information Technology

Discovery of genes involved in the biosynthesis of antidepressant

09.12.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>